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Rustic Heirloom Tomato and Basil Tart

Rustic Heirloom Tomato and Basil Tart

What better way to celebrate summer than with this Rustic Tomato and Basil Tart? I can't think of any.MORE+LESS-

Updated September 20, 2016


lbs heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices


cup shredded basil leaves


cup shredded fontina cheese


tablespoon whole fresh oregano leaves, minced


tablespoons fresh bread crumbs


teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning


teaspoon cracked black pepper


teaspoon coarse sea salt


cup crumbled fresh goat cheese


Pillsbury™ refrigerated pizza crust

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  • 1

    Prepare a medium-hot fire [400°F (200°C)] in a wood-fired oven or cooker.

  • 2

    Arrange the tomato slices in a single layer on paper towels and lightly salt. Let drain for 10 minutes, then gently squeeze to remove more juice.

  • 3

    Prepare pizza dough per package instructions.

  • 4

    Combine 1/4 cup of the basil, the fontina, and oregano. In a separate bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the bread crumbs and the 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Arrange the cheese mixture on the rolled-out dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Dust with the bread-crumb mixture.

  • 5

    Arrange half of the tomatoes, overlapping the slices, over the cheese. Sprinkle with the remaining corn kernels, lightly salt, and dust with the remaining bread crumbs. Arrange the second layer of tomatoes on top and sprinkle lightly with salt and the cracked black pepper.

  • 6

    Bake in the oven for 20 minutes; remove and top the center with the crumbled goat cheese. Press the cheese lightly into the tomatoes. Return to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden.

  • 7

    Remove from the oven and set aside for at least 20 minutes or up to 45 minutes. Sprinkle the tart with the remaining basil leaves; cut and serve at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
3 1/2g
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A
Vitamin C

2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 1 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1/2 Fat;

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Rustic Heirloom Tomato Tart

I originally posted this sort of recipe back in the very early days of writing this blog. It seems fitting that this would be one of the longest lived recipes on the blog as it has been a family favorite since before we made 1840 Farm our home. Back then, we purchased ripe tomatoes from the local farmer’s market to make this tart. Now that we plant our own garden, we look forward to this rustic tart topped with our homegrown heirloom tomatoes.

The combination of flavors in this dish is perfectly balanced. The acidity and earthiness of the tomatoes is the star, but the creamy ricotta and bright basil accent it deliciously. Over the years, I have made a few simple adjustments to that original recipe. I’ve simplified it and made a rustic recipe that is much quicker to pull together after a long day of working in the garden. The end result is just as delicious and the time involved to create this beautiful dish is cut in half.

I hope that you’ll give this simplified version a try. You can also view the original version and learn about how we began our tomato growing journey back in the early days of living here at 1840 Farm. In those days, we harvested well over 100 pounds of homegrown heirloom tomatoes every summer. More importantly, we ate and enjoyed every last bite!

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Quick & Easy Rustic Summer Tomato Tart

Every summer we seem to have an excess of something in our garden. It is often zucchini, although this year our zucchini started off strong but then fizzled out to nothing. Our tomatoes however, have taken over, and our tomatoes plants have outgrown their six-foot stakes and are now either folding over or are growing into our olive trees. We have never had plants grow like these ones have, and despite the fact that we have four or five different varieties, they are all growing like weeds. With the temperatures in the nineties and with constant sunshine, I am presently picking a large basket full of tomatoes each and every day. Although I love eating raw tomatoes, one can only eat so many, so I have been using them for sauces, soups, freezing them, canning them, and basically, using them up every way I can think of. I recently decided to try something different, and pulled a package of puff pastry from the refrigerator and pulled together this light tart for lunch that I served with a big mixed salad.

I try and keep puff pastry in my refrigerator as often as possible because it is so versatile and you can use it for a quick appetizer, or a sweet dessert in mere minutes. I used large beefsteak, or “cuore di bue” tomatoes, although you could use any ripe, tasty tomato that you prefer. I think a combination of yellow and red heirloom tomatoes would be gorgeous on this tart as well. To add flavor and substance to this tart, I first covered the bottom of the tart with some shredded mozzarella and a little grated Parmesan cheese. After layering the tomatoes over the cheese, I sprinkled on more grated Parmesan along with some minced fresh basil, then simply baked it until the tart was golden brown. I like to cut this tart into good sized squares, but you could cut it into smaller pieces to pass around with a glass of wine when entertaining.

Rustic Tomato Tart

Makes 1 tart, about 6 servings

If you have a disk of pie dough and some vegetables, you can quickly and easily make a rustic savory tart for supper. This tomato-basil version is a delicious ode to summer, but the onion base in this recipe is a terrific jumping off point for all kinds of flavors. We recommend making a batch of onion base in advance and freezing it in small portions to use on a whim.

1 package Grand Central all-butter pie dough, thawed in refrigerator
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2-3 onions (about 1 pound), thinly sliced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded fontina, gruyere, feta or parmesan cheese (or use a mixture)
3-4 medium tomatoes, sliced
Fresh basil

Egg wash: 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Caramelize onions.
Heat olive oil and butter in large heavy saute pan over medium high. Add onions, sprinkle with salt and saute until onions release some liquid and begin to develop a few dark spots, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until onions are soft and toasty brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool, and add more salt if necessary. (You can make the onion base ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate until ready to use.)

Form the tart.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On lightly floured surface, lightly roll out one pie dough circle until 14-16 inches in diameter. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. Tightly wrap and reserve remaining pie dough for another use.

Spread 1 to 1 1/2 cups onion base over pastry, leaving a 3-inch border. Sprinkle with half the shredded cheese and arrange tomatoes in a single layer on top. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Carefully lift and fold border up and over the filling, letting the dough pleat about 8 to 10 times.

Brush dough with egg wash and bake tart for 40-45 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking, until filling is bubbly and crust is deep golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes. Top with fresh basil and serve warm or at room temperature.