Sunday, May 17, 2009

In Anticipation of Summer: Tomato, Herb and Cheese Tart

I recently found myself in the awesome position of having a huge heap of beautiful, ripe hothouse tomatoes - and only three days in which I could consume them before taking off for vacation. During this time of year when tomatoes are not in season, these gorgeous red, orange and yellow orbs were juicy, flavorful cherished gems - a foreshadowing of summer. Not wanting them to go to waste, I promptly ate one apple-style with a sprinkling of salt, and then set out concocting this recipe to use up a few more. There's not much to say about it, except that it's easy, delicious, and beautiful - a stunning centerpiece for any meal. Enjoy.

Tomato, Herb and Cheese Tart
  • 1 frozen pie crust (if you're ambitious enough to make your own pie crust, more power to you!)
  • 3 large tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced small
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ounce goat cheese, dime-sized pieces
  • 6-10 large basil leaves, chopped (more or less, to taste)
  • 2-4 sprigs of rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped (more or less, to taste)
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
Precook the pie crust according to package directions, until the crust has taken on a golden color and is firm on the bottom.

Lay the sliced tomatoes out on paper towels and sprinkle them with salt. The salt will help to leech away much of the moisture. Pat dry and repeat several times until the slices are fairly dry. Place the diced tomatoes in a colander and sprinkle with salt, also to help remove excess moisture. Let the tomatoes drain for a good 20 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg whites. Add the cream, chopped herbs, Parmesan cheese and diced tomatoes (use your hands to squeeze out any excess moisture from the tomatoes that wasn't drained in the colander); stir to combine.

To assemble the tart, place the diced tomato mixture in the precooked crust; distribute evenly. Tuck the coins of goat cheese into the mixture, distributing evenly throughout. Arrange the sliced tomatoes on top in a decorative pattern. Return tart to a preheated 300-degree oven and bake for 1 hour, or until center is cooked through. If the edges of the crust start to get too dark, cover with foil. Remove from heat and allow to cool and fully set before serving.


  1. This is so lovely! And I'm sure it tasted lovely too. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This tomato tart sounds really good!