Celebrate the weeks in between seasons when the tomatoes are still on the vine, but the pumpkins are at the farmers market and the mums appear on doorsteps. This tomato tart uses an easy press-in crust so no need to roll out the dough. Whether your tomatoes and basil are fresh from your own garden, your local farmers market or on sale at the grocery, trust m–this tart will not disappoint!
Tomato Basil Tart
- 9-inch pie pan or tart pan with removable bottom
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, preferably freshly grated (see NOTES)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 3 cups 1 pound assorted cherry and/or grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, preferably freshly grated (see NOTES)
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil plus additional for garnish
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic, 5 to 6 cloves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 1-1/2 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut or torn into small pieces (see NOTES)
- To make the crust, stir together all crust ingredients except olive oil and milk in a medium bowl and make indentation (sometimes called a well) in the center. Whisk olive oil and milk together in a small glass measure until blended and add to the well in the flour mixture. Stir together with a spatula until all the dry ingredients are incorporated evenly into the liquid. Feel free to use your hands to mix together. Turn the dough out into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom or a 9-inch pie pan and press crumbly dough evenly into pan and up the sides. The dough should be at least 3/8-inch thick around the sides for ease in serving. I like to use the bottom of a lightly floured dry measuring cup to help press the dough evenly. Refrigerate crust 20 to 30 minutes. (You can chop and prep filling while crust is chilling).
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Pre-bake crust only in the center of the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile stir together all filling ingredients except fresh mozzarella in medium bowl. Carefully remove crust from oven and add tomato mixture to fill crust evenly. Return filled tart to the oven and continue to bake until tomatoes are juicy and beginning to brown, 30 to 33 minutes more.
- Remove tart from oven to cooling rack and immediately place fresh mozzarella pieces into tart, fitting them between tomatoes. The heat from the warm tart will begin to melt the mozzarella slightly. Cool completely or until just slightly warm. If you have used a tart pan with a removable bottom, lift the tart out of the tart pan rim, leaving it on the base for serving. If desired, garnish with sliced or torn fresh basil leaves. Slice the tart into 8 to 12 wedges and use a pie server or angled spatula to serve.
- Makes 8 to 12 servings.
Parmesan: For this recipe, I purchased Parmesan in a wedge and cut it into a few pieces, then processed in the food processor with the metal blade. It makes a bit of noise, but in a minute or so you have grated Parmesan that has no fillers like many of the store-bought tubs and is the perfect granular texture for this tart. You could grate it by hand as well, but if you have a food processor, I highly recommend using it here! Fresh Mozzarella: I used about 5 ciliegine balls (about 1-inch diameter) of fresh mozzarella and cut them into quarters, but you can use whatever shape of fresh mozzarella you prefer; just cut or tear into ¼ to ½ inch pieces.
You shall observe the festival of harvest of the first fruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall observe the festival of ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor. The choicest of the first fruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God. Exodus 23: 16, 19 NRSV
What are our first fruits? How do we share them? How do we offer thanks for all that we enjoy?