There’s something magical about the combination of fresh garden tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. A slice of this Fresh Tomato Tart just reinforced that this marriage of flavors was a winner!
Fresh Tomato Tart
There’s something magical that happens when fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes are combined. I could live off Caprese salads at the peak of tomato season, so when I spotted this recipe for Fresh Tomato Tart with Pesto and Mozzarella, I knew it would be irresistible.
The crisp buttery crust with cheesy undertones was topped with two layers of fresh mozzarella, pesto and heirloom tomatoes. The original recipe called for 3 repetitions with much thicker slices of tomatoes. My tart shell was practically full with one round of the ingredients, so I cut my tomatoes thinner and repeated just once. The layer of melted Provolone just prevents the crust from becoming soggy.
This tasted like summer on a plate and could easily be my dinner all week long. The flavor profile is a twist on the Caprese salad, a summer favorite with ripe juicy tomato slices, fresh mozzarella slices, and basil. The hubby thought it was OK (he prefers his pesto on pasta and tomatoes in a salad), so I’ll let him have one of my lamb chops and eat his serving tomorrow! Later this summer I will whip up my baked tomato tart for him using this magnificent crust recipe.
Tips for Making This Fresh Tomato Tart
This is one recipe that must be made in the summer when the BEST tomatoes are available. Nothing beats a vine-ripened tomato that you pick from your own garden, but not everyone has that option. Your local farmers’ market, produce stand or heirloom tomatoes from the market are some terrific options.
- Use the highest quality, most flavorful summer tomatoes you can find. I’d advise against making this offseason.
- Different sizes and colors of tomatoes make for a beautiful presentation, but it’s just as delicious with all red tomato slices.
- A homemade tart crust always trumps store-bought, but in a pinch, feel free to buy a sheet of pastry from the market and pre-bake it in your tart pan according to package directions.
More Tomato Recipes You’ll Love:
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 2 tablespoons shortening, cut into 4 pieces
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2-4 tablespoons ice water (2 was enough for my crust)
- 4 slices of Provolone cheese
- 8+ounces of fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 1/4+ cup pesto
- 3/4+pounds fresh heirloom or garden tomatoes, cut into 1/3 inch slices
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a food processor, combine flour, Parmesan, and salt. Pulse in butter and shortening till mixture resembles cornmeal. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of ice water while pulsing till incorporated. Squeeze a handful of dough, and if it doesn't hold together, add one more tablespoon of water and repeat with one more tablespoon only if needed.
- Form dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about an hour.
- Preheat oven to 375º. Roll dough into a 12 inch round and fit into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Trim edges.
- Line shell with parchment paper and pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove paper and weights and bake another 10 minutes or till lightly browned. Remove from oven and line bottom of tart with a single layer of Provolone. Cool.
- Remove sides of the tart pan and place tart on a serving plate. Arrange half the mozzarella on the bottom of the tart, followed by half the pesto, then half the tomatoes. Sprinkled with salt and pepper and repeat. Feel to use the smaller amount of ingredients and only make one layer of pesto and tomatoes.
Recipe adapted from Gourmet.
The Gourmet recipe calls for repeating the pesto and tomatoes to make 3 layers. I've made it with two layers and most recently with one layer. Feel free to adjust your ingredients depending on how many layers you can fit in your tart shell.
This is my contribution to the month-long #Tomato Love event. Feel free to link up any tomato recipes you’ve made in July of 2012. Just make sure to link back to this page, so your readers can join in as well. Thanks to Junia, of Mis Pensamientos, for organizing us again this month. I know you’ll all gain much inspiration from all the marvelous recipes which will be shared. Here is a list of the blogs of my talented and creative co-hosts: