Cooking | Savory Tomato Basil Tart
The first time I plucked a tomato off the vine and bit into it, I was hooked! A fresh tomato tastes miles above a store-bought one, any day of the week. I started growing tomatoes while living in a tiny apartment, sans a deck or front porch. But grow they did, right there in my very own living room! So when we moved to our first house, I immediately planted my own garden, tomatoes as the centerpiece.
Today I’d like to share with you a family recipe for a tomato tart that has been handed down through the generations. It epitomizes the flavors of summer by using a combination of fresh summer tomatoes, basil, garlic and cheese. Not to mention that it doesn’t take a long time to put together, plus it’s simple to do, a bonus for our busy family!
This recipe will easily serve four and is well-complimented with a side-salad and/or with a cup of home-made gazpacho.
9 inch deep dish pie crust (1 layer-there is no top crust on this tart)
1 1 / 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
5 plum tomatoes or 4 medium-sized tomatoes, sliced and de-seeded
1 cup fresh basil, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 / 2 cup mayonnaise
1 / 4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Dash of white pepper for taste
1. To prevent the pie crust from turning into a soppy, gooey mess, simply “bake it off” in the oven for 15 minutes at 375°. (Use pie weights if you have them.)
2. Meanwhile, mix the basil and garlic together in a small bowl.
3. Once the pie crust has baked, sprinkle 1 / 2 cup of the mozzarella cheese over the bottom.
4. Layer the tomatoes ring into the pie, then sprinkle the basil-garlic mixture on top of the tomatoes.
5. In another bowl, combine the mayonnaise, the remaining mozzarella, parmesan and pepper.
6. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, dollop the cheese-mayo mixture over the top of the tomatoes.
7. Bake the tart at 375° for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.
-Bacon! Add crumbled pieces of bacon over the tomatoes before putting the cheese mixture on top.
-Spinach! This is the perfect dish to “hide” touches of shredded spinach.
-Experiment with different cheeses, such as a good goat cheese, mascarpone or feta.
-Don’t want that much mayo in your meal? Substitute plain Greek yogurt instead.
-Use more than one variety of tomato—try zebra tomatoes, heirlooms, yellow and black; you get the gist!
Do you have any other ideas? I’d love to hear how you make this tomato tart your own!