Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cherry Tomato Tart with a Basil-Garlic Crust

Today I am sharing one of my favorite summer-time recipes - a cherry tomato tart. I first made this tart last summer, and I was looking forward to making it again this year with the tomatoes from our garden. Sadly, our garden didn't produce enough tomatoes (those dang deer)! But, as my 5-year old nephew put it when he was 3, "the deer aren't so bad, at least they don't eat us." And, I guess that is true!

Luckily, my parents and friends have been nice enough to share their garden produce with me. My mother sent me home with tomatoes the other day, so I decided to make the tart. I made it while Greg was out sailing on the Laser with his friend George, and we all enjoyed it for dinner. I had made it with the intent to have leftovers, but I had forgotten how much George eats - and we had no leftovers.

The crust on this tart is made with basil and garlic and the flavor is incredible. The tart is topped with lots of yummy cheese and tomatoes, then baked until the cheese is bubbly. It's like a pizza, but better. I love the tart so much that I made it again for dinner last night (thanks, Sarah) - and this time there were leftovers! Greg brought a piece in to work today to eat for lunch, and a co-worker asked him for the recipe. So, I'm posting this today for Greg's co-worker. Enjoy!

Recipe for Cherry Tomato Tart with a Basil-Garlic Crust

For the basil-garlic crust:
1/3 cup of fresh basil leaves
2 cloves of garlic
1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. of kosher salt
8 Tbsp. of cold butter, cut into 8 pieces (I put butter in freezer for about 15 minutes before using)
5 Tbsp. of ice cold water
For the filling:
10 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 10 pieces
1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, sliced thin
A dash or two of kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. of Extra-Virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1 Tbsp. of fresh basil leaves, torn in small pieces

For the basil-garlic crust:
Put the fresh basil leaves and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse the food processor until the basil and garlic are very finely chopped, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spoon as necessary. Add in the flour and salt to the bowl of the processor. Pulse very briefly to just combine. Add in the cold pieces of butter. Pulse about 10 times, until the mixture looks coarse and crumby (crumbs should be about the size of peas). Add 3 Tbsp. of the ice cold water to the mixture and pulse to incorporate. Add 1 more Tbsp. of the water and let the processor run. If the mixture does not leave the sides and form into a ball quickly, add the remaining water. Once the mixture turns into a ball, take the dough out and flatten into a disc. Wrap tightly in saran wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour before handling.

While the dough is in the fridge, slice the tomatoes. Put the tomatoes in a colander set over a bowl. Add a dash of kosher salt to the tomatoes and stir gently. Add another dash of salt if necessary and stir again. This is done in order to try to get as much moisture out of the tomatoes as possible.

After dough has sat in the fridge, transfer it to  a lightly floured work surface. Roll it into a 12-inch circle. Transfer dough to a 9-inch tart or pie pan and press dough up onto the sides. Prick the dough all over with a fork, making sure not to go all the way through. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake at 425 for 15 - 17 minutes, making sure to watch and prick with a fork as needed if the dough is rising up. Remove the pan from the oven and lower the temperature to 375 degrees.

For the filling:
Layer the the crust with the mozzarella slices. Arrange the cherry tomato slices on top of the mozzarella in a single layer. Top with a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle the 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over the tomatoes. Top evenly with the grated Romano cheese and torn basil leaves.

Bake in oven for 15 minutes at 375 degrees, then rotate the pan 180 degrees in the oven. Bake for another 15 minutes. Let the tart sit for a few minutes to cool before cutting and serving. Yummy!

Source: Annie's Eats

I just pricked the dough with a fork before baking the crust, but the original recipe uses pie weights. I do not have any pie weights but I think they would be nice to have - it would make pie crusts so much easier! 


  1. Thanks for posting this recipe - I decided I'll make it tomorrow instead of the one I'd planned, it looks so yummy!

    Instead of pie weights you can use dried beans. They're cheap, and you can re-use them (as pie weights! Can't cook and eat them after weighting a pie with them). I didn't have pie weights, tried the beans, and they worked great. Made more sense than a trip to the store and spending $8 to $16. Great additional pointers at (obviously not my website). Again, thanks for sharing this recipe!

  2. Thanks for the tip! Pie weights are a bit pricey - I didn't ever end up buying any for myself either. Hope you like the tart - it's definitely one of my faves! -B


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