Cheesy Tomato Tart

This week saw the closing of the tomato season. Let me qualify that by saying at this week’s Farmer’s Market, my favorite farmer sold the last of her tomato crop.
slice of tomato tartWe can still find tomatoes at the grocery stores, but they are just not the same. I picked up my last batch of those ruby red globes and thought I would end the season with a bang. I contemplated several favorite tomato dishes and the Cheesy Tomato Tart was the winner.
Easy and gourmet at the same time, this tart can be made with a homemade crust or store-bought puff pastry. It matters not; the combination of the cheeses and thick slices of oven roasted tomatoes steal the show.

This cheesy tomato tart will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days and makes a great leftover supper. It will give you something yummy to eat while you are busy with Thanksgiving preparations.

Enjoy and buon appetito!

Cheesy Tomato Tart

Italian cheeses, fresh herbs, thickly sliced tomatoes on a baked crust makes a succulent tart that can be served right out of the oven or served cold for a yummy lunch.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cheesy, tart, tomato
Servings: 1 tart

Equipment

  • 10-inch tart pan

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut in cubes
  • 6 tbsp ice cold water
  • (Can substitute 1 puff pastry sheet)

Filling

  • 1 ½ cup ricotta - well drained
  • 1 egg
  • cup asiago cheese, grated
  • 5 tbsp fresh herbs - 3 tbsp basil, 1 tbsp Italian parsley, 1 tbsp thyme (3 tbsp of the herb blend will be used for the topping
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • a pinch of salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper

Tomato topping

  • 4 medium tomatoes, ½ inch slices
  • ½ cup cheese: ¼ cup asiago and ¼ cup parmigiana
  • 3 tbsp herb blend from above

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • For the dough:
    In a mixing bowl add the flour, salt and cubed butter. Using a pastry cutter or the back of a fork, cut the butter into the flour until the butter is the size of little peas. Add the ice water and mix until a dough is formed. Try not to overmix; just until the dough begins to form. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in a piece of plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes
  • Meanwhile, wash, core and slice the tomatoes. Lay the slices in a colander and add a pinch of salt to each layer of tomatoes. This will help to draw out the extra liquid. Set aside for 30 minutes to drain.
  • To make the filling: In a mixing bowl add the ricotta, egg, garlic, cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well by hand or with a hand-held mixer. Then stir in 2 tablespoons of the fresh herbs.
  • To assemble: Roll out the dough into a 12-inch round and place in a 10-inch tart pan, leaving the extra 2 inches draped over the edges of the tart pan. If you are using pre-made puff pastry, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and unroll the puff pastry sheet in the center of the baking sheet.
  • Spoon the ricotta filling in the center of the dough, leaving the 2 inch boarder. The same goes for the puff pastry; leave a 2-inch boarder all the way around.
    Tart filling
  • Lay the slices tomatoes in overlapping concentric circles on top of the filling.
  • Next, fold the 2 inch boarder of dough over on top of the tomatoes (the same goes for the puff pastry). Bake for 15 minutes.
    puff pastry tart
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle parmigiana/asiago cheeses and remaining 3 tbsp of herbs blend on top. Bake for another 20 - 25 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
    Cool for 15 minutes before serving. Use a sharp serrated knife or pizza cutter to cut into slices.

Notes

Asiago a cow's milk cheese from Northern Italy is similar to parmigiana but slightly sweeter. 
Feel free to try different cheeses. This recipe is very forgiving. I've tried fontina, parmigiana and pecorino all with wonderful success. 
Using fresh herbs really makes a difference in this recipe. I have tried using dried herbs, but they don't have the pop and flavor provided by fresh herbs. 

Other savory autumn treats:
Cheesy Rigatoni and Mushrooms
Potato and Cheese Crostata
Caramelized Beet Tart with Feta and Pine Nuts

Your comments are always welcome!