Summer Tomato Tart: A cheesy tomato tart with fresh herbs on buttery pastry. A thin layer of Dijon mustard spread under the tomatoes gives it a little bite.
I was home on maternity leave the year the Mary Walsh film,Geraldine’s Fortune, was filmed in Saint John. My dad was cast as one of the extras and he had a lot of down time on set so he’d often call me to chat.
One morning, in the middle of our conversation, his voice trailed away as he said “Hi Mary, would you like to talk to my daughter?” He handed his cellphone to Mary Walsh as she was walking by and suddenly there she was on the other end of the phone, asking me what I was up to. We chatted for a couple minutes then she passed the phone back to dad and that was it.
Here’s how to make the most of field-ripened tomatoes:
In my memory that whole exchange happened in late summer, the height of tomato season – one of the best parts of summer. If you love sun ripened local tomatoes you’ll love this tart. It’s a recipe that my mom clipped out of the paper last summer. She brought it to several gatherings and it was devoured in an instant.
The recipe calls for homemade pastry but you could always use store bought to save time (although it won’t be as delicious.)
Okay, so this recipe looks a little fiddly but it really is easier to make than homemade pizza, and so much faster to prepare (even with the homemade pastry).
Mom’s Summer Tomato Tart
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 10 Tbsp. cold butter, cubed
- 3-4 Tbsp. ice water
- 1 ½ pounds medium or large tomatoes
- Kosher salt
- ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ cups grated sharp cheddar
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh herbs
To make the pastry:
- Put flour in a food processor and scatter the cubed butter on top. Pulse until butter is pea sized.
- Add 3 Tbsp. of water and pulse until the dough starts to gather into a ball. (Add the final tablespoon of water only if it isn’t coming together.)
- Scrape onto a lightly floured surface, gather into a ball and flatten into a disk.
- Wrap in plastic and chill for at least an hour.
To make the tart:
- On a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a circle about 1/8” thick and fit it into a 10” spring form pan (or tart pan with a removable bottom). Crimp the edges, prick a few times with the tines of a fork and chill for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Line the tart shell with foil and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake about 25 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and bake another 8 minutes (until lightly golden). Remove to a rack and let cool about 15 minutes.
- While the shell is baking, slice the tomatoes 1/3” thick, sprinkle them with kosher salt and lay them on a wire rack (placed over a sided cookie sheet) to drain.
- Increase the oven temperature to 400 F. Spread the mustard evenly over the baked shell then sprinkle over the grated cheese. Pat the tomato slices dry and arrange them on the cheese in an overlapping layer. Bake 35-40 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and the pastry is golden brown.
- While the tart is baking, in a small bowl stir together the olive oil, garlic and herbs. When the tart comes out of the oven pour this herb mixture over top, spreading it gently with the back of a spoon.
- Serve the tart hot or at room temperature.