This summer has been a phenomenal time for tomatoes. For several years we’ve had absolutely no luck growing them in our garden. For a few years it was due to a tomato blight that killed all the plants before they could bear any fruit. Then last year we had a terrible drought. But this year the stars aligned and we have more tomatoes than we know what to do with! I’m in heaven! Romas, Lemon Boys, Mr. Stripey…. the list goes on and on.
We’ve had a lot of insalata caprese (tomatoes/basil/mozzarella salad), tomatoes on sandwiches, marinara sauce – hey, I’m not complaining! However, tonight I wanted to try something different with our tomatoes. I grilled some lovely steaks and steamed some fresh asparagus, and to round it out I decided I wanted to make a tomato tart.
Basically I raided my refrigerator to create this dish. You can do it too! A quick dough for the tart, tomatoes, and whatever else suits your fancy. Here is what I did. FYI, it was yummy!
For the dough:
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 4-1/2 ounces butter, cold, cut in small cubes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2-3 TBSP water
In a food processor combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the egg and 2 TBSP water and pulse until the mixture forms a ball. Do not overwork. Turn out on a lightly floured surface. Roll out and line a 10 inch tart pan with the dough. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the topping:
- 3 large tomatoes, sliced in 1/4″ slices
- 1/4 cup olive tapenade (jarred or homemade)
- 8 large basil leaves
- 6 ounces fresh mozzarella
- 2-3 TBSP of good quality olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
While the dough is chilling, slice the tomatoes in 1/4″ slices. Place on several layers of paper towels, salt the tomatoes and let rest for 45 minutes to an hour. This will remove some of the excess water from the tomatoes.
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
Remove the tart pan from the refrigerator and spread the olive tapenade over the surface of the tart dough.
Blot the tomato slices with a paper towel to remove the excess moisture. Place the tomatoes in a single layer on top of the tapenade. Lay the basil leaves on top of the tomatoes. Then add the mozzarella slices. Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven when the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Let the tart rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting into wedges.
This dish is bursting with the flavors of summer. Intense, fruity tomatoes, the salty, earthy olive tapenade, and to top it all off, the fresh, creamy mozzarella. This is summer on a plate! Buon appetito!