8.28.2013

How To Make An Heirloom Tomato And Goat Cheese Tart

Heirloom tomato and goat cheese tart

I wait all year for beautiful, ripe summer tomatoes. And when they finally show up, I can't get enough of them. They're great in salads, especially Caprese; they're wonderful paired with feta and watermelon; they make flavorful soups and sauces; and, if you really want to showcase their beauty and range of colors, they make the most stunning tarts.


Heirloom tomato and goat cheese tart

I love making tarts and tartlets, whether savory or sweet. They always look so neat and perfect, making them especially visually appealing. This tart is no exception.

Heirloom tomato and goat cheese tart

Some tomato tarts get a custardy filling, but I see no reason to drown the tomatoes in other ingredients that take away from them. This tart layers the tomatoes over crumbled goat cheese and dresses them lightly with fleur de sel, basil, thyme, and extra-virgin olive oil.

Heirloom tomato and goat cheese tart

The recipe I used comes from Rustic Italian by Domenica Marchetti. I followed it almost exactly as written, except that the recipe is for a 9-inch tart, and I made an 11-inch tart, so I made a batch and a half of the tart dough. (I also ran out of all-purpose flour while making the dough so I swapped in a little whole-wheat flour.) Because I didn't make significant changes, this isn't a recipe so much as a guide to making a tomato tart.

How To Make A Tomato Tart

Make and chill your favorite savory tart dough (make enough for whatever size tart pan you want to use).  Let it sit out for 10 to 20 minutes before rolling it out so it becomes malleable (and preheat your oven at this time -- this recipe calls for 425 degrees). Roll the dough out on a lightly floured counter (if you're using a circular tart pan, you want your dough round about 2 inches bigger than the pan, so a roughly 13-inch circle for an 11-inch tart pan). Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough and then gently roll it around your rolling pin and unroll it over your tart pan. Ease the dough into the corners of the pan. Then take your rolling pin and roll it along the top of the pan to cut away the excess dough. (This is how you get really nice edges.)

Tart dough

Pull away the excess dough. You should be left with a neatly lined tart pan. Press a piece of parchment into the tart pan and fill it with rice, dried beans, or pie weights. Bake the tart for about 10 minutes and then remove the parchment and rice, beans, or pie weights, and continue to bake the tart until lightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes more. Set it aside to cool slightly while you prepare the filling.

Tart dough

If desired, reroll any excess dough and use it to make individual tart shells following the same process.

Individual tarts

Slice a few different-colored heirloom tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick. Chiffonade-cut some basil, and have some thyme sprigs, fleur de sel, and extra-virgin olive oil at the ready.

Heirloom tomatoes and fleur de sel

Crumble goat cheese all over the bottom of the tart shell. (I used about 6 ounces for an 11-inch tart.)

Heirloom tomato and goat cheese tart

Layer the tomato slices over the goat cheese.

Heirloom tomato and goat cheese tart

Season the tomatoes with fleur de sel. Scatter the basil on top, and then slide your fingers down the thyme sprigs to distribute the leaves over the tomatoes. Lightly drizzle the olive oil over the whole tart.

Heirloom tomato and goat cheese tart

Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the tart. (This recipe calls for 30 to 40 minutes at 400 degrees.) Be sure to turn the tart halfway through baking so it bakes evenly. You want the crust to look golden and the tomatoes to shrivel around the edges.

Heirloom tomato and goat cheese tart

Let the tart cool for about 10 minutes and then carefully remove the sides from the pan. Slide the tart onto a cutting board or serving platter, cut it into wedges, and serve it warm or at room temperature.

Heirloom tomato and goat cheese tart

I think this tomato tart is incredibly easy to prepare -- the tart dough is the hardest part and that merely requires a bit of pulsing in the food processor and some chilling time along with rolling out and fitting the dough in the pan. The tart makes an eye-catching appetizer perfect for serving along with a cheese board and can be an impressive first course or side dish too.

What's your favorite way to use summer tomatoes?

This post contains an Amazon affiliate link to a cookbook I love. If you follow the link to purchase the cookbook or make other purchases, I'll earn a few cents.

26 comments:

Colleen said...

Beauuuutiful! I'd love a slice of this - for breakfast, and maybe for my lunch...and heck, for dinner too. Yum!

TheWaitress said...

Megan this is *gorgeous*.

I love it when recipes are fancy but still seem accessible/easy enough to follow. Like "hey that looks amazing...(read...read)...and I could totally cook this!"

I'm literally heading out for tomatoes right now.

wearenotmartha said...

I absolutely love tomato season! And this tart is the most beautiful tart- such pretty colors!


Sues

Joanne (eats well with others) said...

These kind of made my heart skip a beat! Way to turn heirlooms into such a piece of beauty!

beantownbaker said...

My two favorite ways are seasoned and sliced over some eggs, or on a tomato/lettuce sandwich with homemade garlic mayo. This tart looks great though!

dan said...

It may go against my manly persona, but I just love tarts and I don't know what I would do without my tart round. Just beautiful!

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

oh my god!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is one of the prettiest things I've ever seen. GORGEOUS. I love tomatoes (as you know) and can't choose my favorite way to eat them ;)

Amy @ Elephant Eats said...

I always thought I hated tomatoes until I had the most perfect, ripe, juicy one from my mother-in-law's garden. Then I thought it would be such a shame to bake them, but she put some on a homemade pizza and they were out of this world!!! Their sweetness got intensified by their little jaunt in the oven. And mixing tomatoes plus basil and any sort of cheese can't ever be wrong- So i know this tart must be seriously amazing. mmm!!!

natalie@thesweetslife said...

stunning! I made a similar one last year but with mozzarella instead of goat cheese-LOVE the idea of goat cheese!

Megan said...

I'm always hesitant about baking perfect summer tomatoes too, but they end up being amazing no matter how you prepare them!

Megan said...

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I was staring at that first picture while trying to write my post. I'm kind of obsessed with it. Ha.

Megan said...

Real men eat tarts, Dan.

Megan said...

Thank you, Joanne!

Megan said...

Thank you, Sues!

Megan said...

Thank you! Let me know if you end up making it!

Megan said...

Ooh mozzarella sounds really good too. I love how the goat cheese gets so soft in this tart.

Megan said...

Thanks, Jen! I love tomatoes with eggs too... and definitely on a BLT.

MichellePC said...

This looks SO beautiful. Heirloom tomatoes are the best!

Meghan said...

Beautiful! I love simple heirloom salads, with goat cheese and balsamic vinegar.

Shannon G said...

gorgeous! almost too good to eat. but in reality i'd devour it :) it's funny i often just eat them like an apple, but you've got to get at least one good grilled cheese with tomato and bacon in there!

Sacha said...

It looks like you had some beauties to work with! Are the orange ones Valencias?

Megan said...

I honestly have no idea. They were just all out on a table, not labeled. (Siena Farms booth at Copley)

Melissa Yunker said...

Looks delicious! I love summer tomatoes and tarts too, but I've never made my own. I'll have to give it a try!

Simply Life said...

Oh this is just beautiful and your pictures look so professional!

TheWaitress said...

I did! I bought a fantastic assortment of heirlooms; green, red, yellow and dark green. I veganized it with a vegan paleo crust made from cauliflower, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and fresh herbs. I added in some thinly sliced zucchini in a layer under the tomatoes.

I make a mock goat/ricotta style vegan cheese which consists of pureed zucchini, lemon juice, garlic, dill, and raw tahini. It gets lightly dollopped on around the tart.

Thanks for the inspiration. :)

Lisa DeCanio said...

Oh man, I'm drooling! Looks incredible.