I couldn’t let summer go by without making a tomato tart. These red beauties, a variety called “campari,” were started from seeds I plucked from tomatoes I bought at the grocery store last winter. They’re one of the few tomatoes that taste decent in the winter. Along with the campari, I also planted seeds from some heirlooms I had eaten, and some San Marzano and other tomato seeds I brought back from Italy in February. Here’s what the teensy things looked like right after germination. It never ceases to amaze me that these little seeds turn into plants that this year have grown nearly eight feet tall: But I digress. Back to the tart. There are lots of tomato tarts on the blogosphere – including a delicious one with gruyere cheese from Stacey Snacks and a yummy ricotta and phyllo tart from Proud Italian Cook. I didn’t have gruyere, ricotta or phyllo, but I did have all the fixings to make a simple pastry shell – something that comes together in minutes in a food processor. I also had a large chunk of goat cheese on hand so I concocted something of a savory cheesecake base. I could have baked the tomatoes on top along with the cheese, but decided to let the fresh taste of raw tomatoes shine through this time. You could certainly bake the tomatoes at the same time the goat cheese filling is in the oven, if you prefer a roasted tomato taste. I may even try that myself next time. Here’s what a slice of the finished tart looked like. It was delicious, but the combination of flaky pastry and raw, juicy tomatoes made it a little messy to eat. If you have mini tart tins, better to make this recipe as fun finger food and skip the knife and fork. Just a couple of bites and it stays together without falling apart. Also terrific for parties.
For printable recipe click here Pastry Shell 1 1/4 cups flour 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 cup ice cold water, or more as needed Goat Cheese Filling 8 ounces goat cheese, softened 1 egg, lightly beaten 1/2 cup milk salt, pepper 2 T. minced fresh thyme fresh basil leaves For the pastry, put everything except the cold water into a food processor. Pulse until it is the consistency of damp sand. Add the cold water and pulse a few more times, until the dough sticks together. Roll into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Let it rest in refrigerator a little (if you have time and patience, even a half-hour rest helps), then roll it out on a floured board and fit into a tart pan. Prick the bottom and sides of the pan with a fork. Refrigerate the tart pan for an hour, then bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. For the filling, mix the softened goat cheese with the rest of the ingredients. You could do this in a food processor, or with a fork, as I did. Pour into the tart shell and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve at room temperature, decorated with basil leaves.