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Rustic Heirloom Tomato and Basil Tart

Rustic Heirloom Tomato and Basil Tart

What better way to celebrate summer than with this Rustic Tomato and Basil Tart? I can't think of any.MORE+LESS-

Updated September 20, 2016


lbs heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices


cup shredded basil leaves


cup shredded fontina cheese


tablespoon whole fresh oregano leaves, minced


tablespoons fresh bread crumbs


teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning


teaspoon cracked black pepper


teaspoon coarse sea salt


cup crumbled fresh goat cheese


Pillsbury™ refrigerated pizza crust

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  • 1

    Prepare a medium-hot fire [400°F (200°C)] in a wood-fired oven or cooker.

  • 2

    Arrange the tomato slices in a single layer on paper towels and lightly salt. Let drain for 10 minutes, then gently squeeze to remove more juice.

  • 3

    Prepare pizza dough per package instructions.

  • 4

    Combine 1/4 cup of the basil, the fontina, and oregano. In a separate bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the bread crumbs and the 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Arrange the cheese mixture on the rolled-out dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Dust with the bread-crumb mixture.

  • 5

    Arrange half of the tomatoes, overlapping the slices, over the cheese. Sprinkle with the remaining corn kernels, lightly salt, and dust with the remaining bread crumbs. Arrange the second layer of tomatoes on top and sprinkle lightly with salt and the cracked black pepper.

  • 6

    Bake in the oven for 20 minutes; remove and top the center with the crumbled goat cheese. Press the cheese lightly into the tomatoes. Return to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden.

  • 7

    Remove from the oven and set aside for at least 20 minutes or up to 45 minutes. Sprinkle the tart with the remaining basil leaves; cut and serve at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
3 1/2g
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A
Vitamin C

2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 1 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1/2 Fat;

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Rustic Tomato Tart

Makes 1 tart, about 6 servings

If you have a disk of pie dough and some vegetables, you can quickly and easily make a rustic savory tart for supper. This tomato-basil version is a delicious ode to summer, but the onion base in this recipe is a terrific jumping off point for all kinds of flavors. We recommend making a batch of onion base in advance and freezing it in small portions to use on a whim.

1 package Grand Central all-butter pie dough, thawed in refrigerator
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2-3 onions (about 1 pound), thinly sliced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded fontina, gruyere, feta or parmesan cheese (or use a mixture)
3-4 medium tomatoes, sliced
Fresh basil

Egg wash: 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Caramelize onions.
Heat olive oil and butter in large heavy saute pan over medium high. Add onions, sprinkle with salt and saute until onions release some liquid and begin to develop a few dark spots, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until onions are soft and toasty brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool, and add more salt if necessary. (You can make the onion base ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate until ready to use.)

Form the tart.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On lightly floured surface, lightly roll out one pie dough circle until 14-16 inches in diameter. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. Tightly wrap and reserve remaining pie dough for another use.

Spread 1 to 1 1/2 cups onion base over pastry, leaving a 3-inch border. Sprinkle with half the shredded cheese and arrange tomatoes in a single layer on top. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Carefully lift and fold border up and over the filling, letting the dough pleat about 8 to 10 times.

Brush dough with egg wash and bake tart for 40-45 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking, until filling is bubbly and crust is deep golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes. Top with fresh basil and serve warm or at room temperature.

Let's Talk Toppings

You can keep the toppings as simple or as complex as you like, and the version here splits somewhere down the middle. The version you see pictured (and featured in the recipe) combines caramelized onions and peak, in-season, tomatoes as the core components. Cooking the onions takes a bit of time, but to be honest, if you do a big skillet full and keep them in the refrigerator, they’re great on pizzas, in sandwiches, and in noodle & pasta bowls throughout the week.

To the onions here, I add a big pinch of turmeric and lots of black pepper, but you don’t have to. You can think of the onions as their own component and season them as much or little as you like - as long as you imagine your seasoning will go well with tomatoes, you’re likely fine. There’s basically a world of possibilities. I can imagine cinnamon, cumin, caraway, ground peppers, curry blends, etc. all being wonderful additions. I talk more about toppings down below, but the tart dough is basically a blank, buttery canvas to experiment with.

Rustic Heirloom Tomato Tart With Gluten-Free Crust Recipe

Supermarket tomatoes have nothing on summer, garden tomatoes. Tomatoes need sunlight, heat, and rich soil to develop their sweet flavor and juiciness. And once picked, they should not be refrigerated in order to preserve that sweetness. Even though tomatoes are super versatile and can be showcased in a million ways, my favorite way to eat them is literally picked right off the plant with a sprinkle of salt. When I was growing up, I would go out into the garden with a salt shaker!

Last week in Spain, almost as basic, I ate toast with grated fresh tomato, olive oil and salt every day for breakfast. Heaven. Add in a beautiful cheese and it’s better than heaven.

I love all types of tomatoes. My father planted some yellow heirloom tomatoes this year which had tremendous flavor. I am always partial to cherry and grape tomatoes because they are so sweet and don’t water down a salad. But really, if it’s a tomato that’s grown properly in the summer, I won’t turn it down.

Tomatoes are full of Vitamin C, fiber and lycopene, an antioxidant that gives the tomatoes their red color. Lycopene is a potential protector against the risk of certain types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The only downside to tomatoes is that they are part of the nightshade family which also includes eggplant, peppers (all types), and potatoes. Nightshades can cause inflammation in some people, especially in the joints. Something to think about if you or someone you cook for has arthritis.

I have a very popular recipe on my site for a zucchini and gruyere tart. I’ve been making it for (gasp) 30 years. I have made it as written in both quarter and half sheet pans, and as a galette which is what you see in these photos. I have also made the tart with tomatoes instead of zucchini and it is fabulous. Is pastry the healthiest thing in the world. Heck no. But it’s one of those things I will only eat when made from scratch with organic ingredients and I don’t eat a lot of it.

I recently came across this tomato tart from the Bonjon Gourmet’s site with a promising gluten-free crust so I attempted a hybrid of my zucchini-gruyere tart with her rustic tomato tart with her gluten-free crust and I was thrilled with the results. I thought her crust was lovely and flaky and not too difficult to work with. I made the tart several times with different variations on the filling and herbs.

I have made it exactly like the zucchini tart, only swapping tomatoes for the zucchini – delicious. And in this version, I cheated and took the easy route: no mustard, but with an egg wash over the bottom crust to prevent sogginess no gruyere, instead a spread of Miyoko’s chive vegan soft cheese no herb oil, but instead minced fresh parsley and basil. I finished the whole tart with a drizzle of olive oil, flaky salt and black pepper. My father-in-law said it was the best tart he’s ever had. Wow!

Every time I make pastry, I make a few extra discs and freeze them because a beautiful tart like this is easy to put together once the dough is done. Not up for making your own? Just buy frozen pie crust, defrost and lay it down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and fill it as you wish. Fold the edges of the crust up, brush with an egg wash and bake. It’s a lot easier than it looks. A savory tart is wonderful for dinner with a salad, cut into small pieces with drinks for hors d’oeurves, and a natural on a brunch buffet.

Here are some links if you want to take a few recipes and make your own version of this:

My Stone Fruit Crostata with a Spelt Crust (you can use the crust and omit the sugar)

I’d love to hear if you make this. Please tag me on instagram @pamelasalzman #pamelasalzman so I can see your creations!

Quick & Easy Rustic Summer Tomato Tart

Every summer we seem to have an excess of something in our garden. It is often zucchini, although this year our zucchini started off strong but then fizzled out to nothing. Our tomatoes however, have taken over, and our tomatoes plants have outgrown their six-foot stakes and are now either folding over or are growing into our olive trees. We have never had plants grow like these ones have, and despite the fact that we have four or five different varieties, they are all growing like weeds. With the temperatures in the nineties and with constant sunshine, I am presently picking a large basket full of tomatoes each and every day. Although I love eating raw tomatoes, one can only eat so many, so I have been using them for sauces, soups, freezing them, canning them, and basically, using them up every way I can think of. I recently decided to try something different, and pulled a package of puff pastry from the refrigerator and pulled together this light tart for lunch that I served with a big mixed salad.

I try and keep puff pastry in my refrigerator as often as possible because it is so versatile and you can use it for a quick appetizer, or a sweet dessert in mere minutes. I used large beefsteak, or “cuore di bue” tomatoes, although you could use any ripe, tasty tomato that you prefer. I think a combination of yellow and red heirloom tomatoes would be gorgeous on this tart as well. To add flavor and substance to this tart, I first covered the bottom of the tart with some shredded mozzarella and a little grated Parmesan cheese. After layering the tomatoes over the cheese, I sprinkled on more grated Parmesan along with some minced fresh basil, then simply baked it until the tart was golden brown. I like to cut this tart into good sized squares, but you could cut it into smaller pieces to pass around with a glass of wine when entertaining.


Makes one large tart - serves 6-8

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 cup Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch fresh basil
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat and cook shallots until translucent, about 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.

Unfold the sheet of pastry onto a lightly floured surface, gently roll out to a 9" x 11" rectangle, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the pastry all over with a fork, within about an inch of the edge.

Sprinkle cheese all over the pastry, making sure to leave that inch of edge untouched, followed by shallots, and finally the tomatoes.

Bake in the oven for about 15-17 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through, the edge is puffed, and the cheese is all melted. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving. Top with fresh basil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Rustic Italian Heirloom Tomato Tart

Since I was a little girl I have absolutely loved tomatoes. Growing up my Dad use to make a tomato pie that was so heavenly I would devour this thing as if it were my last meal. When I got married and moved out, my Dad showed me how to make his tomato pie, he used frozen bread dough and a marinara sauce to make his, but I wanted to make mine into more of a tart and with a garlicky, creamy cheese topping very similar to how I make my garlic bread spread. This is similar to my Provençal Tomato and Gruyère Galette but this is an Italian version, made with mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and a twist on my signature garlic bread spread.

This is so simple with not many ingredients, it comes together in no time, yet it is so elegant and sublime. I love to serve this warm, but can be eaten at room temperature. Making the most of my farm to table bounty here is yet another farm inspired dish from my trip to the farmer’s market. This is sadly the last of the good Heirloom tomatoes until next year, so I am pleased to share this with you!

I hope you give my Rustic Italian Heirloom Tomato Tart a try. It is an homage to my father and his love of family and food. I am so glad he was able to instill those values in me, and I am so thankful to share that with my family and all of you! Mangia.

I love these beauties. You can use Roma tomatoes but I just love the taste and the delicateness of the Heirloom tomatoes. Start with the freshest tomatoes possible.

Look how lovely this is so far. For best results pre-bake the empty tart in a 450° oven for 7 minutes to allow the crust to start to set to hold the juices from the tomatoes. After 7 minutes, remove from oven and drop the temperature to 375°, immediately sprinkle with the reserved three tbsp. of grated Pecorino Romano cheese, and a 1/4 cup of the mozzarella. Set crust aside for a minute.

Meanwhile in a large bowl combine the mayonnaise, the rest of the cheeses the minced garlic, fresh basil and Italian seasoning, season with Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Mix well. Begin to layer sliced tomatoes, on top of the tart, placing to fill in the bottom as tightly as you can without overlapping. Use heirloom grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes halved to fill in gaps. Spread the garlic mayonnaise mixture evenly over the tomatoes and bake in a 375° oven for 25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and melted. Remove from oven and cool for at least five minutes before slicing and serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. Mangia.

I just love the way this tastes, and the way my tart cooked up perfectly. Nothing wrong with using store-bought pie crust in a pinch. My preferred if it isn’t from scratch, is Pillsbury.

This smells so insanely delicious I can hardly contain myself. I think my Daddy would be proud of this version of his Italian Tomato Pie.

To say I ate this with wild abandon is an understatement. It was soooo cheesy good I was in heaven!


  • Servings: 5-6
  • Time: 45 with prep.
  • Difficulty: easy

A simple but elegant Italian inspired tart that is full of flavor, super easy and oh so satisfying!

Rustic Heirloom Tomato Tart with Thyme Crust

1 Preheat oven to 425˚F. Roll out pastry dough on floured parchment paper to a 1/4" thick round, flipping and reflouring as needed if dough becomes sticky.

2 Slide dough still on parchment onto a baking sheet.

3 In a mixing bowl gently fold tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper using a rubber spatula just until they are evenly coated.

4 Place several basil leaves onto rolled out dough. Layer tomatoes over basil leaving about a 2" border of dough. . Trim rough edges of dough with a knife if you want a cleaner look. Fold and tuck dough over tomatoes.

5 Stir turmeric powder into non dairy milk and brush onto dough using a pastry brush. This will give the crust a golden brown color like an egg wash.

6 Bake galette at 425˚F for 25-30 minutes until tomatoes are bubbling and crust is golden brown.

7 Cool to room temperature before slicing. Best eaten the day it's made but leftovers will keep covered and refrigerated for a couple of days. This is great served with a dollop of homemade soy labneh (recipe in the archives).

1 Stir together flour salt and thyme leaves with fork in a mixing bowl.

2 Cut shortening and oil into flour mixture using your fingertips or a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs with some pea sized bits.

3 Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time and stir with a fork after each addition until dough comes together into a ball. The total amount of water needed will change depending on the humidity of that day. (It's been very humid here this summer and I only needed 3 tablespoons of ice water at the time I made this recipe.)

4 Form dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap or a waxed food wrap. Store dough in refrigerator if not using right away. Dough will keep refrigerated for several days or freeze for longer storage. Bring to room temperature before rolling out.

15 Recipes to Make the Most of Juicy Heirloom Tomatoes

Tomatoes are the essence of summer, and heirloom tomatoes the best of the bunch. Here's how to make the most of your farmers' market haul, and savor the season's colorful crop well past August.

Heirlooms are tomatoes (or other plants) grown from seeds handed down over generations. They are open-pollinated, meaning they produce seeds that resemble the parent plant, which not always the case with commercial hybrids. Hybrid tomatoes are often bred for durability, so they can be shipped. Heirloom tomatoes are more diverse. Traditionally they were bred for flavor, and their apperances vary widely some are small and some extremely large. Heirloom tomatoes also come in a veritable rainbow of shades, not just bright red to pinkish tones but all the way through orange and yellow to striped and ombré colorings. Their names are attractive, too: Brandywine, Purple Cherokee, Green Zebra, Kellogg's Breakfast, and Nebraska Wedding are just a few of the heirloom tomatoes available as seed to grow your own or to buy at the farmers' market.

When shopping for heirloom tomatoes look for plump fruit without bruises or decay as you would with any tomatoes. Heirlooms are more susceptible to cracking, but as long as the cracks are healed (meaning you can't see the flesh), the blemish won't affect taste or safety. Once home, store tomatoes on the counter&mdashnot in the refrigerator&mdashfor a day or two. So, what are the best ways to enjoy this tasty summer staple? Let heirloom tomatoes shine in simple, sunny salads like our Tomato and Beet Salad. You can also use heirloom tomatoes for appetizers made for sharing, such as tartines or bruschetta. And if you're hosting brunch, you can't go wrong with our Bloody-Mary Tomato Salad.

Juicy, Ripe Beefsteak Tomatoes


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Reviews (4 reviews)

Love this-- I always make this for parties and always a hit. I have started experimenting with this recipe to make the crust "healthier". OMG the crust is amazing-- but if you or your family are watching their weight well there is a lot of butter in the crust. By the way did I say how amazing the crust is with the butter. Yummy. So to reduce the calories-- I substituted all purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour and eliminated the butter. Instead I used 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 cup cold water-- I didn't need a food processor, i just mixed the dry ingredients first in a large bowl, then added oil and water and mixed in until the dough form using a wooden spoon. I refrigerated the dough as the recipe indicates but then I rolled it our and put it in a prepared tart pan and cooked the crust for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F. I let the crust cool. Then I filled the tart and cooked it as it indicated in recipe.

This is such a delicious tart and a great thing to do with a surplus of tomatoes from the garden. I love the flavored pastry crust. My only criticism of the recipe is that she makes rolling the pastry sound so complex. Into the fridge, out of the fridge, into the fridge - there's really no need. I just pop the dough into the fridge for about 30 minutes before I roll it. I roll it, fill it, turn up the edges &amp straight into the oven. No need to make a graduate thesis out of it. But it is really yummy!

This recipe is so simple and amazing. I look foward to making it every summer with the tomatoes we grow in our garden. I made it yesterday with a little fresh oregano because I did not have any fresh basil on hand, and it turned out just as good as always.

This recipe is awesome. The tart is easy to make and is super delicious. I've made it several times for guests. When pressed for time I've used a pre-made pie crust and it is still really really good.