Tomato Tart Time

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Heirloom tomato season is in full swing and I can’t deny loving those ugly maters. I personally don’t see them as ugly, but I’m also the one that will pick out the one damaged looking beta fish to bring home as a pet and name him Meatball–so there’s that.

The tomatoes from my summer veggie garden ran out a few weeks ago, so I found these locally-grown beauties at the store and gathered fresh basil, English thyme, and chives from my yard for a tomato tart I wanted to bring to friend’s house for lunch.

After slicing, you can tell why I can’t see them as ugly…

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The usual southern tomato tart recipe calls for a simple ingredient list of fresh tomatoes and herbs, cheese, and mayo. I stuck to that simplicity with mine as well, starting with the basic tart dough and switching it up by using an herbed mayo and goat cheese.

Once I had the dough in the tart pan, I spread a thin layer of the mayo, that I had previously mixed with finely chopped fresh basil and a few dashes of garlic powder, over the bottom of the tart dough. I put that back in the fridge while I sliced, salted, and set the tomato slices on paper towels to draw out some of the liquid. Then I packed the pan tightly with the tomatoes, filling all spaces, drizzled with olive oil, covered with chopped basil, thyme, dried oregano, and salt & pepper, then added the sliced goat cheese, little more olive oil and it was ready for the oven. This is an easy dish to pull together when you need to bring a dish on the spot.

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They come together quickly, the recipe is easy to tweak to your liking, they bake in 30 minutes, and they are always a hit regardless of your personal tastes and adjustments. And…they are kind of pie like. PIE.

What’s not to love about a tomato tart during heirloom tomato season?

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Tart Filling

One unbaked tart dough (recipe below)

3-4 large heirloom tomatoes

2 tablespoons mayo

2 tablespoons fresh basil

1 tablespoon other herbs of your choice (I used English thyme, scallions, and dried oregano)

2 tablespoon olive oil

8 ounces fresh goat cheese

Salt & pepper

Tart Dough

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, chilled

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

2-3 tablespoons cold water

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl, cut the butter into cubes and add to flour. Use your fingers to break into the butter until it is crumbly.

Mix the egg with 2 tablespoons of the cold water and whip together. Make a well in the flour and add the beaten egg, mix until the dough holds together. Add the extra tablespoon of water if needed (I needed it).

Roll dough out on floured surface until it’s big enough to fit the tart pan and press in tightly.

Preheat oven to 425 F

Spread the mayo on the tart bottom and set it aside (I put it back into the fridge).

Slice, salt, and set out the tomatoes (note: I should have let mine set out longer because my tart was still quite juicy at the end).

Chop the fresh herbs and goat cheese.

Fill the tart with tomato, olive oil and herbed layers until full, and top with the goat cheese.

Drizzle a little more of the olive oil on top and pop into the oven for about 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are tender and the cheese is browned. If your cheese isn’t browned at that point (mine was not), run it under the broiler for a few minutes. Keep an eye on it though! Goat cheese browns fast.

Garnish with sliced scallions and smile satisfyingly at all the mmmmmms and aaahhhhs from your guests.

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