Heirloom Tomato Basil Cheese Tart

“Homegrown tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes

What would life be without homegrown tomatoes

Only two things that money can’t buy

That’s true love and homegrown tomatoes”

John Denver(Lyrics by Guy Clark)

I have been thinking about this tart for over 10 years since it was first served at a brunch.  It was that good!  Taking advantage of fresh tomatoes and fresh basil abundantly available right now, it is bursting with the taste of summer in every bite.  It is basically a cooked pie crust on which fresh mozzarella is sprinkled while it is still hot, then wedges of fresh tomatoes piled in. These are then dotted with a purée of fresh basil and garlic.  The whole thing is then finished with a topping of mozzarella-parmesan-mayonnaise which bakes into a gratin-like top.  Serve like you would a quiche but this is no quiche:  this tart is all about the tomatoes without eggs.  Very different, fragrant while it bakes and soooo delicious!  I just hope it won’t take you 10 years before you make it!


Tomato-Basil Cheese Tart

9″ pie crust of your choice, baked

8 oz grated mozzarella cheese

medley of tomatoes, cut into wedges, enough to fill the pie crust (I used 1 large, 2 medium and several cherry tomatoes)

1 c of fresh basil leaves

3 cloves garlic

2/3 c regular mayonnaise

1/4 grated parmesan plus more for sprinkling on top

black pepper

While you prepare the crust and basil paste, drain the tomatoes on a paper towel placed in a colander to reduce moisture.

To make the basil paste, purée the basil and garlic together.  Reserve.  In a mixing bowl combine the rest of the mozzarella, the parmesan and the mayonnaise. Reserve.

Assembly:  While your pie crust is hot, sprinkle about 1/2 cup of the mozzarella on the bottom.  Top with the tomatoes.  Sprinkle with the basil paste.  Spoon the cheese-mayo mixture on top of the tomatoes and sprinkle with a bit more parmesan and some fresh black pepper.

Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbly.  Let stand a few minutes before slicing.

Adapted from Debra Kullman


Basil leaves and garlic processed into a paste.


Gorgeous tomatoes ready to star in this tart. Teim then slice into wedges and drain on a paper towel while you prepare the crust.


On the still-hot, baked pie crust, sprinkle 1/2 c of the mozzarella.


Arrange enough tomatoes to fill the crust.


Dot the tomatoes with the basil paste.


Top the seasoned tomatoes with the cheese-mayo mixture.  Finish with a sprinkle of more parmesan and some fresh cracked pepper.


The golden beauty.



“A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins.” Laurie Colwin


42 thoughts on “Heirloom Tomato Basil Cheese Tart

  1. Another spin on a tomato pie to tuck away. Like everyone else, I have tomatoes and tomatoes and then some. I don’t have the regular basil from the garden, but the Thai variety, I’ll give that a shot. Love the last picture.

  2. Homegrown tomatoes are certainly the best. I love this recipe, it’ such a great way to combine those classic flavors. I’m sure this will be a hit at the fiesta. Happy FF, and thank you so much for joining us! 😀

  3. This recipe has so many of my favorite things–pie crust, basil, tomatoes, cheese, mayo–I cannot imagine anything that tastes much better than this! As soon as more of my garden tomatoes ripen (I hope they will soon now that it has warmed up here again), I so want to try this! Thank you so much for sharing this for Fiesta Friday! By the way, I have heard Garrison Keillor sing those tomato lines you quoted on A Prairie Home Companion. 🙂

  4. Oh my gosh, what a gorgeous looking tart! No wonder it was featured on FF! Congrats! I have really been missing stopping by and seeing what you’re up to! I’m off to catch up now on a few of your posts! 🙂

      • I’ve been down near Sioux Falls with my folks and it’s quite a bit milder here than the twin cities – we’re planning an end of summer foray to the farmers market – and this is on my list – and my salsa! I’m lamenting the end of summer!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.