“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
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