Cheesy Cherry Tomato Tart with a Basil-Garlic Crust

Today I am sharing one of my favorite summer-time recipes – a cherry tomato tart. I have been making this recipe every summer for the last eleven years now, and we always enjoy it so much. Tonight I made it and I topped it for the first time with crumbled bacon. I highly recommend adding bacon if you are a bacon lover!

I began cooking this cherry tomato tart because we used to have a garden that would produce tons of tomatoes. I had to figure out creative ways to use the tomatoes in our meals, even though just eating them off the vines was always enjoyable! We no longer have a garden, so I purchase a container of cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes for this recipe.

The crust on this tart is made with basil and garlic and the flavor is incredible. The tart is then topped with lots of yummy cheese and tomatoes, then baked until the cheese is bubbly. It’s like a pizza, but better. If you so desire, you can top it with some crumbled sausage or bacon. We like both, but we especially love the bacon! Enjoy.

Recipe for Cherry Tomato Tart with a Basil-Garlic Crust

INGREDIENTS:

For the basil-garlic crust:
1/3 cup of fresh basil leaves
2 cloves of garlic
1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. of salt
8 Tbsp. of cold butter, cut into 8 pieces (I put butter in freezer for about 15 minutes before using)
5 Tbsp. of ice cold water

For the filling:
10 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 10 pieces
1/2 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced thin
A dash or two of salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. of Extra-Virgin olive oil
1/3 cup of fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbsp. of fresh basil leaves, torn in small pieces

DIRECTIONS:
For the basil-garlic crust:
Put the fresh basil leaves and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse the food processor until the basil and garlic are very finely chopped, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spoon as necessary. Add in the flour and salt to the bowl of the processor. Pulse very briefly to just combine. Add in the cold pieces of butter. Pulse about 10 times, until the mixture looks coarse and crumby (crumbs should be about the size of peas). Add 3 Tbsp. of the ice cold water to the mixture and pulse to incorporate. Add 1 more Tbsp. of the water and let the processor run. If the mixture does not leave the sides and form into a ball quickly, add the remaining water. Once the mixture turns into a ball, take the dough out and flatten into a disc. Wrap tightly in saran wrap or place in a sealed Ziploc bag and place in the fridge for 45 minutes before handling.

While the dough is in the fridge, slice the tomatoes. Put the tomatoes in a colander set over a bowl. Add a dash of salt to the tomatoes and stir gently. Add another dash of salt if necessary and stir again. This is done in order to try to get as much moisture out of the tomatoes as possible. Give them a stir several times prior to using them in the tart.

After dough has sat in the fridge, transfer it to  *lightly floured work surface. Roll it into a 12-inch circle. Transfer dough to a 9-inch tart or pie pan and press dough up onto the sides. Prick the dough all over with a fork, making sure not to go all the way through. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake at 425 for 15 – 17 minutes, making sure to watch and prick with a fork as needed if the dough is rising up. Remove the pan from the oven and lower the temperature to 375 degrees.

**I actually just press the dough into the pie pan and work with my hands to evenly cover the bottom of the pan and press the dough up the sides.

For the filling:
Layer the the crust with the mozzarella slices. Arrange the cherry tomato slices on top of the mozzarella in a single layer. Top with a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle the 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over the tomatoes. Top evenly with the grated Parmesan cheese and torn basil leaves.

Bake in oven for 15 minutes at 375 degrees, then rotate the pan 180 degrees in the oven. Bake for another 10 minutes. If using bacon, about five minutes before the tart finishes cooking, add two to three pieces of cooked and crumbled bacon evenly over the tart, then return tart to oven to continue cooking. Let the tart sit for a few minutes to cool before cutting and serving. Yummy!

Recipe Adapted from: Annie’s Eats

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