Local, Fresh, Quality ingredients. That seems like the perfect combination for any recipe. There are so many fruits and veggies in season right now so it is fun creating new recipes. I also love that I can buy and support our local growers here in PA. I have been wanting to create a recipe using tomatoes. Not just any tomatoes, but Heirloom Tomatoes. You know, those funny looking tomatoes with odd shapes!
An heirloom tomato (sometimes also called a heritage tomato) is an open-pollinated (non-hybrid) heirloom cultivar of tomato. Heirloom tomatoes have become increasingly popular and more readily available in recent years. You can find them in most supermarkets and farm stands today. Heirloom tomato cultivars can be found in a wide variety of colors, shapes, flavors and sizes. Because of their wide variety, I thought they would make a great looking tart.
Combined with Italian cheeses and caramelized onions, this Heirloom Tomato Tart was a knock out. I even mixed in a few of my own homegrown tomatoes in this recipe. It has incredible sweet and savory flavors from all the different layers of ingredients. If you are looking for a quick, simple and flavorful recipe you should definitely give this one a try. It is great served as an appetizer, meal, side dish or even a snack.
Heirloom Tomato Tart
Makes approx. 8 slices
2 1/2 Lbs., Heirloom Tomatoes or any variety you like
1 White Onion, peeled & sliced thin
1 Shallot, peeled & sliced thin
1 Tablespoon, Grape Seed Oil
2 Cloves, Fresh Garlic, minced
2 Cups, Italian Blend Cheeses, shredded
1 Pie Crust *store-bought or homemade (see below for link to pie dough recipe)
1 Tablespoon, Fresh Parmesan Cheese, grated
8, Fresh Basil Leaves,
Heat a large cast iron skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Slice the onion and shallot thinly. Add the Grape Seed Oil to the pan and once heated through, add the onion and shallot. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with S&P then turn the heat to medium-low and continue sautéing for about another 15-20 minutes, until they are nice and caramelized. Once the onions have a nice caramelization, add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat, set aside to cool.
Select an assortment of Heirloom Tomatoes to use in your tart. You can use any color, shapes and sizes. Wash the tomatoes and let them dry before using them in your pie.
Spray a pie dish with cooking spray, set aside. Roll out 1 pie dough on a floured surface. Transfer the pie dough to a baking or pie dish and crimp the edges all the way around the dish.
Add a layer of the shredded Italian cheeses. You want to completely cover the bottom of the dish.
Next, add a layer of the onions, shallot and garlic mixture on top of the cheese.
Top that with a layer of the sliced tomatoes, overlapping them as you go around the dish. Mix in all the different colors of tomatoes for interest. Cut the smaller cherry tomatoes in half and fit those in between the larger slices (facing them down). You can really arrange the tomatoes any way you like; I like to mix in different colored tomatoes in-between the red tomatoes for interest.
Sprinkle a pinch of Kosher Salt over the tomatoes, some fresh cracked pepper and the Parmesan Cheese. Bake in a 450 Degree oven for approx. 10-12 minutes, just until the crust starts to get a nice golden brown color. Remove from the oven, set aside to slightly cool before slicing.
Cut about 4 of the Basil leaves into ribbons (chiffonade). Make sure you cut the basil just before garnishing. Otherwise, the basil will start to turn color (will darken up). Then, garnish with the remaining fresh basil leaves (leaving them whole); you can place them in the center or anywhere you like. Add a little extra grated Parmesan Cheese if you like.
Click here for the Pie Dough recipe: Pie Crust by Emma
Chiffonade: a chopping technique in which herbs (such as basil) are cut into long, thin strips. This is accomplished by stacking leaves, rolling them tightly, then slicing the leaves perpendicular to the roll. Gently pull them apart and you will have ribbons of basil.