For me, the end of summer has arrived when the lady who sells heirloom tomatoes at our local market closes her stall. My husband and I love the taste of “real” tomatoes and will normally eat them daily until our precious supply is exhausted. This tomato tart recipe is a great appetizer.
A “go-to” appetizer recipe (although we frequently feast on this as a main course) is a Cheese and Tomato Tart with a cornmeal crust. As our granddaughter is prone to say, “this is a show-stopper!”
This recipe is an amalgamation of several similar recipes. While we prefer the distinctive taste of Gruyere, most any flavorful cheese is great as long as you grated Parmesan cheese over the tart. I frequently make this tomato tart with goat cheese and it is delicious.
Cheese and Tomato Tart in a Cornmeal Crust
- 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter (3/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 3 Tablespoons ice water
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 8 ounces Gruyere cheese (grated) (Also consider goat cheese or cheddar)
- 7-10 plum tomatoes or small firm tomatoes – ends trimmed, thinly sliced
- 1 Tablespoon garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon oregano or thyme
- 1/2 cup Parmesan (grated)
- Cut butter into pieces
- In a food processor pulse together flour, cornmeal, and salt. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water and pulse until incorporated and mixture just forms a dough
- Press dough evenly into the bottom and sides of your tart pan and roll a rolling pin over rim of pan to trim dough flush with rim. Chill crust about 20 minutes or until firm.
- While crust is chilling, preheat oven of 400° F
- Line crust with foil and fill with pie weights or raw rice. Bake crust in lower thir of oven until edge is set – about 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove foil and weights or rice and bake crust 5 minutes more, or until just dry. Leave oven on and cool crust in pan on a rack. Crust may be made 1 day ahead and kept loosely covered with plastic wrap at room temperature.
Add Filling to Crust
- Sweat tomatoes by placing cut tomatoes in a colander and then sprinkle with salt. Leave for about 20 minutes and a good deal of the moisture will be released. Do this while pastry is chilling.
- Spread mustard thinly over crust base. Scatter the base evenly with cheese.
- Arrange tomatoes in even, slightly overlapping rows. Sprinkle with garlic, herbs of choice and pepper and Parmesan cheese.
- Bake until tomatoes begin to shrivel and cheese melts – 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot or at room temperature. Cut into 24 to 36 squares.
Nutrition per Serving
I have experimented with this recipe many times to get the right balance between moisture and the tart’s inherent oiliness. I have found that sweating the tomatoes with salt in a colander helps remove a good deal of the moisture. Furthermore, I have discovered that gently baking the tomatoes in an oven certainly releases the moisture, but doesn’t cut down on the oiliness of the cheese.