Heirloom Tomato Tart

The past two months have taught me many, many things...but to sum it up: time flies, life is precious. I've lost loved ones, had great triumphs and failures, worked way too hard, finally took a VACATION, nested, and welcomed my baby nephew into the world (TODAY!). Amongst all the crazy, we must pause and make time for the art of slow living, and for me, that means tending to my garden and cooking and baking from scratch. I've basically realized something big. Regardless of my work schedule, unpredictable shoot times, and umpteen commitments, carving out a few hours each day to create something wholesome and delicious that utilizes fresh ingredients from my garden and the farmers market is essential for my quality of life. Sometimes this means running on six hours of sleep so I can accomplish a fresh loaf of sourdough bread, and I'm perfectly okay with that! It took me a while to land here, but I'm glad I saw the light.

The tomatoes in my garden have been going nuts over the past week — but mostly just the cherry varieties. Great for sautéing and roasting for sure, but not ideal for tarts. Luckily my dear friend & client Jennifer of Herb Lamb Vineyards gifted me some of her beautiful and super-juicy heirloom tomatoes from her vineyard's hillside garden. My first instinct was to make a savory mustard and tomato tart! I created the tart crust on the fly, knowing that I didn't have an hour to let it rest in the fridge. As luck would have it, it turned out exactly as I'd hoped — crumbly, salty, sweet, wonderful...and I'm so excited to share this summer recipe with you all.

Heirloom Tomato Tart

Ingredients

Tart Crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons milk (I used 1% cow's milk, but have also used unsweetened soy and almond here)

Filling (adapted from The New York Times):

  • 2 large ripe heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 eggs
  • 4-5 Tablespoons farmers cheese or goat cheese, depending on how cheesy you want it!
  • salt + pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped herbs: thyme, basil, chives, parsley (any or all!)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
     

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. To prepare your crust, toss all ingredients into a bowl and mix until just combined — it'll be crumbly, and that's fine! You may need to add another few teaspoons of milk if it does not pull together immediately. Dump dough into a 9-inch tart pan and press it with your fingers around the bottom and sides until evenly formed to the pan. Poke the bottom of the dough all over with a fork, then pop into the oven for 15 minutes. The crust should be a light golden brown.

Bump the oven down to 350 degrees. Spread the mustard on the bottom of the crust. Place the sliced tomatoes onto pieces of paper towel to dry them out slightly — heirlooms are sometimes a little too juicy, so dehydrating them slightly is important! Pat the top lightly with another paper towel. Layer the sliced tomatoes on top of the mustard in a circular motion, slightly overlapping, until evenly covered. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs and cheese together in a bowl until smooth, then pour the mixture over the tomatoes. Drizzle the olive oil over the top. Place into oven for 30-35 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes before popping in out of the pan, sprinkling with fresh herbs, and cutting.