With school busses rolling and Halloween decorations on store shelves it is easy to be fooled into thinking that summer is over. Not so. We are just 2/3 of the way through with five weeks of summer heat ahead of us. In gardening terms, that means hundreds of pounds of ripe tomatoes before the first frost shifts our attention to fried green tomatoes. For me, that means finding new recipes and fresh ideas for using all those tomatoes. I don’t want to waste a single home-grown tomato because, once gone, it will be midway into 2015 before we see them again.
That brings me to this beauty, the Tomato Tart with Basil and Gruyère Cheese.
You can make pie crust from scratch or take the easy way out with a prepared crust from the grocery. I chose to use a prepared crust because they are easy and we like the flavor and flakiness of our favorite, Pillsbury. Tomato, onion, and the cheese mixture are layered into the unbaked crust. You can use any fresh tomato in this tart but heirloom tomatoes make all the difference. I chose fleshy varieties with minimal seeds and gorgeous colors and patterns. My favorite is Mr. Stripey.
If you take the time to draw the water out of the tomatoes your tart will be firm and easy to slice and the crust will stay flaky, not soggy. Sweet onion and fresh herbs compliment the tomatoes perfectly. I love this tart. I ate it for lunch and dinner yesterday and again for munch today.
- 1 Unbaked single pie crust
- 2 1/2 pounds assorted heirloom tomatoes
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped sweet onion
- 1 3/4 cups grated Gruyere cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup basil chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 egg (lightly beaten)
- Place the crust in a 9-inch fluted tart pan with 2-inch sides and a removable bottom. Press dough into pan. Trim excess dough along edges. Refrigerate for 30 minutes while preparing the filling.
- For the filling:
- Slice tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices and remove seeds if desired. Lay slices on triple thickness paper towels and sprinkle with one teaspoon of salt. Let sit for 30 minutes. Flip and let them drain from the other side for at least 15 minutes.
- In a small bowl combine the Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses, mayonnaise, basil, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, freshly ground black pepper, and one lightly beaten egg.
- To assemble pie:
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pat tomato slices with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Add minced onion to bottom of pie crust. Top onion with 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Layer 1/3 of the tomatoes over cheese mixture. Top tomatoes with 1/3 of cheese mixture. Repeat with another layer of tomatoes and cheese mixture. Arrange the last tomatoes on top of pie in an overlapping pattern.Place pie on baking sheet and place in oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
- Cool completely before cutting. Serve at room temperature.