Sometimes I think sadly on my wasted years, those long years leading up to college where I didn’t like tomatoes. It wasn’t that I would turn up my nose to them in a nice pasta, but I didn’t realize that they need very little to shine, that they are an absolutely perfect food meant to be eaten as the center focus rather than a measly addition. Now of course, I realize my folly, and I am making up for those wasted years by consuming as many tomatoes during tomato season as possible. Because a tomato eaten out of season is nothing more than a soggy red mess. But one eaten in season is tart and tangy, with just a enough sweetness. I especially love the heirloom ones, with their homely lumps and varied colors.
A couple weeks ago I got so excited while shopping that I came home with more heriloom tomatoes than anyone can possibly eat in one week. Challenge accepted. We had caprese salad with every meal, thick wedges of tomatoes on sandwiches, and also some eaten almost like apples. And still, there were tomatoes remaining the day before I went out of town. James had already headed out of town, which meant there was no obstacle between me and my favorite vehicle for excess vegetable consumption: quiche. Yeah, James doesn’t do quiche. He scorns it as it as egg pie, and his twin hatreds of weird cheeses and multiple food kingdoms baked into one homogenous, slice-able, amazing combination, causes him to pass on every quiche I make. I know, it’s such an unjust waste. But it does free me from my fear of other people eating my food.And so, armed with way too many tomatoes, an intense love of quiche, and the first basil plant all summer that I have managed not to kill (because, ok, James took over the care and harvesting of this one), I set out to make this tart. I modeled my recipe loosely on this one, but minus the long step of fresh roasted garlic and the hard to find cheese, and then I added a topping more like caprese salad because I cannot get enough of that summer treat.
Heirloom Caprese Tart
- Pie crust
- 3-4 heirloom tomatoes
- 2.5 cups whole milk ricotta
- 2.5 Tablespoons diced garlic
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (or zest, which would probably be awesome)
- 1 egg
- Handful cheese crumbles (I used goat)
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh basil
- Balsamic glaze (I am addicted to the Trader Joe’s one, and when I say addicted, I mean that I have taken to drizzling it on absolutely everything)
- For the crust, you can either make one, or just use a pre-made crust, pressed into a tart pan. You will want to par-bake the crust for about 15 minutes, as this tart is juicy. Listen, I love a homemade crust as much as the next person, and the one on here is the cornmeal tart crust from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. However, this is a no-judgment blog, and I see absolutely nothing wrong with buying a crust. The tomatoes are the star here.
- Combine ricotta, egg, lemon, and garlic, and spread in par-baked pie shell.
- Slice tomatoes about 1/3 inch thick and arrange on tart. Press lightly into cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and crumbled cheese.
- Bake at 350 45-60 minutes, or until tart doesn’t jiggle and tomatoes are nicely roasted.
- Top with diced basil and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Let sit for at least 20 minutes to set.