Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Rustic" Tomato Tart

“Rustic” is the new “D'oh!”
If it weren’t for an early onset Alzheimer's moment, this "rustic" tart would have been the "remarkably refined and uber urbane" tomato tart. What brain malfunction was responsible for its rusticity, you ask? I didn't realize I needed a 10-inch tart pan until I already filled my 11-incher with the dough. D'oh! I mean, how rustic. Oh well. The crust may look a bit slovenly, but the tart was still heavenly.

This keeper recipe adapted from Martha Stewart is really a no-brainer (even for me) once you make the crust and apply it to the right-size tart pan. I prefer her cornmeal pate brisee crust for savory tarts since it adds more dimension (or in my case, dementia). A layer of roasted garlic co-mingling with the cheese and tomato gives this tart a sophisticated pizza-like flavor, and some say it seals the crust, preventing it from getting water-logged from the tomato’s juice. Before laying my beefsteak tomato slices in the crust, I drained them between layers of paper towels for about half an hour, mitigating leakage, and I highly recommend this step. You need a soggy crust about as much as you need a good waterboarding at Gitmo.

While my tart turned out "rustic," yours can be "remarkably refined and uber urbane." Either way, “delicious” is still “delicious,” no matter how you slice it.


1 head garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

All-purpose flour, for dusting

1/2 Cornmeal Pate Brisee

2 ounces Italian fontina cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)

1 1/2 pounds firm but ripe tomatoes (4 medium), cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Fresh basil leaves

Cornmeal Pate Brisee

Makes 2 disks

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup coarse cornmeal

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water


Pulse flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. Drizzle 1/4 cup ice water evenly over mixture. Pulse until mixture just begins to hold together when pressed between 2 fingers (it should not be wet or sticky). If dough is too dry, pulse in water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Divide dough in half. Wrap in plastic. Shape into disks, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or overnight.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place garlic on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Wrap to enclose garlic in foil, and place on a small baking sheet. Bake until soft and golden brown and the tip of a knife easily pierces the flesh, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside. Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees. When garlic is cool enough to handle, using either your hands or the dull end of a large knife, squeeze the cloves out of their skins and into a small bowl; mash with a fork, and set aside. Discard the papery skins.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 1/8-inch-thick circle, about 12 inches in diameter. With a dry pastry brush, brush off the excess flour; roll the dough around the rolling pin, and lift it over a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Line the pan with the dough, pressing it into the corners. Trim the dough so that it is flush with the edges; transfer to the refrigerator to chill, about 30 minutes.

Spread roasted garlic evenly on the chilled crust. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Arrange the tomatoes on top of the cheese, in an overlapping circular pattern. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Transfer to oven. Reduce temperature to 400 degrees. and bake until crust is golden and tomatoes are soft but still retain their shape, 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool for 20 minutes. Top with freshly shredded basil (chiffonade-style) and serve warm.

Related Posts:


  1. This looks really delicious! Lol, I'm a big fan of the rustic look since pastry crust intimidates me! :)

  2. A homemade crust no matter how you slice it is grand in my book. Rustic wins. Who needs frou frou anyway! Great looking tomato tart Adair :)

  3. This looks so delicious! Especially with the tomatoes right now are so amazing. Its so rustic and beautiful.

  4. Great tart, but its the words that are so delicious. GREG

  5. I love the idea of spreading all this roasted garlic on the crust like it is jam or mustard. Yummy, of course I am a big garlic aficionado..hehe; this rustic tart looks and sounds very refined to me. I would love it especially that buttery flaky crust.