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ode to tomatoes

16 August 2011


thick, juicy slices of deep red summer tomatoes
artfully sprinkled with sea salt
dribble down our chins
and splash onto shiny gold and white Formica
got napkin?

a summer celebration
begin with a base of zesty pepper – parmesan crust. top it with a layer of light, fluffy chèvre from Bow, Washington’s Gothberg Farms. and then a layer of basil-pecan pesto. finally, a layer of gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, roasted low and slow in the oven. that’s the heirloom tomato tart. poetic, indeed.

missing the mother-daughter tomato-eating ritual this summer, ma. can’t say the same for your ’50s-chic Formica.

Roasted Heirloom Tomato Tart
a mashup of recipes adapted from epicurious and Ashleigh Rodriguez’s beautiful not without salt blog
makes one 9-inch tart


roast the tomatoes in advance
2 – 3 firm, medium-size heirloom tomatoes (this may leave you with extra slices, but that’s not  a bad thing)
olive oil
sea salt

for the crust 
1 cup organic all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 stick good-quality butter, very cold, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups grated parmesan (i use Parrano)
2 tablespoons ice water

for the pesto (this will leave enough left over for pasta!)
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup pecans (or nuts of your choice)
2/3 cup parmigiano-reggiano, coarsely ground (again, i use Parrano)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups loosely packed, fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

for the rest
8 oz chèvre at room temperature
fleur del sel
freshly cracked pepper


  1. preheat oven to 225F
  2. cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. slice tomatoes ¼-inch thick; place on baking sheet.
  4. drizzle olive oil lightly over tomatoes; sprinkle lightly with salt.
  5. roast tomatoes for approximately 4 hours or, as Ashleigh instructs, until shriveled around the edge while still maintaining a bit of juice.
  6. refrigerate the tomatoes in a container overnight.
  7. day two, prepare the crust.
  8. in the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, pepper, butter, and cheese, pulsing quickly to get a coarse texture, with some pea-size butter pieces remaining.
  9. with a few speedy pulses, incorporate the ice water until the dough begins to form and sticks together, when pinched between your fingers.
  10. press dough into your tart pan, evenly across the bottom and up until you reach the top of the sides.
  11. chill the dough in the frig for 15 minutes.
  12. preheat the oven to 350F.
  13. remove the tart pan from the frig, and prick a few times with a fork.
  14. cover the tart with non-stick foil, and fill with pie weights or dry beans.
  15. place the tart on a baking sheet, then on the middle oven rack.
  16. bake for 15 minutes.
  17. remove tart from oven, and carefully remove the foil and pie weights (these will be hot!).
  18. return the uncovered tart to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until golden brown; let cool completely.
  19. to make the pesto, drop the garlic into a bowl of a food processor and finely chop.
  20. stop the food processor and add nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, and basil; process  until finely chopped.
  21. add lemon juice.
  22. with motor running, add olive oil, blending until incorporated; set aside.
  23. now for assembly!
  24. spread an even layer of chèvre over the surface of the cooled tart shell.
  25. spread an even layer of pesto over the chèvre.
  26. top the chèvre with as many roasted heirloom tomato slices as you deem artistically appropriate.
  27. top with sprinkles of fleur de sel and freshly cracked pepper.
toss on a few basil leaves, and call it good. very good.


Post a comment
  1. Carla Arnold #
    August 16, 2011

    Good indeed. The fresh farmer’s market ingredients and your special touch made this a delightful summer meal. Keep ’em comin’!

  2. August 17, 2011

    Yum, this looks amazing.

    • dj #
      August 17, 2011

      thank you! appreciate your visit. and enjoyed visiting your blog this morning. great photography. i was drawn immediately to the apple crumble and Bramleys. i just made a raspberry/loganberry/blackberry coffee cake. delightful with tea. continue to write and cook. be well!

      • August 17, 2011

        Thank you very much! That sounds like a very nice cake. I shall continue and I hope you continue to be well too.

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