Tomato Tart with Goat Cheese, Quark, Prosciutto, and Gremolata

July 28, 2015
4 Ratings
Photo by Phyllis Grant
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

This tart is a bit over the top. But that's the point. The tomatoes are wrapped in prosciutto, filled with gremolata, and pressed down into a bed of goat cheese and quark. It may not be your classic Italian grandmother's gremolata, but it's what we make around here: anchovies, capers, herbs, lemon juice/zest, and Parmesan—all brought together with a splash of olive oil.

If you can't find a creamy, rennet-free quark, you can use labne or full-fat creamy yogurt. Or just skip this layer.

If you have some dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes, you don't need to scoop out so much of the pulp. Otherwise, remove as much as possible or your tart will be waterlogged.

I use a 9- by 9-inch square tart pan for this because it makes cutting so easy. If you only have a 9-inch round one, just go for it. The most important thing is that it has a removable bottom. Otherwise, you will not get the tart out alive. —Phyllis Grant

What You'll Need
  • 1 recipe for your favorite tart or pie dough
  • 9 small heirloom tomatoes (preferably Early Girl and even better if they are dry-farmed)
  • 4 to 6 anchovies packed in oil, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (or any combination of tarragon, parsley, basil, mint, sage, arugula, or cilantro)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and microplaned
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan (like snow)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or just enough to bring the mixture together)
  • pinch kosher salt (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup creamy fresh goat cheese, room temperature
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream or half and half, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional for tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup quark cheese, room temperature
  • 9 slices prosciutto (as thinly sliced as possible)
  1. Roll out your dough and press into your tart pan. Keep in the fridge until you're ready to assemble the tart.
  2. Heat the oven to 375° F.
  3. Core the tomatoes (1-inch wide). One at a time, turn the tomatoes upside-down over a bowl and use your fingers to scoop out as much of the liquid, pulp, and seeds as possible. Really tuck your fingers up into the cavities to release almost everything. Reserve liquid for another use (soup? tomato water?). Place tomatoes cored-side down on a cooling rack over a plate to let excess liquid drip out.
  4. Mix together the anchovies, capers, herbs, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, Parmesan, and olive oil. Taste it. Only add salt if it needs it. Set aside.
  5. In a standing mixer or by hand, mix together the egg yolk, goat cheese, cream, lemon zest, and salt until smooth (about 30 seconds). You want it spreadable but not runny (almost pourable but not quite). If it's too thick, add a splash more of cream. If too thin, add a bit more goat cheese. (It might be a bit lumpy if you do this: Don't stress). Set aside.
  6. Spread goat cheese mixture all over the bottom of the tart. On top of this mixture add a thin layer of quark.
  7. Sprinkle a small pinch of salt into each tomato cavity, and then evenly distribute the caper anchovy mixture between the 9 tomatoes. It's quite intense. A little bit goes a long way. So don't worry if it doesn't reach the tomato's brim. Wrap each tomato in a piece of prosciutto (sort of like a wide belt). It's fine to tear the slices up a bit in order to wrap the tomatoes nicely. Don't cover the tops or bottoms, and you might not need all of the prosciutto. Gently press the tomatoes down into the cheese bed. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. About 25 minutes in, you can use a spatula to smash the cooking tomatoes down a bit. Be gentle—you don't want the tomato juice to squirt out on the cheese—it's just a tiny nudge downward. If the tart shell starts to brown too much, cover it with aluminum foil while the tomatoes cook. Remove the tart from the oven when the cheese is starting to brown and the tomatoes are starting to shrivel and darken. Cool for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the outer ring of the tart pan. Slide the tart off of the metal bottom and onto a cutting board. Cut into 9 squares. Serve right away with a crunchy green salad. It will keep in the fridge for a few days, or you can freeze it for a few months.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • VeggiesByCandlelight
  • TXExpatInBKK
  • Claire Reinhold
    Claire Reinhold
  • Melanie
  • Phyllis Grant
    Phyllis Grant
Phyllis Grant is an IACP finalist for Personal Essays/Memoir Writing and a three-time Saveur Food Blog Awards finalist for her blog, Dash and Bella. Her essays and recipes have been published in a dozen anthologies and cookbooks including Best Food Writing 2015 and 2016. Her work has been featured both in print and online for various outlets, including Oprah, The New York Times, Food52, Saveur, The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Tasting Table and Salon. Her memoir with recipes, Everything Is Out of Control, is coming out April 2020 from Farrar Straus & Giroux. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two children.

13 Reviews

Allie S. November 27, 2015
Made this for thanksgiving (as an appetizer) using the ATK pie crust recipe found on food 52. We had some vegetarians in our crew so I omitted the anchovies in the gremolata. Used truffle oil instead of EVOO to make up for not using anchovies. Also did not use prosciutto but the tomatoes held up just fine. Really, really good and worth the effort. Thanks!
Lizzi_G August 26, 2015
This was amazing!! I had meaty roma-style tomatoes from my garden which I cored on an angle so they would lay on their long side but the opening would still be upright-ish. I also used homemade kefir cheese instead of the quark. I used my standard pie crust recipe where I substitute a hard liquor for the water- for this one I used a juniper gin.
VeggiesByCandlelight August 25, 2015
Thanks so much for such a wonderful recipe. With all of our summertime tomatoes it was fun to find a recipe that was a bit off the beaten path. Keep up the great work!
TXExpatInBKK August 19, 2015
I don't like goat cheese (sorry, I've tried!) so I used Boursin instead because I had it in my fridge. This was wonderful, thank you!
Claire R. August 3, 2015
i made this for me and 3 guests last night and everyone absolutely loved it. it's great for entertaining because you can put it together ahead of time (easily!) and throw it in the oven. i had one self-proclaimed 'foodie' and one very picky (read: mac 'n' cheese only) eater and both loved it. thank you for a great, inspired recipe!
hchambers86 June 8, 2017
Claire, what components did you put together ahead of time? Thanks!
Michael August 3, 2015
Knife maker please?
Phyllis G. August 3, 2015
Melanie August 2, 2015
I made this last night for dinner and it was outstanding! This morning, I ate a leftover piece with a 5 minute egg on top. I did not have quark cheese, so simply omitted it. I used homegrown tomatoes that were not Early Girl, coring and seeding them thoroughly as suggested in the instructions. They drained on a rack over the kitchen sink for an hour or so, and this seemed to work well to avoid the soggy crust issue. I used the Cook's Illustrated basic pie crust recipe (found on this site) subbing 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour and omitting the sugar. It fit perfectly into my 9" square tart pan. I will definitely make this again.
Phyllis G. August 3, 2015
Thank you so much for reporting back. Love that you ate the leftovers with an egg on top. I will do the same!
barbara N. July 29, 2015
Sounds good, but, what is quark cheese? Also,.what can I use in place of the fresh goat cheese? Live in rural or, not easily found. Thank you.
Phyllis G. August 3, 2015
Quark is also called farmer's cheese. It is a cheese made from cow's milk. It is similar to cottage cheese but it much creamier. I often use it instead of goat cheese. But for this tart, I like the idea of having layers of cheese. You can replace the goat cheese with a combination of whole milk yogurt and creme fraiche. You can thicken it up a bit with one more egg yolk and some finely grated Parmesan cheese. Or, you could use ricotta but the texture would be a little funky. Another thing you could do is go online and search for making quark. Or making goat cheese. Since they're so hard to get, it might be worth playing around. If not, just use any combination of full fat dairy or cheese products. Let me know!
Stuart C. August 19, 2015
Quark is so easily made with milk and buttermilk. Here's a link to a recipe I've used. http://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/quark