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

July 28, 2015
3 Ratings
Photo by Phyllis Grant
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

  • Serves 4 to 6
  • 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)
In This Recipe
  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.

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    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.