Make Ahead

Caprese Tart

June 12, 2010
4 Ratings
  • Serves 6 - 8
Author Notes

This tart of ripe cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil nestled in a creamy ricotta filling atop puff pastry is a showstopper - and tastes delicious too. I use a rectangular tart tin, but a round tin will work just as well. It may take more or less tomatoes. - TheRunawaySpoon


Test Kitchen Notes

Make no mistake, this a "project" recipe. But if you have a helper or feel like embarking on some meditative kitchen tasks, it doesn't take long to core, seed and stuff the cherry tomatoes with mozzarella. And the tart comes out delicious -- flaky pastry, filled with a fluffy, herbed ricotta base and crowned with sweet roasted tomatoes bearing parcels of gooey fresh mozzarella. Plus you can reserve and strain the tomato juice to make the freshest Bloody Mary of your life. Notes: Puree a smaller "bunch" of basil leaves into the ricotta base if you don't want much of a green tinge, and feel free to crowd the tomatoes and stuff them chock full of mozzarella. - Kristen —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 piece frozen puff pastry, room temperature
  • 45 round cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 2 bunches fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Wash the tomatoes and pat them dry. Using a small, sharp paring knife, gently cut out the core of each tomato, scraping the inside lightly to remove seeds. I find a sturdy ¼ teaspoon measuring spoon helps with this job. Be carefully not to cut through the flesh or squash the tomato. You want to create a little cavity for the mozzarella to fit in. Place each tomato cut side down on a few layers of paper towels to drain for 20 – 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Meanwhile, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to fit into a removable bottom 10 inch round or an 11 by 7 inch rectangular tin. Gently fit the pastry into the tin, using a small ball of pastry to press the dough into the corners and sides. Poke all over with the tines of fork
  4. In a food processor (I like the mini one for this), pulse one bunch of basil leaves a few times until roughly chopped. Add the parmesan and pine nuts and pulse a few more times to chop the nuts. Add the ricotta and egg, a grind of pepper and a pinch of salt and process to a smooth paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl at least once. Using a small offset spatula (or the back of a big spoon), spread the filling in an even layer over the bottom of the pastry. Set aside.
  5. Cut the mozzarella into small cubes to fit in the tomato cavities. Lightly press on cube of mozzarella into each tomato. If some seeds or juice squish out of the tomatoes, carefully wipe it away. Place the filled tomatoes in rows in the prepared tart, pressing lightly into the filling. Sprinkle pepper and salt lightly over the tomatoes.
  6. Very gently brush the top of the tart with extra virgin olive oil and place in the oven. While the tart is baking, cut about 6 of the remaining basil leaves into a chiffonade (Stack the leaves up, roll them like a cigar, then cut very thin ribbons with a sharp knife or scissors). When the tart has been in the oven 15 minutes, remove it and sprinkle the basil over the top. Return to the oven and cook a further 15 – 20 minutes until the tomatoes are shriveled and the mozzarella is melted.
  7. Leave to cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Sprinkle additional basil chiffonade on top if desired.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jennifer Ann
    Jennifer Ann
  • MyCommunalTable
  • Lizthechef
  • lapadia
  • Kitchen Butterfly
    Kitchen Butterfly
I think I am like most people. Somewhere in the middle between food snob and food schlub. Just being in the kitchen makes me happy.

14 Reviews

Betsy S. July 15, 2016
I tried this last night and it was a huge hit. A lovely combination of summer favors! I used homemade rough puff for the crust, and felt that it got a bit soggy. When I make this again, I will blind bake the shell first, and I will also try it with regular pastry for the crust. I also strained the juice from the coring and scooping of the tomatoes and reduced it with some balsamic vinegar to make a syrupy drizzle for the tart when it came out of the oven.
GrandmaGG September 10, 2012
The first Friday of the month a group of old friends meet at a new winery for tasting and appetizers. I brought this. It was easy to make (my first use of puffed pastry), delicious, and beautiful! Since there were two pastry sheets in the package I sort of doubled the filling to make two tarts. I covered the second with plastic wrap and refrigerated for the next day. 300* for about 12 minutes and it was warmed. The bottom crust got soggy but the sides were light and crispy. This is a keeper!
emmanation June 18, 2010
I cannot explain how sad I am that I have NONE of the necessary ingredients, because otherwise I would make this RIGHT NOW. All the ingredients have been added to my shopping list. Yum.
Jennifer A. June 17, 2010
So beautiful and sounds delicious! I am really hoping those summer tomatoes come soon.
MyCommunalTable June 15, 2010
I am totally making this. Looks fabulous. This is my kind of recipe.
TheRunawaySpoon June 18, 2010
Thanks! If you get a chance to make it, let me know how it turns out!
Lizthechef June 14, 2010
Looks terrific! Frozen puff pastry is such an elegant, tasty touch -
Lizthechef June 17, 2010
Can't believe no thumbs up - here's mine!
lapadia June 13, 2010
I like the rectangular shape; lovely picture, and my kind of flavors too!
Kitchen B. June 13, 2010
Oh Love this. Love the flavours, love the puff pastry gently ferrying gorgeous juices to the mouth, love the purity and freshness of the ingredients. Love it (minus the ricotta - not a fan)!
monkeymom June 12, 2010
This is gorgeous!
TheWimpyVegetarian June 12, 2010
I agree!!
cheese1227 June 17, 2010
I can only triple what monkeymom wrote!
TheRunawaySpoon June 18, 2010
Thanks everyone - it was fun to make!