Fresh tomatoes are one of the delights of summer, and the heirloom tomatoes now available offer us so much more variety in their flavors, colors, and textures. For this tart, I like best to use red, black, or chocolate tomato varieties, which have deep and sweet flavor. For green, lemon, or orange heirlooms, which are bright and tart in flavor, I'd skip the cheese filling, and just spread the bottom of the crust with softened butter instead (creating a sort of " 'mater biscuit"). Already there are several tart recipes posted, here's mine. Herbs flavor the crust, and I like to keep the cheese and filling mild, so that you can really taste the flavor of the tomatoes. —SallyCan
1 medium - large tart, or several smaller tarts
For the crust
each minced fresh chives, oregano, parsley and thyme
1 1/2 cups
whole wheat pastry flour
cold butter or lard, or a mix of the two
canola or vegetable oil
ice water, about
For the Tomato Tart
4 - 5 pounds
fresh summer tomatoes~ go for sweet varieties such as Japanese Black, Russian Black Plum, any red or chocolate variety, sliced in ¼ inch slices; currant, cherry or grape tomatoes can be cut or left whole
cloves minced garlic
basil leaves, whole if a small leaf variety, or torn into small pieces if large leaf.
Cut in oil and butter orlard until it is coarse crumbles.
With a fork, mix in just enough ice water, mixing just until it comes together.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least ½ hour.
Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out between pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper.
Gently press into a tart pan, round or oblong, or make a freeform crust on a baking pan, crimping the edges up about 1/2 inch on the edges.
Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for ½ hour. Preheat oven to 375.
Prebake tart shell. Lightly cover top of shell with foil, fill with dried beans or rice, and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove foil with rice/beans, prick the bottom of the shell all over with a fork, and return to oven for another 5 minutes. Remove and let cool on a rack.
For the Tomato Tart
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a frying pan, heat olive oil and add shallots and garlic. Cook on low until they are soft and brown, 5-10 minutes.
Process cottage cheese, salt, chives, and cream in food processor until very smooth.*
Spread cheese mixture evenly on bottom of prepared tart shell. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon basil leaves.
Arrange tomato slices on cheese and herbs, overlapping slightly.
Dot with cooked shallot/garlic mixture, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper the tart.
Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes for small or medium tarts, or 15-25 minutes for a large tart, until crust is browned and cheese has puffed. Tomatoes should be soft, but not too cooked.
Cool on a rack for about 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle remaining basil leaves on top.
* This is also a nice sauce for pasta, tossed with summer tomato chunks and fresh basil.