This cherry tomato tart calls for a homemade herbed crust, heavy cream, goat cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and tons of tomatoes.
One of the ways The One and I tried to fend ourselves against the Great Tomato Attack of 2015 was with this tart. It only calls for a few dozen cherry tomatoes—that’s not enough to put a dent in even the most modest of gardens, but it’s a start. I chose to use only red tomatoes, but Sun Golds or a mix of both red and gold will work just as well. The yellow tomatoes just don’t show up as well against the filling. Oh, and make sure to use fresh soft goat cheese. And don’t even think of using pre-grated Parmesan cheese—remember, I have a few hundred thousand bloodthirsty tomatoes I could sic on your lazy ass.–David Leite
☞ READ THE ARTICLE: THE GARDEN THAT ALMOST ATE ROXBURY
WHAT CAN I SUBSTITUTE FOR CHERRY TOMATOES?
If you’re growing your own cherry tomatoes, you might find the idea of not having enough of them laughable. But, it happens. You can go up a size and use grape tomatoes. They’re the closest thing and it won’t make that much of a difference. Beyond that, everything else will either be too large or too watery for a tart like this.
Cherry Tomato Tart
- 11-inch tart with removable bottom
For the tart crust
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon minced rosemary leaves
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 tablespoons (6 oz) cold, unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch (12 mm) cubes
- 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
For the roasted cherry tomatoes
- 3/4 pound cherry tomatoes* (about 35)
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the cherry tomato tart filling
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- Handful basil leaves thinly sliced, plus a few small ones for the garnish
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 3 ounces soft and creamy goat cheese
Make the tart crust
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the flour, rosemary, thyme, and salt until blended. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with noticeable chunks of butter no bigger than small peas, somewhere around 13 to 15 one-second pulses.
- Dump the tart crust mixture into a large bowl and drizzle with 4 tablespoons ice water. Using a fork, gently mix just until the mixture forms a “shaggy” dough. Squeeze some of the dough in your hand. If it doesn’t hold together, add enough of the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough does hold together when gently squeezed. Form the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Roast the cherry tomatoes
- While the dough is in the fridge, position the oven racks in the middle and lower thirds of the oven. Crank the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Toss the tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper and season with salt and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in a single layer and roast on the lower rack until they’re split, wrinkled, and releasing some of their liquid, 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of your tomatoes. Let cool on the baking sheet.
Make the filling and assemble the cherry tomato tart
- While the tomatoes are roasting and cooling, roll out the dough into a 13-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Ease it into an 11-inch tart pan, fitting it snugly against the sides and bottom, and trim the excess. Prick the bottom with a fork and cover with parchment or foil. Fill the tart with pie weights or beans. (If the tomatoes aren’t done, slip the shell into the fridge.) Bake the tart crust for 20 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment and bake until pale golden, 5 to 10 minutes more. Let cool slightly.
- Whisk the eggs, cream, sliced basil, half the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a pinch each salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour the filling into the baked tart crust and distribute the tomatoes equally in the tart crust. Pinch off bits of goat cheese and place them between the tomatoes. Sprinkle the filling with the remaining cheese. Bake on the middle rack until set and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool until warm. When ready to slice and serve, dot with the teensiest basil leaves you have.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This cherry tomato tart is beautiful, flavorful, and delicious. The crust has a wonderful flavor from the fresh herbs and complements the creamy filling well. I liked the idea of roasting the tomatoes first, and they were literally bursting with flavor in the finished tart. The first time I made this cherry tomato tart I had larger tomatoes and left them in for the full 20 minutes, but my tomatoes were smaller the second time around, so they were ready in 10 minutes. (I had to sneak a few off the baking sheet, and they were delicious!)
The crust came together easily and was perfect. It was a bit sticky during rolling, so I ended up moving it to a floured piece of parchment paper and chilling it for about 10 minutes before baking because it seemed to have gotten a little too warm during the rolling out. It baked up perfectly in 25 minutes and looked beautiful out of the oven. The assembled tart also baked for 25 minutes and was nicely browned on top.
It was easy to slice and serve. It was a thin tart, not at all like a thick quiche, but it had great flavor. What a lovely way to use all those cherry tomatoes that come flooding in at the end of summer. A delicious first course, or when combined with a salad, a light lunch or dinner.
This recipe makes a perfect cherry tomato tart. Placing fresh herbs in the crust, in the filling, and on top gives it bursts of flavor even when you're not expecting them. My tart looked exactly like the photo.
The baking times are correct as stated in the recipe. Blind baking the crust was essential because the filling is pretty much all liquid. As a result of the blind baking, the crust was well-cooked and not at all soggy. The tart had great flavor, and the filling was very creamy. The tart will be completely done when the top is lightly browned, about 25 minutes.
It lasted a couple of days for us in the refrigerator and was easily reheated by placing it in the toaster oven on “warm--300°F” for 10 minutes. You get 6 nice slices, and they make a great lunch accompanied by a small side salad with a simple vinaigrette dressing.
Originally published July 8, 2015