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tomato tart

This week I saw the first promise of tomato season. A few brightly colored cherry specimens were brought home from the local market, as well as the more standard varieties. I was down in Gascony visiting my friend Kate Hill, and her photographer friend Tim Clinch was there preparing to lead a photography workshop. Looking for something tempting and colorful, tomatoes seemed the obvious choice to be willing subjects for pictures, and for dinner.

cherry tomatoes erika

In addition to the profusion of flowers plucked from the lush garden by the canal du Midi, the tomatoes had their moment in front of the camera. But once the participants stopped clicking, we grabbed them and put them where they rightfully belong: In the kitchen.

In France, tarts are not considered “special occasion” fare, and if you’re invited to someone’s house for a meal, even the most inept home cook will make a quiche or tarte salée, which will surprise you when they present a stunning tart à table, looking just about as good as anything whipped up from the local bakery.

farine colombe

True, some cooks here cheat a bit and use pre-purchased pâte brisée, which you can buy in the supermarket refrigerator case where it’s sold rolled up and boxed like plastic wrap. However I will concede that it does make quick work of making a savory tart and on more than one occasion I’ve been duped by someone, whose tart I’ve complimented, which prompted what I call “The Garbage Can Confessional”: when someone has to fess up and extract an empty box from the poubelle, usually from Picard, France’s popular frozen food chain.


I’ve not bought or used the pre-made stuff, however tempting it might be (!) but this dough is as easy as pie to make and roll out. And by the time it takes to go to the store and buy the dough, you can make this. I haven’t tried it with the French tart dough recipe but Kate assured me it would work with either an unbaked or pre-baked tart shell.

montage 1

Unlike other savory tarts, such as the Herbed Ricotta Tart, this one has no custard or cream added; it’s just sliced tomatoes, fresh herbs, and sliced rounds of soft goat cheese, which get browned on top. Without a rich custard, the taste and texture of the tomatoes doesn’t get lost. But the fresh goat cheese is wonderful, especially when it gets all crusty-brown on top, and warm and creamy-soft inside. You could swap out another cheese that you like, such as comté, haloumi, or fontina, or another favorite fromage that melts well.

tart dough

Ditto with the fresh herbs. A few steps outside of her always-buzzing kitchen are big bunches of herbs growing in verdant, leafy profusion. Thyme, variegated two-color sage, lovage, and savory are well-represented, but I was especially pleased to find fresh oregano, which for some reason is elusive in Paris.

tarte aux tomates

So when she wasn’t looking, I clipped a few sprigs (ok, more than a few sprigs), which I squirreled away in my suitcase. Along with the homemade red wine vinegar and foie gras that she did give me. Plus I had some bitter chestnut honey that I picked up at the market in Cahors. (And, of course, a trip to the local antique market yielded me a few vintage wine glasses and Kate scored three gorgeous old French jam jars for just €5 a pop.)

honey honey on tart

I’m not a fan of sweet-savory cooking—with a few exceptions, most notably glazed Korean chicken wings, but when I saw the sticky jar of brusque miel de ronce (wild blackberry honey) on her counter, I suggested drizzling a bit over the tart just before baking. We had a bit of dough leftover, so it got rolled out and we made a mini-tart to give it a try. And it was a big hit.

tomato tart recipe

But the real stroke of genius, I think, is the layer of mustard you spread on the tart, which provides a spicy back-bite to the baked tomato slices. You can go as easy or as generous as you want. The French love their Dijon mustard so don’t be shy: a layer that’s a thick as what you’d spread on a sandwich is just about right.

rose & Blt's (blog)

Perfect hot from the oven, or mighty good at room temperature as well, this is perfect summertime fare. You could pair it with the proverbial leafy green salad or go whole hog and serve it on a buffet with PLTs (Pig, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwiches). But in my mind, the best accompaniment are glasses of rosé over ice. And from the number of bottles we went through that afternoon, no one seemed to disagree.

kate's tart

french lunch

French Tomato Tart

Adapted from
. Kate didn’t let the dough rest, but simply rolled it out, transferred it into the tart ring, and ran the rolling pin over the dough to neatly shear away the edges.If you wish to make a free-style tart, roll the dough out to about 14-inches across, then transfer it to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
You can use a 10- or 12-inch (23-26cm) tart ring with a removable bottom. Assemble the tart, leaving a 2-inch (5 cm) border, which you’ll then fold up to enclose the tart. Depending on the size of your pan, you may have a bit of dough leftover. We used it to make a few mini-tartlets, which we enjoyed later that evening with our aperitifs.
Course Main Course
Cuisine French

Tart Filling

  • One unbaked tart dough, (see recipe below)
  • Dijon or whole-grain mustard
  • 2-3 large ripe tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • two generous tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, chives, chervil, or tarragon
  • 8 ounces (250g) fresh or slightly aged goat cheese, sliced into rounds
  • Optional: 1 1/2 tablespoons flavorful honey

Tart Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
  • 4 1/2 ounces (125g) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2-3 tablespoons cold water
  • Make the dough by mixing the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and use your hands, or a pastry blender, to break in the butter until the mixture has a crumbly, cornmeal-like texture.
  • Mix the egg with 2 tablespoons of the water. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the beaten egg mixture, stirring the mixture until the dough holds together. If it’s not coming together easily, add the additional tablespoon of ice water.
  • Gather the dough into a ball and roll the dough on a lightly floured surface, adding additional flour only as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the counter.
  • Once the dough is large enough so that it will cover the bottom of the pan and go up the sides, roll the dough around the rolling pin then unroll it over the tart pan. “Dock” the bottom of the pastry firmly with your fingertips a few times, pressing in to make indentations. If making a freestyle tart, simply transfer the dough to a prepared baking sheet (see headnote); no need to make indentations with your fingers.
  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF (218ºC). See note.
  • Spread an even layer of mustard over the bottom of the tart dough and let it sit a few minutes to dry out.
  • Slice the tomatoes and arrange them over the mustard in a single, even layer. Drizzle the olive oil over the top.
  • Sprinkle with some chopped fresh herbs, then arrange the slices of goat cheese on top. Add some more fresh herbs, then drizzle with some honey, if using. (If baking a free-form tart, gather the edges when you’re done, to envelope the filling.)
  • Bake the tart for 30 minutes or so, until the dough is cooked, the tomatoes are tender, and the cheese on top is nicely browned. Depending on the heat of your oven, if the cheese doesn’t brown as much as you’d like it, you might want to pass it under the broiler until it’s just right.


Note: Kate indeed does cook her tart in a very hot oven. You might wish to check the tart midway through baking and turn it down a bit in case the top is getting too dark, before the crust and tomatoes appear to be cooked.

Related Recipes and Links

Eggless Chervil Mayonnaise

Camp Cassoulet

Preserved Tomatoes

French Pear and Almond Tart

Herbed Ricotta Tart

Summer Tomato Salad Recipe


Easy Jam Tart

Tim Clinch Photography

Kate Hill’s Kitchen at Camont Bl



    • Heather Stimmler-Hall

    Wow, I can’t even cook (admittedly, I only even looked because I thought you’d be divulging the recipe for the tarte tatin à la tomate from Les Philisophes), but I think I might be able to tackle this! Thanks David. :-)

    • Jessica @ How Sweet

    Beautiful – the goat cheese looks divine.

    • Delia

    That looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it. I, too think there’s nothing better than homemade tart crust. Buttery, flaky deliciousness.

    • krysalia

    your pictures are more gorgeous than ever in that light. And those colors…

    “as easy as pie”… hahahaha :D. I love this !

    I’d be glad to read the book you should write about the joys (and odds) of french countryside ! (except for that huge spider I prefer not to hear about too much :D !)

    • Renee

    We must be on the same wavelength! I just made a Tomato Tart with a Pate Brisee crust that I was just writing about to post on my blog. I had to use cheddar as that was all the cheese I had in the house. Of course, yours looks a whole lot better than mine! I love tomato season!

    • Jenn (Jenn’s Menu and Lifestyle Blog)

    That is gorgeous! I wish tomatoes were in season here.


    • Danielle

    Is it coincidence that today, I bought tomato plants for the garden (Arkansas Traveler, a pink heirloom) and arrived home to find this gorgeous tart on your blog?

    I don’t think so. I cannot wait to try it! By chance, do you know the variety of the lobed tomato that was used for the tart with honey? It is beautiful, and I’d love to find seeds for it to grow it myself!


    • lisa

    David, the photo of the tomato on the cutting board…what type of tomato is that? I bought them when I was in Paris, and maybe I got a bad batch or used them improperly, mostly in salades, but I wasn’t overwhelmed by that variety.

    • Kim L

    While they all look beautiful, and delicious… that gorgeous fluted tomato in the absolute perfect shade of red just knocks me out. I almost (almost!) would say that it was too beautiful to be eaten.

    • Anna

    oh that looks gooooood! Do you find that the base gets soggy without blind baking?

    • My Kitchen in the Rockies

    Absolutely delicious. And, yes, preparing your own crust makes all the difference.

    • tea_austen

    I love the mustard in those tarts. I make a version with gruyère that is the taste of summer to me.

    Your pictures are especially lovely, seeing as we’re slogging through a cold, wet spring on the West Coast. What wouldn’t I give for a few days of Southern French sunshine and tomatoes?

    • Rebecca

    Will you please open up a restaurant in Paris?

    • Susan

    This reminds me of a pizza I used to (30odd yrs ago!) get and dream of finding again..somewhere. The crust was so much like a thick pie crust or maybe a thin puff pastry, crisp and tender. It was covered with tomato slices, olive oil and fresh motz and sprinkled with oregano and basil, topped just like pizza margarita. A large group of us would pile into that little Italian restaurant from the office and devour several sheet pans full. It was SO good. David, uou have given me hope here!

    • Nils

    Talk about bringing a little summer onto the table. Looks delicious.

    • caroline

    This looks incredible and the photos are beautiful. I love the vibrant colors in this dish.

    • krysalia

    David will probably confirm this but the “pleated” tomatoes are named “coeur de boeuf” (beef’ heart).

    It’s a not so ancient variety sold in supermarket, regular markets, and grown in gardens here. It has the favors of the public because it has a lot of “flesh” : not so much holes filled with juice when you cut it. In a garden this is a good variety because it gives a LOT for each crop, and because the fact that it is relatively new it resists quite well to the usual tomatoes diseases.

    It has some taste when it comes from a garden, yet not amazing… It has a lot less flavor when it is mass produced of course, especially since everybody want it here and since their price is quite high due to their “fanciness reputation”. Industrial groups are tempted to produce those tomatoes too quickly, and some of them have never seen the real sun and fresh air (not the industrial groups of course, the tomatoes :D). Depending on the producers and the supermarket sources, you can have very tasty flavored ones, or sad pieces of red, wet, polystyrene foam… :/.

    the fact is, they are truly beautiful, and I strongly prefer la coeur de boeuf in pictures than in my salad plate if I’m given the choice of the variety. But in a tart like this it’s one of its best use, and I would have gladly took a slice if I had the chance to share this moment ! :D.

    • Chocolate Freckles

    This recipe looks amazing and the pictures.. just lovely!

    • DessertForTwo

    Oh yum. I can’t wait for my tomatoes to ripen in the garden! My favorite savory tart is custard-based with carmelized onions and goat cheese. It’s great, but kinda heavy. This looks light-will have to try it!

    • Tami

    You are torturing me! Its still so far away for local tomatoes. A variation on this tart is often the first thing after a tomato salad I make once the tomatoes show up. I love the idea of the goat cheese on top! I usually sprinkle gruyere/comte on top of the mustard underneath the tomatoes, acting as a moisture barrier. Also, a tip I love is to put the tomatoes on paper towel as I’m getting everything together to soak up a little bit of the moisture. This really is the perfect French lunch!

    • Sharon

    This does look like a great tart. One question for this home cook, who has made many a quiche and tarte salée: why the egg in the tart crust? I’ve always just done butter/lard, flour, salt, bit of water. How does the egg change the taste/texture?

    • JoAnn

    I want to be your friend. I want to be at that table, making friends with everyone there, with a slice of that beautiful tart and a chilly glass of rose in front of me. Sigh.

    • Suzanne

    This looks so delicious. I wish it were tomato season already! I’m not going to be able to wait. My adventuresome 13 year old foodie would be in heaven. She is recently in love with goat cheese. Thx. for the wonderful post.

    • barbara

    How gorgeous.That scene at the table is how I would like to live every day. This style of tomato tart is a hit in our house, due entirely to the mustard.

    I just discovered Tim, thanks to Kate. Love his blog.

    • Talia

    i was already eagerly awaiting tomato season over here but now i’m just drooling: that tart looks amazing. I’m obsessed with honey right now so that mini tart sounds best of all.

    • The French

    I’m dying! Yum! And that tomato…it makes me want to cry…making this soon!

    • Sam

    This looks perfect–the flavors and textures must go great together!

    • teresacooks

    This looks delicious and reminds me that I have been on a quest to find a dijonnaise recipe. . . do you have one? I can only find one when I google it and other search engines and it doesn’t look like what I remember from 5 years in France. . . maybe I’ll check la bonne cuisine francaise. . . but if you have a good one i would sure appreciate it.

    • Kristin

    Mmm, I want this right now! I have made many variations of tarte a la moutarde (as my belle mere calls it), but I haven’t tried the rounds of chevre and I most definitely will. They look so lovely and golden. Thanks for the absolutely gorgeous photos! I can’t wait for my little tomatoes to be ready, but it will be a while for us….

    • The Rowdy Chowgirl

    LOVE the dijon mustard and tomato combination. I can hardly stand to wait the couple of months until tomato season here in Seattle!

    • Chocolate and Toast

    David, you are always my go-to guy for sweet things – but wow (!) you just made my mouth water . . . for tomatoes! Well played.

    • Laurie Pfalzer

    My mouth watered as I read about tomatoes in May. Here in Seattle, we have just planted our tomato plants and it will be a long summer before we see the fruits of our labors. But, I know where to find some decent California tomatoes and so will totter off to the store this evening, make some brisee and get a tart going for a late dinner.

    • Hannah

    Oh gosh, those golden rounds of goat cheese are enticing enough to make me *almost* forget my fear of pastry. Oh, for a Picard in Australia, so I could join the Garbage Can Confessional mob…

    • schlepseleh

    looks completely gorgeous…i made some pastry the other day with chopped thyme which i mixed it through the dough. i very much like the idea of no blind baking but does the pastry need to be chilled first before it goes into the oven?

    • vanillasugar

    yes a nice thick layer of dijon indeed.
    i love tomato tarts–wish i could use those tomatoes too.

    • Sasha

    David, if you don’t love your life, you don’t know how well you’ve made it. I love mine too but can’t help to want some of yours :-)

    • Lizzie

    Hi David! I love this tomato tart, but it always seems to get a soggy bottom (pardon the phrase…) from the tomato juice. Any tips on avoiding this?!

    • Shelley

    Sounds (and looks) delish! Can’t wait to try this- thanks for sharing.

    • lizzie

    Thanks for the encouragement to see tarts as regular, rather than special-event food. That said, this tart reminds me of “tomato pie,” which we first found at a little fresh seafood shop on Edisto Island, S.C. Layers of sliced tomato, fresh basil (and we added sauteed onions & garlic, all topped with a goopy “crust” of 1 part shredded cheddar + 1 part good quality mayo. Down-home type food and delicious. Looking forward to tomato season here to try yours.

    • Laura

    David, oregano is a perennial that can b grown in a flowerpot outside your window if you have room.

    • Nancy Singleton Hachisu

    You made me ache to be in France, but no travel for me right now. Lunch in the garden with tomatoes and rosé…what couldn’t be better? I make this tart as well, but use gruyère, though like the idea of chèvre. I always have trouble with the bottom being wet and have to spend a lot of extra effort to crisp it up. Any thoughts?

    • deeba

    Gorgeous post and recipe too! The photographs scream summer, and are lovely!! Perfecto!

    • deeba

    Gorgeous post and recipe too! The photographs scream summer, and are lovely!! Perfecto!

    • deeba

    Gorgeous post and recipe too! The photographs scream summer, and are lovely!! Perfecto!

    • Sunny in Los Angeles, CA

    Wow, I can’t wait to make this tomato tart for an upcoming picnic. Thank you.

    • Linda H

    The similar looking tomato sold in the USA is called an ox heart. It must be the same variety.
    Right now we are no closer to tomato season here than one golf ball sized green thing on one plant. The sweet cherries, however, are beginning to change from green to yellow.

    • Will

    David, if you ever get tired of slaving away in the kitchen you’ve got a good start on a second career as a food photographer.
    I’ve heard that the flour in France is generally superior to the flour we get here in the U.S. What’s your opinion?

    • Sasa

    Totally hear you on the sweet-savoury food suspicion part. I wish tomatoes were in season in Austria! Must. be. patient.

    • Laura

    Hi David,

    Can i ask you an ice cream question here?

    It was 91 degrees in NYC today and I made your vanilla ice cream. Very yummy! I bought good-quality eggs from the Union Square Farmer’s Market and the gold yolks gave the ice cream a beautiful butter yellow color.

    Anyway, I have the Cuisinart ICE-20 machine and have often had a problem with some of the custard freezing on the sides of the bowl. Not only is it hard to scrape out, it doesn’t blend in well with the rest of the mixture. Do you whisk it in? I hate to throw it away, because there is a fair amount that can (hopefully?) be saved.

    The bowl was definitely frozen enough and there certainly was enough fat in the custard. Since you have used this machine, I am wondering if it happens to you and what you do about it.


    Hi Laura: I’ve not had that happen to me, but I mention in my ice cream book that I turn the machine on when using those kinds of machines, they pour in the custard while it’s moving. You also may wish to contact the manufacturer as they’re best equipped to answer questions relating to their machines for advice as well. -dl

    • David

    lisa: As Krysalia pointed out, they’re called cœuer de rumsteak tomatoes. Known as ‘beef heart’ tomatoes, they’re actually not so tasty. (Linda H. in a comment mentioned they are ‘Ox Heart’ tomatoes in the states.) There is a company called Savéol which is reproducing ‘heirloom-style’ tomatoes in France, which as you discovered, lack great tomato flavor and those are the ones you’re likely to come across in Paris.

    I do recommend scouting out real tomatoes, which are unfortunately difficult to find here and you have to do some digging to come up with great ones. The only ones that I’ve reliably liked are called ‘Campari’ tomatoes. But outside of the city, especially in the south of France, the summertime tomatoes are indeed, wonderful.

    DessertforTwo: I think a layer of caramelized onions underneath is a wonderful idea. Or a sauce made of a shallot-rich French vinaigrette would be nice drizzled over the top.

    lizzie: It is funny that tarts are seen as commonplace fare in France, whereas in the states, it’s a Big Deal to make one. That easy-to-use dough does have something to do with it, but I have friends that aren’t exactly accomplished cooks that think it’s nothing to mix up a dough (without using a recipe), rolling it out, and making some sort of tart. They’re not as concerned with how perfect it looks, (such as this rustic apple & rhubarb tart), which really isn’t all that important; the flavor is!

    Will: I wrote a post about American ingredients and their French equivalents, but in short, French flour is very finely milled and powdery, similar to American cake flour. It can be tricky to work with for things like cookies, if you’re not used to it, but it does make nice tart doughs and such.

    • Charlotte

    Oh to be in France, eating this tart with iced Rose. I’m aching to try this with market Campari tomatoes…thanks for the recipe!

    • Cyndy

    Those fluted tomatoes appeared in Publix supermarkets in Florida a couple of winters ago. Unlike most winter tomatoes, they tasted almost like a summer tomato–much better than anything else in the stores in February, even the hydroponic type.

    So when I saw them at Monoprix and the outdoor market, I bought two and set them in the bowl on my kitchen table. In two days they had turned to mush and had to be thrown out, so I never got to compare the taste to the American ones.

    They sure do photograph up nicely, though!

    • my little expat kitchen

    Now, that’s a beauty! I’m still waiting for the first real tomatoes here. I’ll put them to good use making this great recipe.

    • Veronica

    Beautiful! I am totally with you on the mustard in a tomato tart — it makes all the difference (even if it’s winter and you have to use canned tomatoes and Comté in a creamy, eggy custard). Really surprised that tarts are “special occasion” food in the US — here it’s what we make when we are short of cash, ideas, ingredients, time; there are always the makings of a quiche or tarte à la moutarde in the house.

    • the lacquer spoon

    Fresh vegetables, lovely smiles and beautiful weather… all are more than perfect!

    • kate hill

    DL-your Gascon-Wiki here.
    On Tomatoes:Locals actually call these Geneovese or Italian tomatoes. The real Coeur de Boeuf (beef heart) are indeed heart shaped, smooth and as krysalia mentions they are all meat and no jelly/pulp. they are rarely grown commercially, the plants (and seeds) are a more rustic variety, spindlier and produce well all through the summer. The tomatoes we bought at the Agen market are grown locally here in dept 47, but at this time of year are from local greenhouses. Very good greenhouses.

    On my pastry: I often use an egg because I like the rich quality the deep golden yolk adds- both color & fat content. It also helps make this an easy beginner’s tarte with the egg binding the dough and providing some protection against a soggy bottom. I never blind bake these tartes, chill nor refrigerator the dough. I work fast, lightly and pop them in the hot oven (425’F).

    Oh, and don’t forget to let the mustard dry some before laying on the tomato slices.
    Best of all the summer days have started early with your inducing Tomato envy everywhere!

    • David

    Hi Kate: Thanks for chiming in..and for the delicious tart! You’re so fortunate in the south to get such nice tomatoes. The ones here in Paris often look promising, similar to the ones you get, but are sadly lackluster when you get them home and give them a taste. (Which is why so many Parisians purchase cherry tomatoes.) I think I need to move south!

    Also I did note that you bake the tart at 425ºF, although because ovens can vary, folks might want to be a bit vigilant and check the progress midway through baking, to make sure all is going well and to reduce the heat a bit if necessary.

    Remerci! xxx dl

    • Magdalena

    Hello David !
    You present one of my favorite summer tarts, I love it, and bravo for not adding cream or custard! I make my tomato tart very similarly, with addition of fresh thyme and rocamadour usually; the only difference is that I simmer tomatoes with some oil and garlic for 10-15 minutes and then I put them on my tart, so the excess of juice may evaporate a bit. This is a great recipe.

    • linda

    just put down my copy of “ready for desserts” to check in…

    wow…i am a fan of tomato tarts & your blog! so excited about the no cream & intrigued by the drizzle of blackberry honey…

    love the parisians & their dijon…great, great recipe…thanks.

    i also follow 2 stews & was so pleased to read that diane was @ your book signing!
    she lucked out!

    • Sharon

    Hello there, David,
    This tart looks amazing- I can’t wait to try it! I just finished reading your Paris book- I couldn’t put it down, and like one of your other readers comments, “laughed my ass off”, although not literally! I’m returning to France for the third time in September to celebrate a certain age ( I understand that it is the new 30!), and plan to have my birthday dinner at the Jules Verne restaurant. Any comments on this restaurant? We will also be spending half of the trip in Aix-en-Provence, my favorite place (so far!) in France. Do you have any favorite places to eat there?

    Thank you for a great book and blog!

    • Kris

    Just beautiful! I just planted my tomatoes, and this year, I’ve got an early variety – I should have fresh picked tomatoes in mid-July!

    How sad that you can’t find fresh oregano – mine is back from its winter sleep and prepared to take over the world! We’ve already cut it back and dried it twice in the past month ( ! ) I wonder if you could grow some on a windowsill?

    • Michele

    Hi David

    A quick question: in the image showing the dough being placed in the pan, (has a very small depth-of-field and it’s thrown the dough-base out of focus), have you pricked the dough base before adding the filling ingredients, or are the dents caused by the fingertips as the dough is pressed onto the pan?


    • David

    Kate presses the dough down with her fingertips, instead of pricking it with a fork, which she said is a trick she learned from her French neighbor. You could certainly do either, to ensure that it doesn’t puff up.

    • Michelle in NZ

    Dijon on the pastry base? Expect this to be wonderful!

    I use dijon as the sauce base on home made pizza (yes,of course I make my own pizza dough). This tomato and special cheese tart looks amazing – I’ll have to store the recipe away until the Southern Hemisphere’s next Summer. 6 months anticipation of the flavour will make it a recipe to savour!

    • Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle

    Everything about this is amazing. Tomatoes? Just dying for one good tomato. I live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains so at 5000′ we’re lucky to get some from the garden in September and then lucky to get them before the first freeze…so I crave just one good tomato from my childhood in the midwest where warmth and humidity had some benefits! But even the ones here can be tempted into some flavor if used in a dish like this and right now am grateful that in lieu of tomatoes I have a garden filled with herbs, including oregano. Want some?

    I’ve just recently starting using pâte brisée on a regular basis; the elegant name belies the ease of this crust and my days of even considering pulling a frozen piece of cardboard from the freezer and using it in it’s place are over…I thank YOU for that…and so does my family!

    • Ed

    Hi, David: Once again, a great post. I am going to make this over the long week-end, along with the above suggestion of sauteed onions. The picture of the flowers is just beautiful (along with the shot of the glass of rose)!

    Cheers, Ed

    • Heena @ Tiffin Tales

    If I was stranded on a deserted island and could eat only one vegetable all my life, it would be tomatoes.
    This tart looks delicious. I love recipes that let the natural flavour of tomatoes shine through. I think I might try it with a thin layer of basil or cilantro pesto instead of the mustard.

    • MJ

    A fun surprise to see Kate Hill is a friend of yours…she is also an old friend of a friend of mine (I forwarded your post to him). I learned of Kate through her wonderful cook book when I working on a boat in Spain and hoped the day would come when we would visit her – and her barge! – but that didn’t happen. Maybe one day. Great post, though I have to say when I saw the title, French Tomato Tart, I had this instant vision of one of Erte’s women in red…

    • Audrey

    What about some pesto in the tart?

    • Le Capitaine

    I love a good tomato tarte in the summer, and OMG the tomato in the fifth picture!

    Somehow I had had forgotten the trick of the mustard, thank you for the reminder. A couple other items tricks I learned from my grandmother in Provence: minced “porc salé” sprinkled on top, and chopped sweet basil layered with the tomatoes as well.

    Thank you for another wonderful post!

    Le Capitaine

    • Jean Marie

    The tomato slices on your mini tart are the prettiest I’ve ever seen. We are 4-6 weeks away from tomato season and it’s killing me. Last summer, I made many tomato tarts with the french tart dough and did brush the bottom crust with Dijon mustard. I can confirm that they are delicious with gruyere, fontina and fresh mozzarella (with fresh basil). We will be trying your goat cheese recipe too because it sounds delicious.

    • Christy

    My French host Mom always told me that tomatoes and mustard don’t go together (as in a tomato salad). I’m so happy to see that I’m not the crazy one as I think they’re yummy when coupled. I cannot wait to make this! Thanks for sharing!

    I don’t know if it’s completely wrong to reference another famous cook’s work, but Paula Deen’s Tomato Pie is yummy. It’s not fancy, but it’s pretty fantastic in its’ own way. It’s sort of the Southern version (full on fat attack) of the less-is-more French tomato tart.

    • Vicki

    You make me want to run away from my life.

    • Charles G Thompson

    This reminds me of my time in France working as an au pair. We often made a sort of faux pizza using a pate brisee (non-store bought) and ALWAYS slathered on a layer of Dijon mustard before the requisite tomato sauce and toppings. I’d forgotten all about that. It was delicious. I need to try to recreate the dish. I’ll also be trying your recipe. Merci, David!

    • Ana D

    Audrey asked about pesto instead of mustard. I do it both ways, one of each for most of my parties. They’re both a hit!

    • Cooking in Mexico


    What a treat to read Kate’s interview with you! It was almost like peeking through a little window into Gascony. Oh, for some ice cold rosé on this hot Mexican afternoon!


    • Lexi

    I’ve been stalking your blog for so long and have cooked from it loads, but have never made a comment – and the thing that has inspired me to finally do it is the gorgeous packaging on that bag of flour. Très ridicule. But really, it’s so great! I wish I could get a bag of flour like that. I’m sure it makes the pastry even better. I can’t wait to try this tart.

    • Lynanne

    David (& I think Kate gets some praise here, too!) –

    First of all, thanking you for sharing Kate’s lovely recipe. I’m testing it now in my Parisian kitchen and plan to serve in my final French class today – it’ll pair well with wine and provide something more savory when often people tend to bring sweet stuff. Plus, I made it with ‘love,’ from scratch ;-)

    The dough was so easy-as-pie as you mentioned, and I wonder, do you think it would work well in a savory quiche? I think I may have to make another tart this evening since my husband was pouting a bit this morning as I rolled the dough out, and when I told him “no, the tart is not for dinner tonight.”

    Hope to see you this evening at Sex In The City bar!


    • kaelin

    i saw this yesterday morning, bought the ingredients on my lunch break, and made it as soon as i got home from work. i didn’t add honey to the tart, so for a hint of sweet i made a fresh spinach and strawberry salad tossed in a red wine vinaigrette, and it was one of the best dinners we’ve had in a while. to me, this is the best part of summer meals…fresh, simple dishes that let you enjoy the flavors of summer produce.

    i have a feeling you’ve created a monster with this recipe, because two of my husband’s favorite things in life are heirloom tomatoes and goat cheese and i fear he’ll want me to make it every night! it doesn’t help i made the mistake of telling him it was quick and easy to prepare…

    • heather @ chiknpastry

    looks like a wonderful summer recipe! i can’t wait for more heirloom tomatoes to be out and about here in chicago – that one picture is gorgeous and had me salivating, coffee in hand :).

    • Design Wine and Dine

    I like that Kate Hill – I want to be her friend! Cahors again – the land of wine AND honey, I must go as I’ve been thinking about it ever since reading your LOT post! I can’t get enough of goat cheese so this is again, another perfect post…I’m happier to start my long weekend here (in the states) after reading…merci!

    • thepinkpeppercorn

    A beautiful tart, and beautiful tomatoes! Not much more to ask.

    • The Teacher Cooks

    You have really shamed me into making my own crust that I can very well do, but it seems to be too time consuming. The tart is beautiful and the photo of the tomato is stunning. Here we call those tomatoes ugli tomatoes. Good, but not so pretty!

    • eva

    What is the difference between rested tart dough and the un-rested one?
    Thank you.

    • heidileon

    this is exactly the kind of tomato tart that my Belle Mere makes and that my hubs loves. I haven’t done it for a while but I think I will make it soon (it will be the perfect excuse for opening several bottles of rose…ahem).

    Merci David.

    • Tim

    Made this great recipe, with huge coeur tomatoes in two levels. I cut them like puzzle pieces to fit.

    David, I have one question, though. It was quite wet when it came out of the oven. I will try draining them like eggplant slices on a rack with some salt next time. Do you have a particular solution?

    I did use bought dough, the dessert dough from monoprix, which was sweet. Oddly, with the mustard, it was amazing, if a bit wet.

    Thank you

    • David

    eva: “Rested” means to let the dough sit for a period of time before rolling it out and/or baking it. In this case, Kate did neither.

    Tim: If your tomatoes are too wet, you could drain them slightly of the juices or pat them dry with towels. Normally, as Kate mentioned, those particular tomatoes are known for being ‘meaty’, not juicy. Salting things in advances tends to extract water from them and make them soggy, so I’m not sure I would take that route. But if you do try it, let us know how they turn out.

    kris: Yes, it’s interesting that fresh oregano and marjoram are hard to find in Paris. However there is a profusion of fresh thyme, Bay leaf, and a few other herbs. Plus there are huge bunches of fresh mint, cilantro, and flat-leaf parsley which I buy (and use) often!

    • tobias cooks!

    Great tomatoes you got there. They look so tasty and juicy. Nice recipe.

    • Dr. CaSo

    Oh My God!!! I am ready to send you my bank account number if you bring me this tart, David! This must have been, by far, one of the best tarts in the whole world!

    • Dan Grossman

    David, quick photography question – it looks like some time ago you switched from using an XT to an XSi instead. For food and portrait images that aren’t blown up to large size (and assuming the same lenses are used), do you notice a significant difference between the two bodies?

    Your macro shots inspired me to upgrade my glass – now I’m debating the next step…

    Thanks in advance.

    • Aunt Snow

    Lovely! So colorful, in addition to being beautiful.

    I am going to make one for a brunch potluck we’re invited to on Monday. I hope to find some good tomatoes at a local farmer’s market. Great idea!

    • David

    Dan: I recently upgraded to a newer Rebel with a larger screen and other features. I do love it but don’t blow images up to very large sizes, so can’t advise. I also did finally shell out the bucks for the 24-70mm Canon lens, which took me a year of deliberating (!) But I really do love it, like more than a guy should love an inanimate object.

    You can read more at My Food Photography Gear.

    • Dan Bleich

    This looks great for a hot day like we have now in Denver. Think I will make it tomorrow…………but, I’m going to use your Paule Caillat (“put oil, butter, and water in oven………..) version of the tart shell. It is simple, and always comes out perfect.

    • parisbreakfasts

    Exquite light not to mention the tarte.
    Only in France can you find that lighting…
    Lovely still lifes David

    • Kazzie

    I saw the recipe and made this last night. It was delicious! Loved the mustard and goat cheese. And the crust! Usually I am terrified of pie and tart crusts, but this was easy. I didn’t have to overwork it and it stayed light and flaky. I served it with a big green salad and wonderful sauteed white local asparagus that are in season here in Germany for just a short time. I can’t wait for my own garden tomatoes to be ripe enough to make this all summer.

    Thanks David!

    • Ed

    Hi, David: Following my post of a few days ago, I made this tart yesterday (Saturday). It was awesome! I used the French tart dough method, and pre-baked the shell for about 10 minutes. The layer of dijon was a great idea, as I think it kept the moisture of the tomatoes from making the bottom soggy. I sprinkled some herbs de provance on the mustard, added the tomatoes, goat cheese, then sprinkeled with some chestnut honey and fresh thyme. I started with the oven at 375, but after 20 minutes, up it to 400. my ovens a little wacky, so I cooked it total 30 minutes. It was great, you could taste every element from the dijon, to the tomatoes, to the buttery crust.

    Thanks again for the great recipe! Ed

    • Amanda

    I made this last night for an early Alabama summer cookout. It was gone in 3 minutes. I made it free-form in a baking dish. Thank you for the recipe!!

    • The Purple Foodie

    I love this post of yours. The photos are so warm and summery and inviting. Whenever I see a bunch of colourful tomatoes, my heart skips a beat. I only wish we got them here instead of the forced ripened insipid crap.

    • Sandra Myers

    Tomato growing season is finally in full swing in the northeast–the threat of frost is long gone. This is another amazing recipe to add to a great collection of what to make with a bounty of fresh grown tomatoes–and I do have a lot growing now–from seed that I started myself, for the second year. This recipe ( yes, it is similar to a pizza!) is a real keeper!!

    • Icy Violet

    holy shamole, this looks incredible. the cheese on the tomatoes made my mouth water.

    • Sharon

    Chère David

    I wonder if my oven has a mind of its own, but really, don’t you think the crust needs pre-baking? The taste was SUBLIME even though we don’t really have summer tomatoes here yet. But if the crust had been really done, I think I would have swooned. We’ll be in Paris on July 7 and I can bring a bouquet of my oregano to you. Want it?

    • David

    Hi Sharon: The tart that Kate made, in the photos, has a well-done bottom crust, which was due to the high baking temperature. I am the kind of person that usually pre-bakes a crust, but doing it this way saves a step and also you don’t need to weigh the dough down or anything with pie weights.

    When she was making it I asked about pre-baking the crust, which she told me she doesn’t do. So I presented the recipe pretty much as she did it, although I did mention in the post that one could use the French tart dough recipe on the site, which is indeed a pre-baked crust.

    (And thanks for the oregano offer, but I loaded up at Kate’s!)

    • Jessica

    I made this for my Memorial day party and it was SO easy and everyone loved it. I used good quality store bought pie crust, Dijon, tomatoes, thyme and mozzarella and provolone cheese. I baked it the whole time at 425 and it was perfect served at room temp. Assembly took less than 10 minutes. Thanks David!

    • Sam in Philly

    I’m really looking forward to trying this tomato tarte – We should be seeing the first heirloom tomatoes here in Philadelphia soon. Though I am tempted just to use plum tomatoes from wherever simply to give the recipe a try.

    This may become a fall back recipe for me when I don’t have time to produce pizza dough.

    • zara

    This looks really good. Hope to make it one day :)

    • davidsl

    like a few other commenters, i made this this weekend. it was yummy! i used a frozen, vegan, organic prepared crust [sounds horrible, but actually quite tasty]. i made it exactly to the recipe, including the honey. the only thing i would do differently, is that i would fan the tomato slices for a nicer presentation and no exposed bottom crust. but this is a winner and will be come a summer standard in my house.

    • Tim in paris

    Re: prev. comments on wet crust. I did drain the slices for a while. I think an hour, but not intentionally that long, 30 min would work fine. And the bottom wasn’t nearly as wet.

    Great recipe.


    • Lisa

    I just whipped this tart up for my blog with Paule Caillat’s crust, and it was delicious! So simple, yet the perfect balance of flavors. Thank you for sharing another winning recipe!

    • B

    I am with Sharon, the tart was awesome but next time I would pre bake the shell

    • Christine

    David – the tomatoes are just coming out in North Carolina, so I made this for dinner tonight. It was fabulous…..thank you!!!!

    • Gina

    I made this using gruyere and chives. Thank you for another delectable, approachable recipe using just a few ingredients. I will also try this mixing gruyere with Boursin cheese. Can’t wait til the tomatoes are ripe here on the ranch to make this with lovely Black Krims!

    • Sini

    How gorgeous is that! Wonderful post. It’s getting summer, I guess.

    • Sheyla

    Made this and it was as easy to do as it looks and the taste was fabulous. We’re not getting much summer around here, in The Hague, and this dish sure brought a taste of summer to our palletes!!

    Thank you for this recipe, I’ll be adding this to my repertoire.

    • Anna

    The tomatoes are still crud, but there’s a pretty good chevre from a local farm at the market here. I think I’ll buy some Camparis at the supermarket and give it a go. It’ll be more of an Italian Tomato Tart because my basil plant is overgrowing. Thanks!

    • Melanie

    Thank you for the tart recipe! I have pots of various cherry, grape and other small tomato types growing on my patio. I seriously plan to dive right into trying this tart recipe.. is there anything more lovely or delicious than a vine ripened, sun-warmed tomato?? (we will be in Paris in September for the first time ever!)

    • marie

    i wanted to make a tomato tart for my dad’s birthday tomorrow and went ahead, bought the ingredients i thought i’d need.
    then i came home and started looking for recipes (yes, i did it that way around :D) and i was sure to find a good recipe on your site . and i was right^^
    thanks, good to know i can count on your website as an eternal source of inspiration :)

    • Nancy

    I made this tart last night and it was, needless to say, perfection! Thank you so much for the great recipe.

    • Catherine

    I finally got around to making this tart (three of them, actually) for a Sunday lunch party yesterday. I did the pastry a day ahead (tripled it, which worked fine), put it in the tins and froze it. I took it out an hour before I set up the tarts (it was a rare hot day in SF so it thawed out in perfect time). It was so simple and yummy–the flavor of the tomatoes intensified and the goat cheese was like little warm clouds. Everyone loved it!

    • Marie

    Thank you, David – I just made it, and it was every bit as delicious as I hoped it would be! We even had some rosé brought back with us from Provence to go along with it. It made us feel like we were back there again..
    Marie (Oslo)

    • Anne

    I just made the tomato tart for dinner and it was DELISH!! Thanks for sharing an awesome recipe. All of the tomato pie recipes I’ve eaten have mayo involved and this was much “cleaner.” I peeled the tomatoes and they all merged into each other. I recommend the recipe to all! The crust was easy and so good, too…

    • Iris

    We made this last weekend. After a day of moving house on a hot summer’s day, the tomato tart was so yummy! Am telling all my friends this will be my favourite summer recipe this year (with lots of chilled rosé of course!). Thank you for posting this fab dish.

    • David

    Iris: Yes, it definitely needs the chilled rosé~!

    • nari

    David, would a nice aged balsamic vinegar work in lieu of the honey? I had this beautiful tomato tart last time I was in Paris (but it didn’t have cheese and was drizzled with BV) and this recipe reminds me of that!!! I dream about it sometimes…

    Anyhoo, your pictures are always so wonderful!!! Thanks for the post!

    • Elise

    I made this yesterday for guests and everyone went absolutely crazy over it! It was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever made. I can’t wait to make it again and again! We used fresh farmer’s market tomatoes and I got the thyme from our herb garden outside. I can’t even describe how amazing it was!

    I am going to start adapting the recipe for other vegetables – was thinking it would be yummy with a mixture of yellow squash and zucchini slices instead of the tomatoes. I also think the crust would be great as a quiche crust.

    I am so excited I found this recipe – it’s going to go in my regular repertoire for sure!

    • Sophie

    Salut David!

    Merci beaucoup pour la recette! C’etait très délicieux! I spent this last year studying abroad in Montpellier, France and read/ took advice from your blog religiously. Now that I am experiencing the reverse culture shock of the USA, your recipes have become a great comfort. Thank you for feeding my appetite for good food.

    • Bare Cupboard

    I made this tart last night for my friend’s 12-year-old vegetarian son, with Fontina instead of goat’s cheese. And he loved it. Thanks for another fantastic recipe David.

    • Andrea

    I love love love a tomato tart. It was far too hot here to put the oven on, so I did it in a tart pan on the grill, which worked great (next time, I might even try a pizza stone) – no sogginess, no over-cooking, and best of all, no hot kitchen on a 90 degree night. . But I was surprised at how much I did not care for the dijon-tomato combination – perhaps my mustard did not cut the mustard? – even so, the rest was fabulous. Like the idea of the caramelized onions as a base.

    Still, I think I might go back to my favorite combo from Clothilde’s tarte tatin a la tomate recipe – olive tapenade.

    Thank you for reminding me how wonderful tomato season is!

    • Abby

    David, HELP! PLEASE!

    I have made this tart 5 times and loved it each and every time. I live in your former home area, SF Bay Area, so I have access to amazing fresh heirlooms and am loving this. However! I can’t find amazing goat cheese. I used to live in France and remember how easy it was to find lovely slightly aged goat cheese with a thin rind. The one you are using looks like it has a very thin rind and a more crumbly (less glossy) interior texture. The goat cheese I last tried I picked up at Berkeley Bowl and had a rind, but the interior had too fresh of a “goat” taste with too much of an oozing texture. Is there a certain variety or name of goat cheese I can search for? Closest I came to what I was looking for was Cowgirl Creamery fresh goat cheese, no rind but I shaped it to look similar to yours and it baked perfectly. Thank you so much David and safe travels!

    Abby from SF

    • David

    Hi Abby: Since I haven’t live in the Bay Area for many years, I don’t know any particular brands of goat cheese that are similar, but would check out the Ferry Plaza farmer’s market as there are a few producers who set up shop there and they could likely help you find one. But those soft goat cheese do work well, as you’ve found out.

    • Maleka

    What a beautiful combination, I will definately try the delicitios recipe.


    • Cecilia

    It looks so beautiful – I am making it tomorrow with the best tomatoes in the world. New Jersey tomatoes from my husband’s garden – he grows them with a passion and they are wonderful this year.

    • Mia

    A friend shared the link to this recipe. I bought local heirloom tomatoes from a local farm (2 miles), a local garlic goat cheese, and herbs from right outside my back door. I did modify the recipe and used puff pastry. I used cornmeal instead of flour to roll out the dough. It added a bit of crunch. It was wonderful!! My cousin saw my photo of it and will be making it soon.

    I have to make it again soon while I have fresh local tomatoes.

    • Elizabeth

    Well, I know it’s September but we didn’t get a lot of sun this summer, even in sunny Southern California and my BIG tomatoes didn’t ripen until recently.

    I tested tonight two mini versions, trying to decide which I like better. A traditional Dijon versus a German beer mustard ground on 700 year-old millstones (or something)? With a Piedmont chestnut honey or without? The German mustard with honey was the winner, hands down.

    I spent some time agonizing over how to swap out American flour measurements or come up with an alternate tart recipe before I realized I had a bag of King Arthur Flour’s Perfect Pastry Blend that was perfectly adequate for a straight swap. (Duh!).
    Problem solved.

    Thanks! I hope to make some folks very happy at a dinner party tomorrow.

    • Annie

    I’m an American studying French in Tours, and I’m living with une mere d’accueil. I made her the tomato tart last night and she loved it! It always feels good to impress a French person with food. Thanks David!

    • Uma

    Hello David, I made this tart free-style without the Dijon mustard (as I didn’t have any on hand). It turned out fabulous. This was the first time that I made a tart base. I feel confident about trying out other tart recipes too. Do you think I can add other fillings to the same base?

    Yes, you likely can, although I haven’t tried it personally. But if you do try it, let me know how it turns out! -dl

    • JoBeth

    Hi David!

    I made this tart with the Paule Caillat crust which honestly completely astounded me with its simplicity. I may never cut cold butter into flour ever again!

    I added a layer of sautéed onions beneath the tomatoes which on hindsight provided a teeny bit too much sourness (balsamic) to the mustard, though it still tasted good. Next time I’ll sauté the onions without balsamic.

    Also the Paule tart crust was barely enough to fill my 9″ pan. My resulting crust was light and flaky but also crumbled very easily and I thought it might be because my crust was too thin. Any tips for increasing the tart dough recipe?

    I also used fresh mozzarella (a bit too melty but still tasty) and camembert rather than goat cheese (friends didn’t like the flavor of goat cheese). In Singapore we’ve got a limited array of fresh cheeses and I couldn’t find any of the substitutes you mentioned. Are there any other cheeses you can recommend that would melt the same way as goat cheese? That will stay round and melty inside while browning outside?

    Thank you for a truly delicious recipe and for making me look good at the dinner party!

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    JoBeth: That’s interesting because I was at Paule’s and made her French tart dough this week and it was generous enough for a 9-inch tart. If you need to increase the amount, though, you can do it proportionally.

    If you can get a cheese like Haloumi, an Arabic cheese, or even Provolone, those are melting cheeses that have a bit of a tang to them.

    • Melissa

    David, I know this isn’t your tart recipe, but I want to thank you deeply for posting it.

    That’s because this dough has changed my life.

    I always hated making pastry, and even baking generally because of the exactitude required. I do cook a lot but limit the baking to brownies and cookies — easier sweets — and Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread.

    Yet since I tried this recipe a few months ago, I’ve been making it almost every weekend. (I live in Los Angeles, so delicious tomatoes are just barely still in season.) People go nuts for it, and it’s made me so happy to present something so beautiful — and so secretly easy.

    I am delighted to be able to incorporate this tart into my regular cooking rotation. If you have any suggestions more broadly for savory tarts that use this dough, I would love to hear them. Again, thank you. (And thanks to Kate Hill!)

    • Maddy

    Ah! Of course, it’s the mustard that’s missing.


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