Tomato Tart

I didn’t know what to make for dinner the other night. I had some tart dough tucked away in the freezer, and because I was having trouble closing the door (er…what else is new?), I realized it was time to clear some of the stuff out. But I also had some beautiful tomatoes on hand, and a tub of fromage frais (fresh spreadable cheese), which the universe seemed to be telling me that I should make a tart out of.

I’ll admit that I’m not the most creative person with tomatoes. I usually eat them just as they are; I have a hard time messing too much with heirloom tomatoes since they are so precious around here. My usual M.O. is to slice them up, drizzle them with good olive oil, sprinkle them with salt, and eat them that way. But when the stars – or ingredients – aligned in my kitchen, a Tomato Tart seemed destined for our dinner.

Once the dough was defrosted, I rolled it out then spread it with a filling I made from my fromage frais, my goal being to create a creamy, tangy, herb-flecked layer, where my pretty tomatoes would lay their heads, baking in the oven until moist and flavorful, under a blanket (but not a heavy comforter) of browned cheese. I didn’t want to make a tomato gratin – I just wanted enough to add a little crunch and contrast to the luscious tomatoes browning underneath.

Fromage frais is a French “fresh” cheese that sort of resembles mascarpone, but isn’t as rich. It’s as thick as Greek yogurt, but has more fat and acid, so it can be cooked. (Yogurt can “break” custards when baked, due to the acid in it.) Unfortunately it’s not readily available in the U.S., but you can use whole milk ricotta and stir – or better yet – purée, everything together in a food processor or blender.

Store-bought ricotta can be grainy, and blending it will help smooth it out. It’s not necessary if you don’t want to bother, but I figure that if you’re going to go through the steps of making a tart, you may as well give the filling a little extra attention, if you’re taking the ricotta route.

We liked it so much, I made this Tomato Tart a couple of times. (Plus I wanted to see if I could get it so where it could be made with ingredients, and bakeware, that’s available where you live.) The first time I used a solid tart pan, which is a standard in French households (either in metal or stoneware). But figuring many of you may not have a 10-inch (26/27cm) tart pan or quiche dish, I baked one “freestyle” on a baking sheet, and it came out just fine.

The first time I also didn’t have any fresh basil, which can be a bit hard to find in Paris. (Maybe we can do a swap for a French metal tart pan if you live somewhere where basil is bountiful?) A few vendors at the markets sell fresh basil, which is usually sold as a few stems with leaves on them, not the huge bunches you get elsewhere. I was told that’s because people here use it to make Caprese salads, where a handful of leaves are used, rather than in Soupe au pistou and other basil-forward dishes, where massive quantities are welcome, and celebrated. (When I do find big bunches, I go to town and make pesto galore.)

That little basil-theory was confirmed by the cellophane packet I bought at the supermarket, which confirmed that the basil was inspiration tomate mozzarella, backed up by a picture of the aforementioned salade, and a few crostini, I guess so you’d know what to do in case you have a couple of basil leaves leftover.

Whether you bake this Tomato Tart in a tart pan, quiche dish, or on a baking sheet, because of the wobbly nature of the filling, it’s easiest to cut this tart when it’s cooled down considerably. Romain actually said this tomato tart was better the second day, when it was rechaufée‘d. He also said he preferred it with the mixture of parsley and thyme, rather than basil, which would have saved me a trip to the grocery store for that basil.

Tomato Tart
Print Recipe
6 servings
I baked mine in a 10 1/2-inch (26/27cm) solid tart pan. It can also be baked in a stoneware quiche dish or on a baking sheet. If using a tart pan with a removable bottom, you may want to bake it on a parchment - or foil-lined baking sheet, to catch any drips. (Mine didn't drip, but you never know...) Either fromage frais or whole milk ricotta can be used.One thing to remember is that when this tart is hot from the oven, it'll be tricky to get perfect slices out of it. Don't let that deter you if you want to serve it soon after taking it out of the oven, when the cheese is oozing and melty. Remember, it's your guest's job to enjoy themselves, not to be food critics : )That said, it's great served just slightly warm or at room temperature, and fine reheated the next day as well.
For the dough
1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (4 oz, 115g) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
6 tablespoons (90ml) ice water
For the tomato topping
4 medium (or 3 large) fresh tomatoes, about 1 1/2 pounds (680g)
salt
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
freshly grated black pepper
1 cup (90g) finely grated Gruyère, or another Swiss-style cheese, such as Comté, Emmenthal, or Jarlsberg
For the filling
1 1/2 cups (360g) fromage frais or whole milk ricotta
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil, or 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley and 2 to 3 teaspoons minced fresh thyme, plus additional fresh herbs to chop and scatter over the finished tart
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 large egg
1/3 cup (30g) grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly grated black pepper
generous pinch cayenne
1. To make the tart dough, mix the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (You can also make it in a food processor, or by hand, using a pastry blender.) Add the cold butter and mix until the butter pieces are the size of peas.
2. Add the ice water and continue to mix just until the dough comes together. Gather the dough with your hands, shape it into a disk, wrap it plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
3. Cut the tomatoes into 1/2-inch (2cm) slices and set them in a colander, sprinkling them very lightly with a little bit of salt as you lay them in. Let tomatoes drain for about for 30 minutes.
4. Make the filling. If using fromage frais, stir it together with the mustard, fresh herbs (parsley and basil, or parsley and thyme or tarragon), 2 minced garlic cloves, the egg, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and cayenne, until smooth. If using whole milk ricotta, mix all the ingredients together, except for the herbs, in a blender or food processor, until smooth, then stir in the herbs by hand. (It's not imperative to puree the ricotta first, although it does help it lose any graininess store-bought ricotta can have.)
5. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (205ºC).
6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to a 14-inch (36cm) circle and fit it into a 10-inch (26/27cm) tart pan or quiche dish. Let the overhang of dough rest hanging over the edge of the pan. Spread the tart filling over the bottom of the dough in an even layer.If using a baking sheet, lay the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 2-inch (5cm) band of dough around the filling, with no filling on it, that you'll be using to fold over the tomatoes.
7. Line a dinner plate with a few layers of paper towels. Remove the tomatoes from the colander and, working in batches, set a few tomatoes at a time on the paper towels to remove excess moisture, then arrange them in overlapping circles over the filling. Continue preparing and arranging the tomatoes the same way in the pan.Places the pieces of sliced garlic over the tomatoes. Grind a little black pepper over the tomatoes. Take the overhang of tart dough, hanging over the edges of the pan, and fold it over the tomatoes to enclose them to make a crust. Bake for 15 minutes.
8. Remove the tart from the oven and sprinkle the tart, including the crust, with the grated Gruyère and bake until the tart is golden brown on top, for another 20 to 30 minutes. (Mine took 30 minutes in the tart pan, and 20 minutes baked freestyle, on the baking sheet.) Remove from the oven and let cool until the tart is cooled down, or tepid. If you've baked the tart on a baking sheet (i.e.; freestyle) as soon as it's cooled and firm up enough to hold together, slide the tart off the baking sheet and onto a wire cooling rack.Sprinkle with additional fresh herbs, and serve. You can serve the tart warm but it'll be a bit of a challenge to cut into neat pieces.

Serving: Serve with a green salad, steamed green beans, or another favorite vegetable.

 

 

A summer tart using fresh tomatoes and herbs

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114 comments

  • Judith Bluysen
    August 7, 2019 11:27am

    Maybe not in supermarkets, but in the omni-present fruit and veggie stores (Vergers), fresh basil abounds in Paris, either in soil-filled pots you can keep in the sun and regrow leaves from snipped stems, or in cut bunches large enough for pesto-making. Last year my €6 investment in a pot yielded fresh basil all summer long.

    • August 7, 2019 11:41am
      David Lebovitz

      A while back, Monoprix at St. Paul was selling those giant bunches of Italian basil, and I kept buying them, although they didn’t show up in subsequent years. I’ve purchased those potted basil plants but never was able to get them to propagate much. When some did in my outdoor planter box, the leaves were quickly swiped. A neighbor said someone also took a whizz in the box, so I decided best not to eat anything grown out there ; )

      • wendy
        August 7, 2019 5:12pm

        Hahaha!

      • Anne
        August 12, 2019 2:56pm

        Hi David, I’m just back from my annual Provence vacation and your tomato tart recipe couldn’t have been better timed. I’d really love to try it at home in the States, but I confess I don’t have the energy (read: skill) to make the dough myself. I live outside Philadelphia and have access to very good supermarkets – can you please advise what type of dough I should buy? Not sure if you used a sweeter dense dough, something flakier, etc. Thank you!

        • August 12, 2019 3:06pm
          David Lebovitz

          hi Anne, I don’t know what kind of pre-made doughs are available in the States. People say Dufour makes very good frozen puff pastry, which would work (I think they sell it at Whole Foods) or another brand. I know that some pie crusts are available already rolled out and frozen (and some sold in “sticks”) but as for brands, I can’t really answer. Perhaps other readers can chime in if they recommend a good brand?

          • SP
            August 12, 2019 5:43pm

            Trader Joe’s also has a decent frozen puff pastry dough that doesn’t have preservatives or anything like Pepperidge Farm’s.

    • Karin Pereira
      August 7, 2019 3:46pm

      Perfect, I was just going to tell David: Try growing your own basil. I am using seedsheet.com for the best seeds in all my herbs growing happily on the patio. Granted, I live in Texas but my daughter uses them in Brussels and has a wonderful harvest on her patio.

    • Jessica
      August 7, 2019 6:34pm

      There’s pretty much always basil at Terriors d’Avenirs

    • Patrycia
      August 11, 2019 12:16am

      Daviiiiid, boa noite.
      Acabo de ler pela segunda vez seu livro A Doce Vida em Paris…
      Adorei! De novo! Passei 4 dias adoráveis em Paris e sim, fui na Poilane! Mas deveria ter seu livro ao lado nessa época, assim aproveitaria mais!
      Como gostaria de conhecê-lo! Bj!

  • Maryl
    August 7, 2019 11:29am

    It looks & sounds delish, especially with fresh garden Rutger tomatoes! Rutger tomatoes are heavenly grown in the summer in Ohio! Great idea for a new twist on dinner!

    • Elizabeth Lincoln
      August 7, 2019 4:25pm

      I make a variation of this from a recipe found years ago (source unknown) that adds cornmeal to the crust for a delightful crunch, and has a filling of grated fresh mozzarella, Monterey Jack cheese and fresh basil topped with sliced tomatoes. It’s a highlight of August here in Oregon when tomatoes finally flood the markets. And luckily I can grow basil like mad on my very sunny deck!

  • Benni
    August 7, 2019 11:33am

    I also live in a country where basil is the price of gold. Also, by the time you take it home (15 minutes), most of the leaves are black and rotten. I now buy basil plants. Keep them indoors, water often. They cost way less than those dumb packages and last much longer. Oh, and I love the way the French write “Inspiration” on the package. Increases the price….

  • Elfreda Pownall
    August 7, 2019 11:41am

    David, this looks wonderful. Can you make it with a tart base that you bake blind? Or does it need the squidginess of a softer base?

    • August 7, 2019 11:48am
      David Lebovitz

      Sure, you could do it that way. Not sure how you’d deal with the overhang of dough that gets folded over to make the crust, which I like as it adds some crispness, but guess you could trim it off first and just bake as a standard tart.

  • Nitsa
    August 7, 2019 11:50am

    Hi from Israel,
    Fromage fraich is what we call here white cheese?( soft)

    • רן
      August 7, 2019 5:39pm

      כן ניצה :)

      • Jenniferc
        August 15, 2019 5:26pm

        I made this David, making my first tart dough and entire tart – from scratch! Pretty fool proof I used two packets of Boursin instead of the ricotta and it turned out great. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  • August 7, 2019 12:42pm

    A few weeks ago I made something like this in the form of tarte soleil. I put a bowl in the center of the tart dough, spread the fromage frais around the ring that was left, layered on zucchini and tomatoes, then removed the bowl, cut the inner circle into wedges and folded those back over the vegetables. Looks fantastic for guests.
    I also like a tomato tarte tatin, either with sliced tomatoes all pretty, or multicolored cherry tomatoes. Tip: don’t turn it over until you’re ready to serve, or else the crust gets soggy.

  • Debra
    August 7, 2019 12:47pm

    https://www.aerogarden.fr/

    Grow your own herbs indoors. These are wonderful as long as you can remember to add water, a little plant food once every two weeks. A little marvel!

    • August 7, 2019 1:05pm
      David Lebovitz

      I tend to use herbs in big, generous handfuls, so small indoor pots wouldn’t provide enough : )

      Do you like using one of those Aerogardens? I’ve seen them advertised but the price is so steep. And it looks like you have to buy “pods” of seeds to grow, too.

      • Debra
        August 7, 2019 5:10pm

        I love it! They take a while to get going, but then they produce a lot of herbs. All organic and they taste really good.

      • Nikki
        August 8, 2019 1:25am

        They do have pods where you can use your own seeds. I have been gifting Aerogardens of varying sizes to family and friends for the past few years – many of them live in small apartments with not a lot of room for enjoying the simple pleasures of plants. And Debra is right – once you get your plants going, they almost seem to multiply like rabbits! Hopefully you’ll be able to get one soon – or, send hints to your friends to get you one! :D

    • Anna
      August 7, 2019 8:37pm

      Vertical gardens are another option especially if you need to maximize space. There are lots of designs and DIY options available. (I grew mint this way until my cat had other ideas.)

  • August 7, 2019 1:24pm

    This year for the first time anyone can remember basil is really booming in the Touraine. A guy from a nearby village has started coming to our market with excellent pesto, so I am buying from him.

  • Fazal Majid
    August 7, 2019 2:12pm

    You should try making a pissaladière, a tomato and onion tart from Provence. No dairy, but very delicious.

  • Adriana Gutierrez
    August 7, 2019 2:19pm

    When chanterelle mushrooms are in season I make a similar ricotta tart with a creamy chanterelle and blue cheese topping. I think I will be making a half-and-half tart with the last of my chanterelles- half chanterelle, half tomato! Yum!

  • Jill
    August 7, 2019 2:42pm

    My favorite part of this entry is that you, like me, often have trouble closing the refrigerator door! But I do look forward to trying the tomato tart!

    • Nawan
      August 8, 2019 9:57pm

      Do you think quark or maybe farmer’s cheese would be a good swap?

  • August 7, 2019 2:46pm

    This sounds like a delightful rendition of a southern tomato pie – ours sounds less fancy huh! In a southern tomato pie the filling, which contains Duke’s mayo and a generous helping of fresh herbs along with a sharp cheese and a dash of hot sauce, tops the pie to brown. I’m definitely going to make yours next. One can never have too many tomato pie/quiche/tarts during the summer! In this hot Ozark climate growing basil is like growing weeds. Plenty. Thank you.

  • August 7, 2019 3:01pm

    What about soft cheeses like Alouette or Boursin in the US? They have French names but are probably made here.

    • August 7, 2019 4:32pm
      David Lebovitz

      I haven’t tried those but you could certainly try one of them. If so, I’d dial back on the salt and other seasonings, as they likely contain it. If you do try one of those, or another, let us know how it works out.

      • Margaret
        August 8, 2019 4:32am

        What about using creme fraiche? I can get that at Central Market in Texas.

        • August 8, 2019 9:09am
          David Lebovitz

          I think it’s possible, if you can’t get ricotta, but crème fraîche is very rich stuff. If you give it a try, let us know how it works out.

    • CarolG
      August 7, 2019 6:12pm

      I did a tomato tart just last week using Boursin. Very, very similar to David’s version. I added 1 egg and about 1/3 cup Creme Fraiche (Bellweather Farms), along with chopped herbs (thyme, chives, parsley) from my garden, to get the right consistency. Almost everything else was the same :-). My husband even ate the leftovers for dessert!

    • Naomi D.
      August 10, 2019 5:13pm

      The base of Boursin is cream cheese and butter, with some parmesan cheese and herbs. You can find a recipe online. That much butter would probably really flow in the oven.

  • RVM
    August 7, 2019 3:29pm

    I had to smile at this tarte recipe. Recently, I brought a new-home dinner to a friend which included a tomato tarte. He, who has France in his spring-summer veins, said, “oh, that’s so French!”
    There are endless variations. For that one, I used almond flour, coconut oil, an egg, and salt/pepper for the crust, then layered tomatoes, caramelized onion and goat cheese over it, with basil, of course (I grow it on my high porch, but have to share with a tiny pale green praying mantis). The tarte cut well (and saved well enough for breakfast, I hear).

    • August 7, 2019 4:31pm
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, the French do a lot of tarts. Part of it is that ready-made dough is easily available, sold in rolls, in grocery stores, and while I prefer to make my own pastry, the pre-made doughs make things a lot easier. There’s a simple French tomato tart that’s basically a base of mustard, tomatoes, and goat cheese on top (as you did), that’s very simple, but you’re right – there are endless variations!

  • Rosey
    August 7, 2019 4:52pm

    Looks wonderful. Love the ricotta and Pecorino ingredients…right up my alley!

  • August 7, 2019 4:57pm

    Well, it’s that time of year. Last weekend we made a tomato tart with ricotta and pesto — the recipe just appeared in the NY Times. It uses a half box of puff pastry. What to do with the other half ? Easy solution: make another one this weekend.

  • Linda C
    August 7, 2019 5:31pm

    This tart looks heavenly! I believe I can make it, except for the crust. I don’t have a mixer. Can I purchase tart dough somewhere here in Paris? If so, can you give me specifics, please? I just acquired you “MyParis Kitchen” and I’m having so much fun reading all the fabulous recipes.

    • Maria
      August 7, 2019 5:55pm

      Linda, try Picard: they have several different frozen pastry options that are “pure beurre” and pretty decent.

  • Benni
    August 7, 2019 6:01pm

    Hi David. Do you think this could be made into a crustless quiche or will it be too watery?

  • PF
    August 7, 2019 6:29pm

    For us obsessive DIYers, there are recipes for fromage frais/fromage blanc online. Technically, fromage frais has active cultures; fromage blanc does not. I’d think you can also make it from yogurt cheese (yogurt hung in cheesecloth to remove they whey, which is acidic) or labneh.

  • Shell
    August 7, 2019 6:58pm

    Ive made a variation; a thin layer of grainy mustard and basil spread on the tart shell under the cheese. And a little bit of brown sugar sprinkled over the tomatoes.Doesnt sound like it would work together but they do.

  • Linda Ravden
    August 7, 2019 7:49pm

    This looks so delicious..thank you. I LOVE tomato tarts. I often use Boursin Cheese for mine which is easily spreadable and ready flavored – I like the shallot and chive one which goes great with our wonderful summer tomatoes! I do another rectangular pie where I score the puff pastry like drawing a picture frame and blind bake it with an egg wash and sprinkle of Maldon salt. After baking the “frame” part puffs up and you can push down the inside to make it flat ready for your filling of tomatoes, asparagus, caramelized onions – all pre oven roasted, and a herbed goat cheese and fresh thyme. Top with grated parmesan and bake again for 10-15 minutes. I sometimes add shredded cooked chicken at the end for extra protein. Delish!

    • Julie
      August 17, 2019 7:25pm

      Made this tart this weekend and it is DELICIOUS!!!

      Would it travel well uncooked if I wanted to cook it at a party? Or would I be better to reheat it? Any suggestions?

      • September 2, 2019 4:50pm

        I made two this weekend for a party and then they were never served so we’ve been happily eating the leftovers. Because I put them in the fridge, I warmed them slightly (just enough to make the cheese glisten) in the oven and then topped them with some fresh arugula that had been tossed with a mild vinaigrette. Like most tomato dishes, the leftovers might have been better than the original.

  • Sue
    August 7, 2019 8:23pm

    I have an abundance of heirloom tomatoes and had the rest of the ingredients on hand so I gave this a try. Just pulled it at of the oven. Looks beautiful and smells delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Anna
    August 7, 2019 8:32pm

    We have an abundance of basil right now (and tomatoes). I would happily trade for a tart pan. This sounds delicious. The last fresh tomatoes I had were destined for sandwiches and bruschetta.

  • August 7, 2019 8:40pm

    More question than comment. When I follow recipes and I see a part such as the layers of paper towels and tomatoes to soak up excess water, I say to myself, why not put down a layer of sliced tomatoes, a couple more paper towels, another layer, and so on. Sometimes my modifications don’t work out the way I thought they would. Any reason not to do multiple layers of damp tomatoes?

    • August 8, 2019 9:12am
      David Lebovitz

      I’d imagine if you stacked layered them all on top of each other, they wouldn’t dry out. I also don’t like using too many paper towels.

  • May
    August 7, 2019 9:42pm

    Josceline Dimbleby has a wonderful tomato tart recipe in her imaginative “Almost Vegetarian” cookbook that she wrote a couple of decades ago (out of print but well worth Amazoning). She uses her delicious recipe for an olive oil crust, which would probably work just as well for a free-form tart, as it’s very forgiving! Now a family favourite.

  • August 8, 2019 12:53am

    Thank you for this glorious recipe – perfect for August here in western Massachusetts. And thank you, too, for your kindness in suggesting alternatives (the ricotta cheese, the free-form style) for those of us who rely on a rural New England general store for nearly everything.

  • rose
    August 8, 2019 2:51am

    I think I would also prefer the thyme/parsley option over basil, which sometimes dominates tomatoes, imo.

    But my question is: HOW did you get such a gorgeous char on your tomatoes without destroying the crust or cheese? Is this an instance of blogging magic that I should politely not notice? But this is often my issue on another tomato topped dish I make – I’ve taken to just making it sans crust which works but here you want a crust!

    • August 8, 2019 9:11am
      David Lebovitz

      That’s how it looked when I took it out of the oven. Drying and salting the tomatoes and topping it with a firm grating cheese (with low moisture content) helped with the browning.

      • rose
        August 9, 2019 4:32am

        drying! . . .noted. I do salt – but I think the drying is a great tip, thank you.

  • Sarahb1313
    August 8, 2019 8:44am

    I so wish we had fromage frais in the US (other than at Zabars which is too far from me). Ricotta is the obvious substitute, but clearly lacks that wonderful sweet cheesy flavor!

  • carole paxton
    August 8, 2019 12:33pm

    I was surprised that you didn’t blind bake the pastry .. any reason for that?

    • Bobbie
      September 2, 2019 6:41pm

      Hello! I love every one of your recipes I have tried and I hate to be *that* person but… I live in the US and I use King Arthur flour. According to their website, a full cup of unbleached flour weighs 120 grams so, I should weigh out 180 grams to make one and a half cups or use 210 grams? The dough is chilling in the fridge and I think I messed up converting a cup and half to grams according to King Arthur. It was very soft so perhaps I can let it chill and then add the last 30 grams of flour without it getting too tough. Otherwise, I’ll start over have it for dinner instead of lunch.

      Thank you for what looks to be an amazing tart!

  • Toni
    August 8, 2019 1:26pm

    David, Could you use whipped cream cheese (there’s even one with herbs) for the fromage frais?

  • Gitika
    August 8, 2019 4:52pm

    Hi David,
    Can I use Cottage cheese instead of Ricotta? As Ricotta is not easily available.

  • Pam
    August 8, 2019 6:10pm

    David-the tart was delicious. Yours seemed so brown on top. I did not get that. Did you broil it at the end?

    • August 9, 2019 11:15am
      David Lebovitz

      I didn’t broil it. Mine came out like that in my standard oven but you could broil it briefly if you want to get it browner.

    • Hele
      August 12, 2019 5:02pm

      We made the tart last night and had the same issue of not browning so I did broil it a bit though I was concerned the edges would brown too much as I created a galette. Lovely taste but very rich.

  • Linn
    August 8, 2019 6:52pm

    I couldn’t find whole milk ricotta but grocery store had quark — would that work?

  • Linn
    August 8, 2019 8:10pm

    The grocery store also had Boursin but said Quark was closest to Fromage frais. What do you recommend?

    A friend gave me a recipe years ago to make tomato salad when I have a surplus of cherry tomatoes in my garden. It’s delicious, simple and I’ve never gotten tired of it. Cut cherry tomatoes in half, add salt and pepper, a squeeze of lime juice, chopped basil, and grated Parmesan cheese — that’s it. I think you’ll love it.

  • Jean White
    August 8, 2019 8:36pm

    David~
    I admire your diligence.
    I have made similar item for several years by thawing a Trader Joe’s puff pastry sheet, shaping it with a fork around the edges, spreading it with Boursin, placing the tomatoes, and sprinkling with cheese. I have used less cheese but may use more.
    Asparagus spears also make a lovely dish. Looks like you slaved hours.
    You are a food writer. I’m only a wannabe.

  • Vik
    August 8, 2019 9:40pm

    Is a 1” tall tart pan deep enough — it looks like your pan is a bit deeper.

  • August 9, 2019 3:56am

    This tart is beautiful and sounds so tasty! I’d be more than happy to send you a metal tart pan with removable bottom if you like from the states. I think the one you used though looks great!
    I will definitely be trying this. Thank you for sharing.

  • August 9, 2019 10:57am

    I would love to paint this. The colors of Heritage tomatoes are such an August thing..

  • August 9, 2019 11:19am
    David Lebovitz

    Hi All – For questions about substituting other cream-based products for the filling, tested this recipe only with the two that I mentioned; ricotta is available in almost every supermarket in America, and most (or many) in Europe. If you want to try another dairy product, I’d shoot for one in the range of 8-15% fat. (Higher fat products like mascarpone and crème fraîche may be too rich.) If yours has less fat than 8%, like cottage cheese, maybe blend it with an equal amount of cream cheese? I haven’t tried or tested other dairy products (or products like Boursin, etc) but if you do, feel free to let us know in the comments how they work out.

    • rose
      August 14, 2019 5:41am

      i’m dairy-free and used a savory cashew creme I make and it worked perfectly fine, as usual. this type of recipe is very adaptable.

  • Nancy
    August 9, 2019 1:30pm

    We had this for dinner last night and loved it. I made it free-form, but will probably use a removable-bottom tart pan next time to slide it more easily onto a cooling rack so it doesn’t get too soggy. This will definitely be a summer staple to showcase the overabundance of tomatoes, parsley and basil from our garden. Thanks, David!

  • Katherine
    August 9, 2019 5:33pm

    This was delicious and so easy. I had homemade ricotta on hand, so I skipped the blender step to purée the ricotta. I also used my removable bottom tart pan and no leaks! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Great way to use all these summer tomatoes!

    • August 10, 2019 9:18am
      David Lebovitz

      Appreciate your letting us know the removable-bottom pan worked well. (I hadn’t tried it in mine, but always concerned about leaks.) Happy you’ll be making it again!

  • Andrea
    August 9, 2019 9:38pm

    David, have you tried any middle eastern markets? I’ve found that they sell herbs in huge bunches for much cheaper here in the States.

    • August 10, 2019 9:20am
      David Lebovitz

      Middle Eastern markets in France are very good for finding big bunches of mint, flat-leaf parsley, and cilantro (coriander) but they usually don’t carry other fresh herbs.

  • susan
    August 10, 2019 3:47am

    Hi David – I made this tonight and it was delicious – used the recipe without making any changes and did a freeform. The recipe said to puree the ricotta mixture but didn’t mention the addition of the herbs (which I only thought about after the tomatoes were on). I just scattered them all over the top. The house smells like heaven. Thank you!

    • August 10, 2019 9:15am
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks for letting me know that it worked out! At the end of step #4, it says to stir in the herbs by hand (I don’t like whirling them in the machine because they’ll get too fine) but glad it worked out : )

  • Ellen
    August 10, 2019 8:26pm

    Hello David, I am puzzled because in the photo showing the crust with the fromage frais being spread in, the crust looks like it has already been baked. However, unless I missed something, there are no directions to blind bake the crust first. Thanks.

  • Ali
    August 11, 2019 12:41am

    My tart pan seems kind of shallow — about 1″, should I use one that is 1.5 or 2″? Sorry for such a basic question — I’m new at this. Your recipe and photos look delicious and I can’t wait to make it. Thanks!

  • Kay
    August 11, 2019 1:42am

    Would rave, but writing a comment is a huge nightmare.

  • Carly
    August 11, 2019 11:57am

    I made this tart for dinner tonight after seeing it on the insta story, so good!! We all enjoyed it, and finished it off with the cherry clatoufi. Thank you for a delicious dinner.

  • August 11, 2019 12:39pm
    David Lebovitz

    Carly: Glad you enjoyed it!

    Ali: I didn’t measure the sides but this is the tart pan that I used.

    Ellen: The instructions are correct. The tart dough is not baked before filling. If it was, you wouldn’t be able to fold the dough over the tomatoes to enclose the tart ; )

    • Ali
      August 11, 2019 6:42pm

      Thank you David, I looked up your Tefal 27cm (10.5”) tart pan on Amazon and it’s about 1.5” deep.

  • Ali
    August 11, 2019 6:43pm

    Sorry I meant to say it’s about 1.25” deep

  • Lhurley
    August 12, 2019 3:56am

    I made my own ricotta and used parsley and basil as the herbs. 11” tart pan that I blind baked for 20 minutes. Substituted black pepper for sugar in the crust. My husband has eaten half of it and is raving about how delicious it is.

  • Penelope Rice
    August 12, 2019 10:46am

    Just made this for dinner in Australia. Very yummy. About to leave for five weeks in France, the last two in Paris. Looking forward to all I love including food, wine and fashion.

  • Gavrielle
    August 12, 2019 12:25pm

    Hey David, I flipped on the BBC World Service yesterday (my go-to when cooking!) in the middle of an interview with some food bloggers. I was just wondering “Who’s that guy that’s making a lot of sense?” when they said “David” and so of course I instantly knew who it was. Thanks for an informative and entertaining interview! Re the question about sponsorship, my $.02: I have no objection at all to a blogger I trust doing sponsored work, as I know they won’t recommend something they don’t actually like. I’ve seen it work particularly well when a blogger is asked to do recipe development for a sponsor. Provided the sponsored posts are clearly marked, why not, I say – you have to make a living, after all. So if anyone does ask you, I say go for it:).

    • August 12, 2019 3:09pm
      David Lebovitz

      Glad you liked the interview! The sponsorship question is interesting and so far, I haven’t had any sponsored posts yet but if there was a product that I use, like, and recommended, I think it’s okay to be a spokesperson for it. (I recommend certain brands that I like and use regardless.) Thanks for chiming in!

  • MJ
    August 13, 2019 2:09am

    I made this for dinner and it was delicious. I went with extra smooth ricotta so I didn’t put it in the food processor and there was no graininess that I or others could detect. The leftovers reheated beautifully, as promised. I’ll definitely be making this again. And as a huge plus a tomato agnostic declared it excellent too.

  • Bonnie
    August 13, 2019 6:15am

    I just made this tomato tart tonight using halved heirloom baby tomatoes—gorgeous. I would add a bit more grated topping cheese next time. This recipe is a “keeper”! Bravo David!

  • Rosemary
    August 13, 2019 2:20pm

    Years and years ago, there was a smooth cottage cheese in the stores. Popular product for weight watchers who used it on our toast in the morning. No longer available, I often put my cottage cheese in the Vitamix or processor. This is the cheese I will use in place of fromage frais. Milder and looser probably but often I use it in place of ricotta.

  • Karen
    August 15, 2019 8:39am

    Looks fantastic! American in Paris planning to prepare this for her French friend (so the tomato tart bar is set high!) on Wednesday – do you have reheating/re-serving advice? I would like to make it ahead Tuesday evening. Merci!

  • donna
    August 16, 2019 6:16pm

    I made this last night for a beekeeping meeting potluck. It was AMAZING! Solidly 5 stars. I doubled it and baked it free form. Used my parsley, thyme and basil all together, my own garlic and beautiful heirloom tomatoes. it really was beautiful and tasted so great! So many people were telling me how good they thought it was and one person even asked if they could take what was left! That’s the best compliment. Thanks David for yet another great recipe! I am so glad it is tomato season here!!!!

    • donna
      August 16, 2019 6:21pm

      I also wanted to comment that I had made my crust the day before and put it in the fridge overnight (Time issues). It cracked a bit when I turned the edges over and although I tried my best with sealing them, I couldn’t fix them all. But it didn’t run out the way a quiche would have. It seemed a very well-behaved filling.

  • Shari Mauthner
    August 17, 2019 4:53am

    Next time you have some luscious ripe ‘maters, try Gavurdağı Salatası, Turkish tomato salad with pomegranate molasses, sumac, and walnuts. It’s too yummy for words.

    • Lauren
      August 29, 2019 5:30pm

      Thanks for the idea Shari, I have this pomegranate molasses and did not know it paired well with tomatoes. Will try soon!

  • August 19, 2019 10:17am

    Hi David,
    I did indeed paint the other tomato tarte with chevre and showed a photo vignette + link on my recent blog. How to ask permission except in the comments here? I hope I did not infringe on rights etc.? Please let me know if I did. Thank you in advance.
    http://parisbreakfasts.blogspot.com/2019/08/august-paris-letter.html

  • Lee
    August 19, 2019 6:47pm

    Another thumbs up for this recipe from Canada. My local market had something called extra smooth ricotta that worked perfectly. The filling can take a lot of herbs. I used parsley, basil and chives. I made the dough and filling the day before. Did it as a free form galette. The left overs can be warmed up and taste delicious. BRAVO.

  • HT
    August 19, 2019 6:51pm

    This recipe is INCREDIBLE. It tastes like lasagna pie. My favorite part was the crispy, golden-brown-and-delicious cheese (Comte, as recommended) that baked onto crust edges. I will make this tart every tomato season for the rest of my life, I think.

  • Maria Planting
    August 20, 2019 1:24pm

    If it would be possible, I would love to attach a picture of this beautiful tart. Magnificent! Thank you David! A new favourite to our family. 1/2 ricotta, 1/2 Philadelphia cream cheese works. 1/3 whole wheat (graham), 1/3 white wheat flour works too.
    Maria from Finland

  • Tiffany
    August 20, 2019 10:14pm

    David! I’ve been following your site/IG and recipes for a while but THIS tart has got to be my favourite! Recently moved to France so was very lucky to buy all the ingredients fresh and in season…. including my garden grown basil and parsley! I made it twice in one week as it was a big hit and couldn’t resist cooking in season to make the most out of fresh produce. Love it! Thank you!!!

  • Ben
    August 23, 2019 1:32am

    Thank you for an excellent recipe. Fromage frais is not available around Cleveland, so I made the recipe at https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/homemade-fromage-blanc-3645530. I believe fromage blanc pretty much the same thing? I had tart crust dough I’d previously made in the freezer, so the extra effort to make the cheese wasn’t so bad. My wife and I loved the end result. I’ve made tomato tarts in August for years, and your recipe was the best I’ve made: a perfect amount and variety of cheese and the mustard adds a subtle undertone rather than dominating. I will definitely make this again.

  • Kathryn Kinder
    August 26, 2019 5:46pm

    Made this for dinner with some fantastic farmer’s market tomatoes. It was quite easy (including the pastry) and very tasty. I used ricotta cheese, but I think I’ll try to find fromage frais next time (Formaggio nearby probably carries it). Thank you!

  • Laurie
    August 29, 2019 5:28pm

    Where I’m from, tarte à la tomate is the simplest thing: homemade pie crust, Dijon mustard, tomatoes. Maybe with a bit of thyme. I do add cheese sometimes but feels it steals the show a bit. I think ricotta is a great idea though, as it’s so mild, and will try it soon!

  • Virginia
    September 2, 2019 3:47pm

    Oh, David… It’s 8:00 am, pouring rain on a harvest of tomatoes on my patio that are on still on the vine, and there’s a lovely tart pastry disc in my (also bulging) freezer, left from yesterday’s Summer Fruit Tart w/ Almond Cream AND half a container of fresh ricotta I was wondering how I’d use. Now, where is my umbrella? Do you really have to be SO inspirational?

  • Marianne
    September 2, 2019 4:17pm

    Hi David. This tart looks brilliant. I am gluten/grain-free. Do you have a substitute for regular flour? Would a mix of almond and coconut flours work? Maybe quinoa?

    • September 2, 2019 4:28pm
      David Lebovitz

      I don’t know anything about gluten-free baking substitutes but there are companies like Bob’s Red Mill, cup4cup and King Arthur that carries them. If you’re gluten-free they might be worth investigating and stocking in your pantry. If you try one, let me know how it turns out.

  • Jayne Cookson
    September 2, 2019 8:56pm

    Great recipe, David. The crust was the easiest I’ve ever prepared, and at 87, I’ve made a few.

  • Gerry Schlehofer
    September 3, 2019 3:30am

    What a fantastic tart and well-written recipe. And, a perfect crust. I made it this morning to take to a holiday get-together. Everyone raved about it and it was almost all gone before it made its way around the table!

  • Pam
    September 3, 2019 8:52pm

    Great recipe.

    I can’t eat dairy anymore, and so I decided to test this recipe using vegan nut cheese spread (similar in texture and density to cream cheese) and ricotta, separately. I divided the dough in half, used the nut cheese for one half and the vegan ricotta for the other. For both, I used vegan parmesan (shredded style, not the grated) for the filling and as a sub for the gruyere. I did not process the ricotta to make it smooth, as I was concerned that it might not behave like real ricotta under that type of stress. I also baked the tart for 25-30 minutes and then sprinkled with the vegan parmesan and baked until the parmesan melted (I forget how much longer). I was concerned the vegan parmesan would melt sooner than gruyere, so baking longer up-front helped ensure that the tart was fully baked by the end.

    Both worked! No tomato leakage through the crust, crust was wonderfully crisp, even as leftovers. Both had great flavor, with the nut cheese being richer than the ricotta. I preferred the ricotta, as it let the freshness of the tomatoes shine. But both were delicious.

    Thank you for another great recipe!

    • September 5, 2019 11:13am
      David Lebovitz

      Hi Pam, Thanks for letting us know how you were able to make it non-dairy and vegetarian. There are a number of dairy alternatives out there so appreciate your reporting back on which worked! : )