Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tomato-Basil Tart

When summer heaps its blessings of real garden-fresh tomatoes and pungeant basil upon me, I find as many opportunities to use them in the kitchen as I can. This recipe, using a pate brise crust and your choice of cheeses, is easy to make and delicious to consume. Plus, its beautiful, simple presentation inspires hungry awe in your family and guests. I made two of these tarts for a local houseconcert a couple of weeks ago and they were very well received.


Delicious Summer Duo Tart

1 pate brise crust, pressed into a tart pan and baked in a 450 degree F. oven until crust is lightly browned and thoroughly dry.

1 1/2 cup shredded baking or melting cheese, like gruyere, swiss, mozzarella, queso fresco or feta (reduce the amount if you use feta)

4 garden-fresh roma tomatoes, cut into thin wedges and drained on paper towels

1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves

4-5 cloves of garlic

1/2 cup mayonaisse

1/4 cup grated aged cheese, like parmigiano reggiano, pecorino romano or cotija cheese

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the baking cheese into warm tart crust. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degres F. Arrange tomatoes on crust. Process basil and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Combine garlic, basil, mayonaisse, aged cheese and remaining cup of baking cheese in a bowl and spread over tomato wedges.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden on top.

Let rest for five minutes before cutting and serving.

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