Tomato Pie or Tomato Tart? Such is the difficult question of summer when tomatoes are at their peak of ripeness, full of flavor and plentiful in the garden.
We surveyed tomato lovers and found that a tomato pie or tart is a refreshing summer meal and can be quite versatile. Use any tomatoes, use a store-bought crust on a favorite from-scratch recipe. Served as an appetizer, side dish or main dish, are all equally popular. Below is a favorite recipe we’ve adapted from a Southern Living classic.
Bacon and Tomato Pesto Tart
An amazingly delicious savory tart that can be served as an appetizer, side dish or main dish.
- 15 oz. package refrigerated pie crust (Can also use any savory pie crust recipe for a two-crust pie)
- 2 -3 beefsteak tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/4-1/2" thick (Good tomato choices are AAS Winners such as any of the Chef's Choice tomatoes, Galahad, Mountain Merit or Mountain Rouge, Big Beef, Celebrity, Early Resilience, etc.)
- 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/2-1 lb. bacon, cut in pieces and fried until desired crispness
- 1/2 c. grated Parmesan
- 1/2 c. mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 2-3 T. prepared basil pesto
- 2-3 T. Dolce Fresca basil, julienned
Preheat to 400. Arrange tomatoes on a an absorbent towel. Lightly sprinkle with salt and let rest while preparing crust.
Unroll pie crusts and stack together on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 12" circle. Place on baking sheet or pizza pan and crimp edges. Prick bottom of crust with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Cool 15 minutes.
Note: the melted cheese helps keep moisture from soaking into the crust.
Lower oven to 375.
In a small bowl, combine remaining mozzarella cheese, parmesan, mayonnaise, pesto and pepper.
Sprinkle bacon evenly over crust.
Arrange tomato slices over bacon.
Spread pesto mixture evenly over tomatoes.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Garnish wiht fresh basil.
Allow to cool 5 minutes before slicing. Can be served warm or at room temperature.
1. Adding a bit of feta or goat cheese (to taste) will add a nice saltiness to the tart.
2. Other vegetables like onions, garlic and olives could be added.
3. Crust: Frozen puff pastry can be used instead of traditional pie crust. Just roll out into a square or rectangle instead. We suggest baking on the lower shelf to get a crispier crust.
4. For individual servings, cut crust into small rounds and top with single tomato slice or a cherry tomato sliced in half.
For our weeknight recipe testing, we went the easy route and bought a package of Pillsbury pie crust. If you have more time or are making it for company, and if you have a favorite savory pie crust recipe, then by all means make it from scratch. Admission of error: the recipe says to bake the crust then sprinkle with cheese and let it melt. In our hurry, we didn’t fully read the original recipe and put the cheese on before baking. All in all, it doesn’t seem to matter but maybe, just maybe, the crust would have been flakier if we had put the cheese on after baking, as this recipe instructs. 🙂
Does the order of ingredients really matter? Bacon, then tomatoes then pesto mixture? Or what about pesto mixture then tomatoes then bacon? We say it’s up to your own personal preference! Personally, we like our cheese on top of pizzas, lasagna, etc. to get slightly brown so we prefer the cheese (in the pesto mixture) on top.
Isn’t that basil beautiful! Do you have one of these herb scissors? You need one! It makes herb prep so much easier. The picture of the just-baked tart isn’t the most attractive but don’t let looks deceive you…it is delicious. Try it and let us know what you think!
This post is provided as an education/inspirational service of All-America Selections. Please credit and link to All-America Selections when using all or parts of this article.”
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