Nothing takes my breath away like an Heirloom Tomato Tart!
I’ve been waiting for the heirloom tomatoes to come in at my local Farmer’s Market, and yesterday I hit the jackpot. Heirloom tomatoes are vivid in color, display beautiful patterns, and are nature’s works of art. So, of course I had to make an open-faced tart to show off these beauties!
My sweet Momma was an Art Teacher for twenty years at our local middle school. One of the skills she taught her students was how to tie-dye their own T-shirts. I loved it when she would teach me to use her paints, dyes and inks to create my own masterpiece.
Heirloom tomatoes remind me of the patterns in those beautiful T-shirts we made long ago. So much so…that I’m considering renaming this recipe Tie-Dye Pie. 🙂 What do you think?
What are Heirloom Tomatoes?
If you’re not familiar with heirloom tomatoes, they derive from a variety of seeds which have been passed down through several generations. Their taste is less acidic, and the darker ones are more savory than sweet.
My favorite colors are the bright yellow splattered with shades of coral-red. The lime green runs a close second, with bursts of sunshine yellow. This Heirloom Tomato Tart is definitely a work of art!
How Do You Make the Crust?
It all starts with a buttery, pretzel-cracker crumb crust.
The crust is meant to be crumbly, so it doesn’t stick together perfectly. I combined pretzels, buttery crackers and parmesan with a little dried basil to make the foundation. After the crust baked for 10 minutes, I allowed it to cool, then spread the filling on top. It went back in the oven for 10 more minutes, then it was time for the fun to begin. 🙂
Making the Filling
I’ve been thinking about this tart for a long time and trying to come up with a filling that would highlight the beauty of the tomatoes. I think I found it with goat cheese, cream cheese, and ricotta. I add a little pesto, lemon rind, and green onions for flavor.
If you’ve been with me since I started this blog, you know that I adore tomatoes. One of my favorite hobbies is to decorate the top of any surface…especially tarts. I got so excited about this one I forgot to photograph several of the steps, and had to go back and repeat a few. Oh well, that just means more tart for me!
What I love about this recipe is how the filling is cooked, but the tomatoes are placed on top of the tart after it has cooled. This allows the tomatoes to show off their beautiful colors and keep well in the fridge if you happen to have leftovers.
What I forgot to photograph is the Greek Dressing I drizzled over the top of each tart before serving. I think I got so wrapped up in how gorgeous it looked…I ate it before it had a chance to get away.
More Delicious Tarts to Enjoy
- Chocolate Strawberry Tart
- Blackberry Cheese Danish
- Sweet Peach Tart
- Triple Berry Crostata
- Sausage Cheese Bake
Heirloom Tomato Tart is delicious, and also a beautiful work of art! It’s perfect to serve as an appetizer at parties, or at summer gatherings as a vegetarian entree.
- 3 cups buttery cracker crumbs, finely ground
- 2 cups pretzel crumbs, finely ground
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 2 sticks butter, melted
- 16 oz. cream cheese
- 8 oz. goat cheese
- 32 oz. ricotta cheese (can use skim)
- 2 Tbsp. basil pesto
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
- 1 tsp. garlic salt
- 1/4 cup green onions, diced
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 4 to 6 heirloom tomatoes (different sizes), sliced
- 1 cup baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
- fresh mint leaves and oregano for decorating
- 1 tsp. dried parsley
- 1/4 cup Greek dressing (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grind crackers and pretzels in a blender and place in a large bowl.
- Add parmesan cheese, dried basil and melted butter.
- Mix well and spread into a 12″ X 17″ sheet pan.
- Press crumbs into sides and bottom of pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Take crust out of oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes.
- Beat cream cheese until fluffy with a mixer.
- Add goat cheese and blend well.
- Stir in ricotta, pesto, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic salt, and green onions.
- Add beaten egg and blend entire contents with mixer for 1 minute on medium speed.
- Spread filling into cooled crust.
- Bake tart at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until set.
- Cool tart for 10 minutes.
- Slice tomatoes and place on cutting board.
- Working from the middle out, arrange tomatoes in a pattern similar to photos.
- Decorate tart with mint and oregano leaves.
- Sprinkle entire tart with dried parsley.
- Cut tart into squares for an entree, or rectangles for appetizers.
- Drizzle with Greek Dressing (if desired) before serving.
Cut tart into 12 squares for an entree, or 24 small rectangles for appetizers.
- Category: Main Dishes
- Method: Sheet Pan
- Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keywords: tart, tomato tart, heirloom tomato tart, tomato pie, ricotta, parmesan, goat cheese