I love when fall rolls around because it means football (NFL and college) is finally here! It also signifies the end of the growing season of some of my favorite crops, tomatoes being at the top of my list. Luckily, you can still get fresh ones around Raleigh through the end of September and even into early October.
The other day I saw that Harris Teeter had Ile de France garlic and herb chèvre (goat cheese) on sale for $7.99 (normally $14.99 for 10.5 ounces.) Naturally I had to buy some – I love its rich, creamy and tangy flavor and like to add it to salads since it pairs so well with tomatoes. Since that’s quite a bit a cheese, even for me, I decided to make my tomato and goat cheese tart and headed to Farmer’s Market to get some fresh red and yellow tomatoes and sweet basil.
You cannot beat the combination of flavors in this tart – it’s heaven in your mouth and definitely tastes as good as it looks! I used one of those store-bought crusts found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store to save some time, but will go back to the homemade dough I make in my bread machine when I make this again. I’ve also seen recipes that call for puff pastry, but I haven’t tried it with this particular tart.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 9-inch pie crust (store bought or make your own, which I recommend)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- ½ large sweet onion (or more), sliced thin
- 6 ounces garlic and herb goat cheese, softened (I used Ile de France)
- 1 large ripe red tomato, sliced thin (Better Boy, German Johnson, etc.)
- 1 medium yellow tomato, slice thin
- 8-10 fresh sweet basil leaves, chiffonaded
- 1/3 cup Parmesan/Reggiano cheese, finely grated
- Sea salt (I used Savory Himalyan Pink – thanks, Rose!) and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Preparation (Total Time: 35-40 mins.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place a rolled-out pie shell in a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Mold the crust to the pan and prick holes in the bottom of it with a fork.
Heat for approximately 5 minutes or so, just until it starts turning light brown. Let the pie shell cool for a few minutes and then spread the goat cheese over the bottom of the crust.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion slices until they start to brown and caramelize. Arrange the cooked onions on top of the goat cheese.
Thinly slice the tomatoes with a sharp knife or a mandolin (if you use the mandolin, make sure not to slice your fingers because it seriously hurts – been there, done that.) If the tomatoes are particularly juicy, you may want to pat them with a paper towel to remove some of the excess moisture. Take the larger red tomato slices and arrange them in a circle near the edge of the pan. Add a second circle of the yellow tomatoes (they will overlap.) Place a red slice in the middle and then sprinkle with the fresh basil. Actually, you can arrange the tomatoes however you want – I like alternating the colors on each circle as well.
Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with the parmesan/reggiano cheese.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until the cheese has melted. I like to place it in the broiler for a couple of minutes – just make sure you don’t burn it because you got distracted by a football game (been there, done that as well.)
Let the tart sit for a few minutes before slicing. I like to serve this with a green veggie such as a leafy salad or broccoli if I’m having it for lunch or dinner. For breakfast the tart can stand on its own or pair it with some cantaloupe.
Eat, drink and be merry!
I made this last year with some homegrown romas and it was wonderful. The recipe I used called for mozzarella instead of goat cheese and it came out beautifully. I’m not a huge fan of goat cheese, so I’ll continue to use mozzarella, but I’d like to try it with different tomatoes. I also used the Harris Teeter store brand crust and it was quite good.