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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tomato Tart

Quite a few years ago I mentioned to a client that I love home grown tomatoes. Love may be an understatement. She told me that she had a recipe I must try. She actually remembered to email it to me, and it's been a favorite ever since. So thanks, Janice! I hope all is well in Tennessee.

This snack is remarkably easy to make, but makes a good impression. Put a homemade or purchased pie crust in a 9-inch tart pan. Spread grated mozzarella cheese on the bottom of the crust until it is completely and evenly covered. Then layer as much chopped basil as you like; I usually use a little more than a quarter cup, but you can go as high as a full cup if you truly love basil.

The order of ingredients in this recipe is important. If the basil isn't mostly covered by sliced tomatoes, it will burn. The juice that emanates from the tomatoes during the baking process also helps protect the basil.

Thinly slice 3-4 Roma tomatoes. You can slice them any way you want, depending on the look you're going for. I chose to slice these the long way for a sort of flower petal effect; I've also sliced them cross-wise, which is lovely. Layer the tomato slices as close to each other as possible in order to cover the basil.

Drizzle the tart with a little bit of olive oil, and bake it at about 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is golden. Slice and serve. This is delicious, but it's best served in appetizer-sized portions; Bob and I tried splitting one for a meal once and it was just too much goodness.

Tomato Tart
1 single homemade or prepared pie crust
About 3/4 cup of grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 to 1 cup of chopped fresh basil, depending on how much you love basil
3-4 thinly sliced Roma tomatoes
Drizzle of olive oil

Put pie crust in a 8 or 9-inch tart pan. Fill the crust with grated cheese. Layer chopped basil on top of the cheese. Top with sliced tomatoes, taking care to cover the basil, and drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.

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