A tomato, mozzarella and basil tart benefits from lightly salting and draining the tomatoes to keep the tart from becoming soggy. Photo by: Sara Moulton via AP
August 16, 2017 11:00:41 AM
There are very few things more delicious than tomatoes in season. Sure you can buy them year-round, but these imports tend to be mealy and flavorless, so why bother? Tomato mozzarella and basil tart is a celebration of the tomato at the peak of its perfection.
One important step will guarantee this recipe's success: You want to keep the tomatoes' water content from making the tart soggy. How to do it? Salt and drain them. This simple process not only flushes out their excess liquid, but it also magnifies their tomato-iness. For that matter, I recommend lightly salting and draining tomatoes even when you plan to eat them raw in a salad.
Here we've paired the tomatoes with some of their BFFs -- mozzarella and basil -- then stacked the deck by adding some ricotta and Parmigiano-Reggiano. The recipe calls for full-fat mozzarella and ricotta, but you can lighten it up by using low-fat versions instead.
Also, if you don't feel like making pie dough from scratch, go ahead and substitute store-bought pie dough. (It's usually sold already rolled out in a disposable pie tin.) After letting the store-bought dough soften a bit at room temperature, lift it up gently and fit it into the tart tin just as you would if you were using homemade dough.
By the way, a tart tin fitted with a removable fluted rim will make you look like a baking genius. It automatically gives the dough a fluted edge -- no shaping on your part required -- and it's designed for easy unmolding so it's a cinch to cut out slices. It's really a worthwhile investment.
The finished tart is hard to beat -- great right out of the oven or at room temperature -- for lunch or dinner, at home or at a picnic. Add a salad and call it a meal.
TOMATO MOZZARELLA AND BASIL TART
Start to finish: 5 hours (1 hour active)
For the dough:
6 ounces (about 1 1/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2-4 tablespoons ice water
For the pie:
4 medium beefsteak tomatoes (about 1 3/4 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for sprinkling on tomatoes
1 cup packed basil leaves plus extra small leaves for garnish
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole-milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup coarsely grated mozzarella cheese (about 6 ounces)
1 ounce freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing on tomatoes
Nutrition information per serving: 328 calories; 200 calories from fat; 22 g fat (14 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 112 mg cholesterol; 395 mg sodium; 21 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 11 g protein.