When perfect ingredients are at your fingertips, all you really need to do is not mess them up. Inundated with recipes and cooking advice, it’s easy to overdo things. But when ingredients are grown with care and harvested at the perfect moment of ripeness, you don’t need much more than a little olive oil, sat, and pepper to make something delicious. Here, we pair fat, juicy tomatoes with flaky, buttery pastry, tart goat cheese, and handfuls of fresh basil in a savory tart perfect for a picnic spread, a light supper, or that magical time on summer evenings when you pour a glass of rose and stand around the kitchen island eating with your hands and deciding you’re done for the day. Leftovers pack up great for lunch!
1 1/2 cups flour
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2-3 tablespoons ice water
3 medium tomatoes, preferably heirloom (I used a mix of slicing tomatoes and cherry tomatoes)
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or combination of herbs)
4 ounces fresh goat cheese,
4 tablespoons gruyère or sharp cheddar, grated
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Slice the tomatoes 1/4-inch thick and halve cherry tomatoes, if using.
Preheat oven to 425.
Make the dough: Pulse the flour and salt together in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until butter is the size of small pebbles. Lightly beat the egg with 2 tablespoons of ice water and add to the dry ingredients, pulsing until the dough starts to come together. Add an extra tablespoon of ice water if the dough is too dry. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap, and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
On a floured surface, roll the dough out large enough to fit into a rectangular or round tart pan with a removable bottom. Transfer to pan, pressing the dough on the bottom of the pan and up along the sides, making sure not to pull the dough, which can cause the crust to shrink. Trim any excess dough.
Place half of tomatoes on the crust in a single layer. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of basil and 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese over tomatoes, add a little salt and pepper, dot with pinches of goat cheese, then drizzle 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil on top. Add a second layer of tomatoes, a little salt and pepper, and drizzle remaining olive oil on top. Arrange the remaining goat cheese on top of the tomatoes, and sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese and basil on top.
Bake the tart for 30-35 minutes, checking at the half-way point to make sure the crust doesn’t brown too quickly. If the tart is browning too quickly, cover the crust with foil. When finished, remove from the oven, cool slightly and top with additional fresh basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.