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Quick and Easy “Mostly Homemade” Heirloom Tomato Tart

This easy tomato tart recipe uses puff pastry to cut down the time needed and roasted heirloom tomatoes and carmelized onions to amp up the flavor. It’s the perfect light summertime dinner for two and a great way to use up those fresh and delicious summer tomatoes. You can easily customize this recipe to use whatever you have on hand.

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I have a ritual that I follow every Sunday evening starting in mid-July and continuing as long into the fall as I can: I walk down to the tiny store in my neighborhood and buy a mess of perfectly ripe home-grown tomatoes. Then, I’ll spend the week enjoying the deliciousness: alone with a little salt and pepper (so good!),  sliced and stirred into cottage cheese, or as part of a Caprese Salad. If I’m feeling extremely decadent, I’ll take two slices of soft, white bread,  slather both slices with mayonnaise and make summer’s most delicious treat: the tomato sandwich. Ahhhh, so good!

But sometimes I want to do something a little more special for my summer dinners and for that, you can’t beat the Tomato Tart. It’s the perfect light summertime dinner. It also combines my two favorite things to eat: perfectly ripe tomatoes and caramelized onions. Is there any word more beautiful than caramelized?

But caramelized onions take time and attention and who has the energy to add a homemade pie crust on top of that? The answer, of course, is lots of people, but I’m not one of them. I know my weaknesses and one of them is an inability to make a decent pie crust.

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Instead, I focus on what I like to do and outsource the rest to the experts. In this case, that means using frozen puff pastry to create a light and fluffy crust for my tart. That makes it only mostly homemade, but also shaves a good hour of the preparation time. That means I get to eat my tart an hour earlier and so, I’m more than fine with the trade-off.

I love to use heirloom tomatoes for this tart because the mixture of colors makes the tart so beautiful when it’s done and the flavors are so complex, but it’s delicious with any kind of tomato, so don’t stress if you can’t find the specific tomatoes I mention. Any tomato will be perfect here.

The same goes for the cheese. I like to use a mix of cheeses, to get a balance of silky smooth texture and sharp flavors, but you could easily use just one cheese here. If you decide to do that, pick a cheese that melts easily, like mozzarella, fontina, or cheddar. Cheddar melts easily and has a little bite so it’s the perfect cheese for this tart if you pick just one.

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Quick and Easy “Mostly Homemade” Heirloom Tomato Tart Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • Two Large Sweet Onions (I got mine from a local Farmer’s Market and they were described as “Candy” onions. So good!)
  • Approximately 2 Heirloom Tomatoes, Sliced 1/2 inch thick or so. (I used Beefsteak Tomatoes and Carolina Golds, but obviously you can use any type you want.)
  • 1 Sheet Thawed Puff Pastry. (The Puff Pastry needs to thaw overnight in the fridge before you can use it. The box comes with 2 sheets so it’s easy to double this recipe and make two tarts.)
  • 1 Cup Grated Swiss Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Basil Leaves, Finely Cut
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

How to Make Quick and Easy “Mostly Homemade” Heirloom Tomato Tart

STEP ONE: Thaw the pastry overnight in the fridge. Don’t forget this step!

STEP TWO: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take the thawed pastry out of the fridge so it’s easy to handle when you’re ready to assemble the tart.

STEP THREE: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat, then add the onions. Add in salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium-low heat until the onions are soft and golden brown (about 20-25 minutes), stirring occasionally. Don’t rush this step! Perfectly caramelized onions are one of the best joys in life.

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STEP FOUR: Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray and unfold the puff pastry onto the parchment paper. (You could also roll out the puff pastry into a circle and place it into a pie plate or tart shell, but I like to keep things simple and I think it looks lovely when it comes out of the oven like this.)

STEP FIVE: Using a fork, pierce the puff pastry in the middle a few times. This will help steam to escape as it cooks.

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STEP SIX: Add the cooked onions.

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STEP SEVEN: Mix together the grated cheeses and then add a layer of the mixed cheeses to the puff pastry.

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STEP EIGHT: Slice the tomatoes to medium thickness. Then blot the tomatoes with paper towels to soak up extra moisture.

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STEP NINE: Place the tomatoes on the tart and add salt and pepper to taste. (You may want to go lightly here since the onions also have salt and pepper. I am unfamiliar with the concept of too much salt and pepper and so I don’t worry about this.)

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STEP TEN: Bake the tart for 30-35 minutes. Watch carefully to ensure the crust does not burn. You want the tomatoes to look dark and roasted (some slightly dark areas are ok and delicious) while keeping the tart golden brown so adjust the cooking time accordingly.

STEP TWELVE: Take out of the oven but DON’T CUT IT YET. I know it looks delicious and inviting, but it isn’t quite done. You need to give the tart a few minutes to rest and soak up the juices from the tomato. Otherwise, your tart will have that thing that strikes fear in the heart of all the Great British Bake Off contestants: a soggy bottom. Let it sit until completely cool, probably about twenty minutes. (Yes, that’s so long.) Add the basil to the top of the tart while it’s cooling.

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STEP THIRTEEN: Your tart is ready at last! Cut a slice and enjoy!

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Yield: 4 Servings

"Mostly Homemade" Heirloom Tomato Tart with Puff Pastry Crust

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 TBL Butter
  • 2 Large Sweet Onions
  • 2 Heirloom Tomatoes, Sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 Sheet Thawed Puff Pastry
  • 1 Cup Grated Swiss Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Basil Leaves, Finely Cut
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take the thawed pastry out of the fridge so it’s easy to handle when you’re ready to assemble the tart.
    2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat, then add the onions. Add in salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium-low heat until the onions are soft and golden brown (about 20-25 minutes), stirring occasionally.
    3. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray and unfold the puff pastry onto the parchment paper. Using a fork, pierce the puff pastry in the middle a few times.
    4. Add a layer of the cooked onions followed by a layer of the mixed cheeses.
    5. Slice the tomatoes to medium thickness. Then blot the tomatoes with paper towels to soak up extra moisture. Place the tomatoes on the tart and add salt and pepper to taste. 
    6. Bake the tart for 30-35 minutes. Watch carefully to ensure the crust does not burn. You want the tomatoes to look dark and roasted (some slightly dark areas are ok and delicious) while keeping the tart golden brown.
    7. Take out of the oven and let it sit until completely cool, probably about twenty minutes. Add the basil to the top of the tart while it’s cooling.
    8. Slice and enjoy!

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Katy Kozee | Midlife Rambler
Katy Kozee | Midlife Rambler
Hi! I'm Katy and I started Midlife Rambler when my youngest child was a senior in high school. I was staring at the coming empty nest and wondering what was next for me. Does that sound like you? Then you'll love our community of fun, feisty women. We're looking forward to the next phase of our lives and talking about all the exciting (and sometimes a little scary!)Keep the conversation going! Hook up with me at my other hangouts.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Oh my goodness Katy – this sounds and looks delicious! I like the way you enjoy tomatoes from the simplest ways to the more sophisticated. I too used LOVE eating them the way you do with salt and pepper or in lovely fresh bread sandwiches with mayo. Sadly, I can’t eat raw tomatoes now – they sting my mouth and do all sorts of horrible things to me that they never did when I was younger – but I MISS them SO much! I can have them cooked so I will try this one day when I am feeling adventurous. (Or I may ask my husband to make it as he is the best cook out of the two of us 🙂 Thanks for the recipe! Will share on FB too.

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