Tomato Tart From 'The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook'


[Photograph: Paulette Tavormina]

Oh, Tomato Tart, how you haunt my dreams! (Divine and wicked, from Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell's The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook.) Couldn't you have been less flaky, less creamy, less juicy-tomatoey? Or couldn't you at least have been more arduous or taken longer to put together? Then I wouldn't have blinked and devoured half a sheet of buttery puff pastry awash in milky ricotta and goat cheese. (At least there were those gorgeous tomatoes and generous fresh basil, but I'm pretty sure you still don't count as a salad.) Then I wouldn't want to make you again as soon as I have any excuse whatsoever to justify cramming pastry and cheese down my pie-hole. Alas, you are one delicious temptress.

Why I picked this recipe: Look. At. That. Picture.

What worked: It would be hard to go wrong with the classic flavor combo of creamy cheese, tomatoes, and basil, and this recipe gets the balance and the seasoning just right, too. The addition of eggs to the cheese mixture helps create a barrier to keep the roasting tomatoes from sogging up the crust. And it is wonderfully easy and surpassingly beautiful.

What didn't: They call for "one sheet (7 to 8 ounces)" of puff pastry dough. I'm not sure what brand they used, but the commonly found brands' sheets are larger than that. Dufour's (my choice and recommendation) is a 14-ounce sheet, and Pepperidge Farm's is just over 8 ounces and pre-rolled to the size they specify. Once I trimmed my Dufour sheet to the correct weight and rolled it out to 10-by-15-inches, it was very thin and didn't have enough bulk to support the toppings, resulting in a (very tasty) knife-and-fork situation.

Suggested tweaks: I would ignore the weight of the dough; just roll the pastry to 1/8th of an inch and trim to the specified size.

Thanks to our friends at Rodale, we have 5 copies of The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook to give away this week.

Reprinted from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell. Copyright (c) 2014 by Beekman 1802, LLC. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.

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