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Rustic Beefsteak Tomato Tart

Scott Phillips

Servings: eight to ten.

This freeform tomato tart makes a great appetizer, lunch, or light supper. Use the best-tasting, locally grown farmstand beefsteak tomatoes you can lay hands on.


For the crust:

  • 9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1/2 oz.)
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cayenne
  • 5-1/2 oz. (11 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 5 to 6 Tbs. ice water

For the filling:

  • 1-1/2 lb. ripe beefsteak tomatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 3 oz.)
  • 4 Tbs. roughly chopped pitted oil-cured black olives or Kalamata olives
  • 12 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. capers, drained and patted dry, roughly chopped if large
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on ten servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 270
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 160
  • Fat (g): 18
  • Saturated Fat (g): 9
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6
  • Cholesterol (mg): 35
  • Sodium (mg): 230
  • Carbohydrates (g): 22
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 5


Prepare the crust and tomatoes:

  • Combine the flour, cheese, thyme, table salt, pepper, and cayenne in a food processor and pulse to blend thoroughly. Add the butter and pulse until the pieces are about the size of rice grains. Add the ice water through the feed tube, 1 Tbs. at a time, while pulsing in short bursts until the dough starts to come together. It may still look crumbly, but if you press it with your fingers, it should become compact. Don’t add more water than is necessary to get the dough to cling together. Turn it out onto a clean work surface and, using your hands, press and gather the dough into a rough ball. Put the ball on a sheet of waxed paper, gently shape it into a flat disk, and wrap it tightly. Refrigerate for at least 45 min.
  • Meanwhile, core (but don’t peel) the tomatoes and slice them 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, stack them in a colander set over a bowl, and let drain for at least 45 min. and up to 1 hour. About every 15 min., turn the slices gently and tilt the colander to let the juices drain freely.

Assemble and bake:

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF. Cut a piece of parchment to fit a rimmed baking sheet (preferably a heavy-duty one) and put the baking sheet in the freezer to chill. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it warm until pliable, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the parchment lightly with flour. Roll the dough on the parchment into a 14-inch round that’s 1/8 inch thick. It’s fine if the dough extends a little beyond the parchment. Transfer the parchment and dough to the chilled baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 min.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 5 min. to keep it from cracking. When filling the dough, work steadily without delays. Sprinkle two-thirds of the cheese over the center of the dough round, leaving a 2-inch-wide band around the edges. Scatter half the olives and half the basil over the cheese and arrange the tomato slices on top so they overlap slightly, making a solid layer. Sprinkle on the remaining basil and olives, the capers, and the rest of the cheese. Season with pepper and drizzle the olive oil over the filling. Fold the edges of the pastry over the edge of the filling, pleating it as you go so it forms a neatly fitting round edge. Bake until the dough is lightly browned, turning the pan halfway through baking, about 40 min. total. Carefully transfer the tart from the parchment to a rack and let it rest for at least 30 min. before cutting and serving.

Leftovers keep well at room temperature for a day or two. Reheat for 10 to 15 min. at 350ºF.


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Reviews (4 reviews)

  • gottavio | 02/18/2012

    Love this-- I always make this for parties and always a hit. I have started experimenting with this recipe to make the crust "healthier". OMG the crust is amazing-- but if you or your family are watching their weight well there is a lot of butter in the crust. By the way did I say how amazing the crust is with the butter. Yummy. So to reduce the calories-- I substituted all purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour and eliminated the butter. Instead I used 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 cup cold water-- I didn't need a food processor, i just mixed the dry ingredients first in a large bowl, then added oil and water and mixed in until the dough form using a wooden spoon. I refrigerated the dough as the recipe indicates but then I rolled it our and put it in a prepared tart pan and cooked the crust for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F. I let the crust cool. Then I filled the tart and cooked it as it indicated in recipe.

  • bessieheath | 08/26/2011

    This is such a delicious tart and a great thing to do with a surplus of tomatoes from the garden. I love the flavored pastry crust. My only criticism of the recipe is that she makes rolling the pastry sound so complex. Into the fridge, out of the fridge, into the fridge - there's really no need. I just pop the dough into the fridge for about 30 minutes before I roll it. I roll it, fill it, turn up the edges & straight into the oven. No need to make a graduate thesis out of it. But it is really yummy!

  • User avater
    Janelle2277 | 08/10/2011

    This recipe is so simple and amazing. I look foward to making it every summer with the tomatoes we grow in our garden. I made it yesterday with a little fresh oregano because I did not have any fresh basil on hand, and it turned out just as good as always.

  • rlass10201 | 04/15/2008

    This recipe is awesome. The tart is easy to make and is super delicious. I've made it several times for guests. When pressed for time I've used a pre-made pie crust and it is still really really good.

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