Fresh Tomato Tart
Vibrant Fresh Tomato Tart with a creamy cheese base and buttery crust. A great way to eat your summer tomatoes!
As a mom, it’s a little scary to raise a daughter in a culture that puts such a huge emphasis on looks.
It makes my stomach lurch to think of Ava’s bright-eyed, youthful confidence being stripped away at some point, by our society’s ridiculous vain addiction.
I don’t know one single woman who doesn’t occasionally struggle with insecurities about her appearance. Some are so burdened by insecurity, you can physically see it… They were it like a cloak.
It’s in how they dress, or carry themselves. It’s in the kind of relationships they choose, or how they speak about themselves and others.
A small fearful part of me hopes my daughter turns out to be fabulously gorgeous, dreaming her adolescent years will be easier. But the more prominent wiser side of me desires her to be a late bloomer, or even just slightly above average in appearance. To me, this assures she will likely develop depth and character earlier in life.
Is that terrible for a mother to say?
Most of us have had an experience with a friend (or maybe someone we were once attracted to), who was the epitome of beauty, but had obviously gotten by on appearance their whole life. They never had to take the time to become more.
The result: an empty, shallow person in a pretty package. It’s a true pity. Think of who those people could have been if they hadn’t been so highly praised for their external beauty all their lives.
I don’t want that for my daughter.
I want her to discover who she really is, and the sooner the better! I want her to develop her gifts, and characteristics of sincerity, self-discipline, perseverance and humility. I even want her to go through some hard times, so she’ll learn to rise above them… I’m getting teary writing this.
Believe it or not, all this comes from pondering over a fresh tomato tart. I learned to make traditional tomato pies shortly after moving to the South. Fresh tomato pies are delicious and comforting, but not that pretty.
Several years ago I found an alluring photo of a fresh tomato tart in a magazine and had to see how it compared to the humble southern tomato pie.
The photo in the magazine, as I said, was wonderfully impressive. Yet upon tasting it, we discovered the flavor was quite disappointing. Mediocre at best.
The crust was a disaster, and the filling low on the flavor scale. I was suddenly struck by the fact that I had been so eager to discard my old reliable tomato pie for this prettied-up version.
Things I’ve taken away from the fresh tomato tart incident:
Clearly, never judge a book by it’s cover. Beauty is often deceiving. Also, a personal quote…You are only as pretty as you taste. I’m going to teach that to my daughter some day.
After this experience, I took a few ideas from the pretty fresh tomato tart and used them to revamp my original tomato pie. I loved the idea of using grape or cherry tomatoes instead of the chopped and drained Romas. I also liked the idea of using a tart pan instead of a pie pan. I don’t know why, but tarts just seem classier.
Let’s not get confused here, the old-fashion tomato pie was far superior in taste and texture to the magazine tart and really needed no revision. I just like to change things up.
This updated fresh tomato tart is truly beautiful inside and out, with astounding southern comfort and wilted tomatoes covering the top!
Fresh Tomato Tart
For the Crust:
- For the Crust: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a food processor, combine the flour, cornstarch , butter, and salt. Pulse the mixture until it forms very tiny bits. Add one egg and pulse until a dough forms. This dough is rather tough, but it does come together nicely.
- Gather the dough into a ball. Then press the dough in to the 9-inch tart pan, covering every bit. (You can roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle if you want.) Crimp the edges, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roughly chop 1/4 cup of the basil leaves. Stack and roll the remaining basil leaves and cut them into thin ribbons. Save the ribbons for the end. Mix the cheese, mayo, chopped basil, green onions and pepper in a bowl. Spread the mixture over the bottom of the tart shell.
- Top with grape tomatoes and press them down. Bake for 35 minutes—until the crust edges are golden-brown and the cheese is bubbling up.
- Cool for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with 1/4 cup sliced basil ribbons. Serve warm. Serves 6-8.
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