This heirloom tomato tart just screams summer to me. Everywhere I have gone lately I see these on the covers of magazines, blogs, instagram feeds, and finally I just had to make my own. We are in the peak of summer so tomatoes are in abundance, and I love cooking with seasonal ingredients like this. I read a Chinese medicine book a while back that basically stated the root of traditional Chinese medicine lies in man taking his cue from nature, consuming different foods according to the season. They believe we are what we eat, and if we eat seasonally, we remain in harmony with the environment and stay healthy. It’s actually really neat to read the different types of foods that Chinese medicine says nourishes the body during different seasons. Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because I feel like we often forget how important eating seasonal foods are, and how nourishing they can be for our bodies. And in the summer, what do we have? TOMATOES!
I was inspired to make this recipe when I saw the Food & Wine magazine cover this month. I think with my body being so hot in this summer heat, the beautiful tomatoes were just yelling my name. I started out by baking the phyllo dough, which is always a nightmare for me. It always seems to break apart into a dozen small pieces. If this happens to you, don’t fret – I sort of just pieced them back together, and you can’t really tell because of how many layers there are for the crust.
Then, I made a topping of 3 different cheeses – crem fraiche, cream cheese, and sour cream. This part was fun because you can really personalize it with whatever combination you like – goat cheese and mascarpone would be really yummy too! I also added some lemon zest for a bust of freshness.
Then, I topped it with fresh heirloom tomatoes, basil, cracked pepper, and olive oil. See how easy it is!
I love this next shot…
- 8 sheets of phyllo dough, THAWED
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 4 oz. creme fraiche
- 1 Tbsp. sour cream
- 2 small lemons, zested
- 1½ lb. heirloom tomatoes assorted sizes, thinly sliced
- Sea salt (fleur de sel)
- Cracked black pepper
- 6-8 basil leaves, chiffonade
- about 6 Tbps. of olive oil, for drizzling between layers
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Layer a baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil. Lay 1 sheet of the phyllo dough on the baking sheet; keep the rest covered with damp paper towels. Brush the phyllo with a light layer of olive oil. Repeat with each remaining layre of phyllo.
- Bake the crust for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Rotate halfway through to ensure even cooking.
- While the crust bakes, combine the three cheeses and the zest of one lemon in a small bowl, and stir until combined. Set aside.
- Once the crust is done baking let it cool completely. Then, gently spread the cheese onto the crust, leaving a small border empty. Do this step very gently, the crust is delicate. Arrange the tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with the basil, cracked pepper, sea salt, lemon zest, and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!