I’ve been waiting for months to make this recipe. I didn’t even consider it in the spring when there were no tomatoes to be found at the farmers’ market and the grocery store’s tomatoes were all hard and salmon-colored. But as soon as there were enough ripe tomatoes at the market, I grabbed enough to make this tart, plus tomato salad and a batch of gazpacho (I really, really like tomatoes).
Chuck’s Tomato-Cheese Tart looks fancy enough to serve at a party, but it’s simple enough for a weeknight dinner at home. You don’t need any special equipment, just a baking sheet, and it’s made with store-bought filo dough, so you won’t be slaving over the crust. Tomatoes are usually paired with mozzarella, so the nutty Swiss used in this tart is a welcome change; the cheese and the sharpness of the Dijon mustard pair well with the sweet tomatoes.
As if this recipe isn’t versatile enough, it can be served hot, warm or at room temperature. Pair it with a Greek salad to make it a meal, cut it up small and serve it as an appetizer or add it to your summer party buffet as a side dish for grilled mains.
7 fresh or frozen filo pastry sheets, thawed
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups grated Swiss cheese (recommended: Emmenthal)
8 large ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
12 fresh basil leaves, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
On a large baking sheet, place 1 sheet filo pastry and brush with melted butter, repeat, stacking them on top of each other as you build your pie crust. You may want to stagger the sheets a little bit to ensure that the baking sheet is well covered allowing a little bit of an edge.
On the top layer, brush on the mustard. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the pastry to ensure even coverage. Lay the tomato slices generously, all over, overlapping, as needed. Season with coarse salt, and ground black pepper. Sprinkle the thyme leaves on top.
Bake in the oven until the pastry is crisped and browned at the edges, about 25 minutes.
Add another sprinkling of coarse salt, and cut the tart into 8 squares. Garnish with fresh basil leaves. Delicious when served hot, warm, or at room temperature.
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