In my opinion, the best tomatoes come from Michigan. Of course I am a bit prejudiced since I grew up there. There is nothing like the smell and taste of a fresh picked tomato. It is not uncommon to stroll through a garden, pick a tomato and eat it like an apple. A special treat, a true summer delight!
Let’s just say Arizona is not known for its tomatoes. However, in the last few years, heirloom tomatoes have popped up everywhere, much to my delight. With one smell, I feel like I am in a garden in Michigan. I don’t know what I like best. The color or the taste, they are truly magnificent. They are so special, deserving of a great recipe.
I created this beautiful Rustic Tart full of the flavor of summer. This rustic tart features the fascinating colors of Heirloom tomatoes and basil fresh from the garden. These fresh ingredients are carefully place on a buttery crust, topped with a cream cheese filing, and finished with a drizzle of balsamic glaze. You may be tempted to use store bought pie crust, but I challenge you to make the crust from scratch and experience how easy it can be. It is so quick, delicious and buttery; you will never go back to another recipe once you try this one.
Celebrate nature’s beauty with this stunning recipe. A fresh addition to a wine and cheese gathering, a perfect recipe for a special brunch, or a quick weekday dinner idea served with a salad. Celebrate the season with Challenge Dairy products and the fresh ingredients of summer.
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus extra for tomatoes
- 4 large Heirloom tomatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon roasted garlic powder (regular garlic powder can be substituted)
- 8 Tablespoons Challenge European Style Butter, chilled and cut into ¼ inch pieces
- 4 Tablespoons chilled vegetable shortening
- 3-4 Tablespoons ice cold water
- 8 ounce container Challenge Whipped Cream Cheese
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian Herbs
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- ½ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- ⅛ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2Place tomatoes on a cooking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Let tomatoes rest while creating crust. This will help pull out any excess moisture from tomatoes.
3Place flour, ½ teaspoon of salt and garlic powder in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add butter, pulse 5 times. Add shortening and pulse until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal. Gradually add water until dough forms a ball. Remove and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator to rest for at least 30 minutes. Note: Crust can be made up to two days before and stored in refrigerator.
4On a piece of lightly floured parchment paper, roll out dough to 14x10 inches. Place dough and parchment paper on a cooking sheet.
5Remove the top from the cream cheese. Stir in Italian herbs, garlic and grated cheese. Spread cream cheese mixture over crust, leaving a 2 inch border around all edges.
6Pat dry tomatoes with paper towel and remove any excess tomato juice. Arrange tomatoes on top of cream cheese.
7Carefully fold the edges of crust over the tomatoes to create a border. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil.
8Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
9While tart is baking, place vinegar in a small pan. Bring to a boil then reduce temperature to low. Reduce vinegar until only a half of cup remains. Let cool until thickened and syrupy.
10Before serving, drizzle tart with the balsamic reduction. Garnish with fresh black pepper and fresh basil.