Heirloom Tomato, Pesto, and Goat Cheese Tart

My birthday was a few weeks ago and for it, the city of Boston gave me the best present ever: the opening the the Boston Public Market!  For those unfamiliar, the Boston Public Market is a year-round, indoor market consisting of 37 local vendors offering coffee, donuts, cheese, meat, flowers, prepared foods, smoked fish, local produce and more.  It is the most local market in the US…just a 1/2 mile walk from my apartment!

I have probably been at least 5 times since it opened and some of the vendors are starting to recognize me (Hi Boston Smoked Fish Company!).  However, given my recent hectic work and travel schedule, I haven’t been able to cook or bake to take advantage of the amazing fresh produce offered.  This Saturday I finally had a free day in Boston and decided to let the market guide me through a lazy afternoon in the kitchen.

The gorgeous display of bright heirloom tomatoes at Siena Farms immediately caught my eye (along with fresh corn and peaches).  I quickly remembered the leftover homemade pesto in my freezer and after stopping at Appleton Farms for some fresh goat cheese, my dinner quickly materialized!

I have long had a love affair with rustic tarts- both for their simplicity and deliciousness- and decided to try my hand at my first savory tart.  I used my favorite pie/tart crust minus the sugar and then spread a layer of homemade pesto on the bottom.  Next, I layered several different varieties and colors of sliced heirloom tomatoes, sprinkled with olive oil and sea salt to bring out their flavor.  Finally, I topped the tart with the fresh goat cheese before baking it in the oven.

This was the perfect savory, summer tart to take advantage of the Boston Public Market.  Steamed sweet corn, peach crisp (a la mode), and a refreshing glass of rosé rounded out the meal!  I can’t wait to have leftovers in my call room today! (No rosé of course…)

Heirloom Tomato, Pesto, and Goat Cheese Tart

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
16 oz (2 stick) cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
4-5 Tbs ice cold water
several tablespoons Pesto (homemade or store-bought), enough to cover bottom of tart
4-5 medium-large heirloom tomatoes, cored and slices
olive oil, to taste
sea salt, to taste
4-6 oz goat cheese
1 egg
splash of water

Make the pastry dough by blending the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and pulsing until it resembles peas. Add 1 Tbs of water at a time while pulsing until the mixture forms into a dough.  Turn out into a disk on plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat over to 425 degrees F.  Lightly flour a large surface and roll out tart dough into a large circle until it is about 1/4 inch thin.  Transfer dough to parchment lined baking sheet (rimmed is preferable in case tart leaks).  Spoon pesto over dough, leaving a 3 inch rim of dough.  Layer the tomatoes in concentric circles.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt to taste.  Top with pieces of goat cheese.

Fold dough over the edges, using the parchment paper to help, and pinch the corners together to seal it.  Make an egg wash my beating the egg with a splash of water.  Brush over the exposed edges of the dough.

Bake at 425 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, until crust is browned and tomatoes start to bubble.  Remove from oven and let cool for at least an hour.  Serve at room temperature with more pesto if desired.

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