herbed tomato and roasted garlic tart

I had a friend in town this week and just when we were at the point in the conversation when we’d usually pick a place to meet for lunch, something terrible happened. Caught up in a moment where I forgot that I am me and not, say, Ina Garten, I suggested he come over and I’d make lunch for us instead. I realized I’d lost my ever-loving mind. Sure, I’d like to be the kind of person who makes “just lunch, nothing fancy!” for friends on a whim but I am not. I don’t really do “whim” cooking, as a website with nearly 918 intricately detailed recipes in its archives might evidence. Plus, I had so many recipes I was overdue to test out — a lemonade, a salad, a tart and I’d been promising my son I’d make chocolate pudding for weeks, not to mention the daily grind of breakfast, lunchbox and dinner — that I felt like I had no time to cook anything extra.

1.5 pounds of tiny tomatoes
baked with weights

And then, thank goodness, I realized how ridiculous that was. What could be more delicious for lunch than a salad, a tart, lemonade and chocolate pudding that I’d made enough of to ensure the kid wouldn’t be left out? What, you say? It might be a flop? My friend might push his food around his plate, hoping I wouldn’t notice or, worse, eat something he hated so not to hurt my feelings? Guys, I am 38 years old, by any standards (unfortunately, most days) a grown-up, and I decided that it was time, once and for all, to boldly embrace Julia Child’s best cooking rule: never apologize.

I don’t believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make… Usually one’s cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is vile, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile — and learn from her mistakes. (My Life in France)

roasted garlic + parmesan

base, baked with roasted garlic and parmesan

It turns out, not apologizing is amazingly freeing. If you go into the kitchen knowing that you have no intentions of showing anything more than a shruggie over what comes out, you might just cook. And so I made that tomato tart I’d been thinking about for a while — a mash-up between this pretty thing from Saveur and this one I saw on TV many years ago with a mashed roasted garlic base. And of course, while I was quietly worried about how it turned out, I also suspected that really, truly, how bad can mashed roasted garlic, parmesan cheese, blistered cherry tomatoes, capers, olive oil, chives, parsley and oregano baked onto a buttery puffed pastry base taste?

red pepper flakes, capers, olive oil
herbed tomato and roasted garlic tart

Spoiler: not bad at all. Kind of amazing, actually. So good that the first thing I did after lunch was go back to the market to buy stuff to make it again because, la la la, tomato season isn’t over yet so let’s make the most of it. I declare this a Pumpkin Spice-Free Zone, at least until the last week of September. Deal?

herbed tomato and roasted garlic tart

One year ago: Fudgy Chocolate Sheet Cake
Two years ago: Crackly Banana Bread
Three years ago: Apple and Honey Challah
Four years ago: Linguine with Tomato-Almond Pesto
Five years ago: Nectarine Galette and Cornbread Salad
Six years ago: Bourbon Peach Hand Pies, Raspberry Breakfast Bars
Seven years ago: Hoisin Barbecue Sauce and Lemon Layer Cake

Herbed Tomato and Roasted Garlic Tart
Adapted from Saveur

At the beginning of tomato season, they’re so precious to me, anything more than a few flakes of sea salt on top of a fresh slice seems disrespectful. As the season goes on, however, I begin adding ingredients and near the end, it gets to a point where they’re downright busy, as they are here, with garlic, capers, olive oil, pepper flakes and three herbs. I have no regrets. This is a wonderful lunch or dinner tart with a salad and/or soup on the side. The steps will feel a little fussy — par- and then pre-baking the crust, pre-broiling the tomatoes — but try to resist skipping steps. None are particularly hard and the result is the rare unsoggy and deeply flavored tomato tart, the kind I’ll be missing all winter.

Serves 6 (lunch-sized portion) to 8 (appetizer-sized portion). You could double this recipe and bake it in a 13″x18″ rimmed pan.

1 small head garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus an extra drizzle for the garlic
1 9″x13″ sheet frozen puffed pastry*, thawed in fridge for several hours
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes, to taste
1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed, if salted (or 1 to 2 anchovies, finely chopped)
1 1/2 pounds (about 4 cups) small cherry or grape tomatoes, the sweetest you can find
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano

Roast garlic: Heat oven to 350°F. Cut head of garlic in half crosswise; drizzle cut ends with a few drops of olive oil, then wrap in tightly foil and bake, directly on oven rack, for 45 minutes, until garlic cloves are completely soft. Set aside. [Note: Heads of garlic can also be roasted whole, but I find it easier to remove the cloves without getting any stuck in the skin when it’s halved. Garlic can be roasted up to two days in advance; just keep in the fridge until needed. It will smell exactly like a toasted everything bagel.]

Prepare crust: Increase oven temperature to 375°F. 9″x13″-inch baking sheet (or quarter-sheet pan) with parchment paper. Fit pastry sheet into pan, pressing it against the bottom and sides. Trim pastry hanging over sides of pan, if there is any. Prick bottom of pastry all over with a fork. Lay parchment paper over crust and fill with pie weights, which can be storebought, or you can use dried beans, rice or even pennies. Bake until edges of tart are golden, 25 minutes. Carefully remove weights and parchment. If any parts have bubbled up, poke them with a knife point and they should deflate.

Squeeze roasted garlic cloves out into a bowl and mash with a fork until smooth. Spread over baked par-baked crust with a knife, as if you were buttering bread. Sprinkle with Parmesan, salt and pepper. Return to oven bake until tart shell is golden all over, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside on a cooling rack.

Heat broiler. In a large bowl, mix tomatoes, capers, olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and broil, shaking pan once or twice, until tomatoes are blistered and have begun to release their juices, 12 to 14 minutes. This may seem a pesky step but getting the juiciness out of the tomatoes will keep the tart crust from getting soggy.

Increase oven heat to 425°F. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomato mixture to the prepared tart shell; distribute tomatoes evenly, in one layer. Sprinkle with the three herbs. Return the tart to the oven and bake it until hot, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before cutting into it.

Tart can be served hot or closer to room temperature. Store leftovers in fridge. Reheat in 325°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

* My favorite frozen puffed pastry is DuFour — definitely not cheap, but absolutely delicious, made only with butter, flour, salt and a little lemon juice. 1 14-ounce package unfolds to just about 9″x13″, which means I just pressed/stretched it a tiny bit with my fingertips to fit it in the pan — no rolling required (yay). You can also reuse the parchment it comes wrapped into line your crust as you par-bake it.

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192 comments on herbed tomato and roasted garlic tart

  1. Maddie

    Add some chèvre so the top of this and it is even more delicious! Thanks for reading my mind Deb, and knowing that this was what I wanted to make this week!

  2. Mary

    I was going nuts trying to figure out what those round egg looking things in the pastry crust picture were from the recipe ingredients, and then realized they were something to weight the crust for blind-baking it! Ha!

  3. Considering I had to pull out my fall boots and jacket for the low-50s weather in Chicago today, I wouldn’t mind turning on the oven. And I even know where to get the DeFour puff pastry! And the leftover roasted tomato juices make an amazing vinaigrette.

    By the way, I thought of your lunchbox comments the other week when I read the Slate article about the pressure on women and idealizing home cooking, and then a response by Joel Salatin that was obnoxiously oblivious. Made me realize, similar to what you say here, it’s often less about what you make and more about how and with whom you’re sharing it.

    1. deb

      Angela — You could use a homemade pie dough, too. Or, you could use this galette dough, which is even flakier and more tender — closer to a puffed pastry. For both, make enough for two single-crust pies or galettes. All will be thinner than puffed pastry, which can be made at home but is quite a bit of a process of folding and rolling in butter (not unlike making croissants).

      Cristine — Ha! Well, he went to school today with three different types of vegetables, two types of fruit and … fish sticks from Trader Joes. I told him he could have them if he also eats the vegetables. I agree that there’s a lot of pressure on the family meal these days; it comes from a well-intentioned place. For a lot of families, this might be their only quality time during the day. But I don’t think this means that this is the only way for families to spend quality time together and insisting that it be around a home-cooked meal does create a lot of undue pressure on the home-cooked ideal. There are other good reasons to have home-cooked meals (nutrition, teaching tableside civility) but I don’t think that they’re more important than having a happy, unharried, family.

  4. Meg

    This looks amazing. Do you think the broiling method is good for drying out most varieties of tomatoes? My CSA just dropped a huge bag of plum tomatoes on our doorstep, and I’d like to try this recipe with them, but am worried about sogginess with anything besides cherry/grape.

    1. deb

      Meg — I think it could work, but you’ll want to give it more time and perhaps cut them in half the long way so they’re in smaller/shorter pieces. Mostly, you’re trying to get them to release a little bit of their juices, so it doesn’t all spill out onto the pastry.

  5. Anne

    Early blight got my tomatoes this year and so by now, there are none left, le sigh. However we’ve just planted next year’s garlic and as all good gardeners do, are looking past this year’s failures and on toward next season’s successes; this will become the first roasty dish to look forward to next summer!

  6. Killian

    This dish would make my whole rainy weekend.

    Now, if only I didn’t live with two people who possess an unhoyl abhorrence to tomatoes.


  7. carissa

    I’m your opposite… I always cook before thinking and never apologize! But my food is never perfect and seldom beautiful like yours. Your site has inspired me over the years to pay attention to details (at least sometimes) and to be picky where and when it counts. I try to follow Deb recipes to the best exactitude of my impatient abilities and it always pays off. Love the idea of this tart, hope there are still lots of tomatoes at the market this week!

  8. I absolutely adore roasted cherry tomatoes. My husband calls them “candy tomatoes”; they’re just so perfect and need so little to become so wonderful. I think a tart would be absolutely amazing use for them! Can’t wait to try this next weekend for brunch :)

  9. Orly

    You’ve read my mind again! I’ve been making different variations on tomato tarts for the last few weeks and have been playing around with different variations. My favourite so far has gruyere cheese, then sauteed onions below colourful mini heirloom tomatoes. Somehow the garlic didn’t occur to me – will correct that immediately!!

  10. The funny. scary thing about this post is that a) I made this recipe two nights ago, and b) had a strange sense that it might make an appearance on your blog. Creepsters. Anyway, great recipe!

  11. Beverly

    If I’m reading this correctly, I should be able to bake the crust, and then broil the tomatoes, and then relocate everything to a friend’s house for an impressive final assembly and baking. Yes? Because taking something wonderful to a friend’s house for dinner is important sometimes. Thanks, Deb!

  12. nicole

    Just a note for those looking for a cheaper alternative to Dufour. Trader Joe’s sells all butter puff pastry, but only during the holiday season. It usually debuts around October, so if you have one nearby, stock up when it comes out!

  13. I’ve really taken that advise from Julia Child to heart. Most likely, no one else is going to know that the dish isn’t quite as good as you were hoping, and telling them about it just makes your guests feel awkward.

    1. deb

      Bridget — Totally! It also puts everyone in the room in the position of consoling you, whether or not they feel like it. Most likely, they love the dish (I never critique food at friend’s houses; I’m too overjoyed that someone else is doing the cooking!) and the conversation they’re having and don’t want to stop to assuage a angsty host. Or, they don’t love it but were going to be polite about it and … you’re making it awkward. Trust me, I’ve done all of these things. And now I’m learning to shake it off, as Taylor Swift would say. :)

  14. Meghan

    I’ve been wanting to make a savory tomato pie this week but every recipe I’ve seen had gobs of melted cheese, or worse, mayonnaise (apparently it’s a Southern thing?)

    You read my mind, Deb. This looks perfect.

  15. Ali

    Thanks for keeping summer around a little bit longer! I can’t go on pintrest these days without running into 10000000000 pumpkin something recipes. I’m not ready for fall yet and am embracing the last few warmish days. This looks amazing!!!

  16. Danielle

    Could I bake this and freeze for later use? I’m trying to stock the freezer with all the tomato-laden things I can for the next few seasons!

  17. You have me drooling and giggling at the same time – a potentially disastrous combination. The tart looks amazing but it was the fact that you worked in a great, hit the nail on the head (especially for an anxiety prone home cook like myself) quote from Julia Child and the deceleration of a “pumpkin spice free zone” that really endures me to you. Great post!

  18. Deb, I can’t imagine why you would ever have to apologize for something you cooked. This looks wonderful. I’m intrigued by that olive oil…is it as good as the tin looks?
    P.S. Long live Julia!

  19. Sade

    I’ve been kicking myself for waiting so long to make the cover recipe from your book and bought a whole bunch of cherry tomatoes from the White House farmers market today to get on that, and then I see this! WANT. Obviously I will just have to make both over the next few days, but it’s quite the dilemma choosing which to do first :-)

  20. Ooops!! Too late – already had my second pumkin-spiced latte today :) I also learned the hard way today not to look at your instagram account on an empty stomach – just downed an entire tub of hummus & crackers! ;)

  21. Absolutely–the judgement around home-cooking is the worst and often does the opposite of what it’s intended to do.

    By the way, I meant to tell you that even with your new counters, I love that your pictures are still so identifiable as *yours*. Beautiful!

  22. margie s

    I don’t have a direct citation from the great Julia, but that hasn’t stopped me from quoting her for years: “Never apologize for the food, your guests don’t know what it was supposed to be anyway”.

  23. Something to utilize all those cherry tomatoes my garden keeps producing! When I cook something I’ve never made before, I tell the eaters, “This is the first time I have made this. If you don’t like it, that’s okay, it won’t hurt my feelings.” I figure if it is a total flop, we can always order pizza.

  24. I’m sure your guest was happy not to have anything with pumpkin spice in it, because as long as tomatoes are in season (and chocolate, and cucumbers, and lemons…) there’s no reason not to begin baking off all those pumpkins. (Although I did see some Halloween candy for sale at Target, & was able to resist the candy corn. Well, I might regret that decision in the next few weeks….)

    1. deb

      RG — Ha! So, a long time ago when I didn’t know any better, I bought fancy pie weights from Williams-Sonoma, little round ceramic balls. They could barely fill 1/3 of a pie shell! It was ridiculous. So I bought another set — it still couldn’t fill a pie shell. Then I came to my senses and realized that one needn’t buy silly expensive pie weights, you can use anything: dried rice, beans, pennies, etc. So I started using rice too. Except now they’re all mixed up. Long explanation, I know. Moral of the story: don’t spend money on pie weights!

      Christina — Thank you! I worried I’d miss the old speckled counters but I don’t. Like, not even a little. The light is better and brighter here and I’m so happy to be looking at something different and having more photo options.

  25. Erin in AZ

    Bless you for using frozen dough! I looked at the recipe and groaned because I thought surely it would be made from scratch…I can cook anything, but baking (rather mixing and baking) continues to elude me. Looks delish!

  26. Oh yum! Puff pastry has been my best friend lately – I’ve been making both sweet and savory tarts. I love how impressive anything made with puff pastry looks, with the flaky crust and all. I don’t know what you were thinking worrying about whether or not this lunch is good enough to serve to a friend, OF COURSE it is!

  27. Awesome, because really how could anything with those ingredients be anything less than spectacular? I was quietly frightened this afternoon when I also on a whim invited friends back for lunch. No one complained and they cleaned their plates. Politeness or maybe they liked it? Doesn’t matter ;)

  28. Gail

    I make a similar-sounding (and similarly demanding, step-wise) tomato tart from Cook’s Illustrated that calls for slicing roma tomatoes and salting them, and then pressing them between paper towels to extract the liquid… in case someone doesn’t feel like turning their oven on to roast them. (But roasting them has the added appeal of adding flavor..). And I am totally going to try roasting the garlic ahead of time – great idea! Thanks for another great post.

  29. Lauren

    Sade- commenter #36- that is a TRUE dilemma…the recipe from the cover of the cookbook is unbelievable! Any of you people who haven’t made that one yet- make extra biscuits- so danged yummy. Get on it while the tomatoes are still good.. buy enough for both recipes and just do it all. I know you will not be sorry. Make sure you have enough people around to eat the biscuit one tho…otherwise you will eat them all. ( I had scarfed down 3 before I could put on the brakes!) There’s a good reason ( besides beautiful photography) why that is on the cover!!!!!!

  30. Staci

    As the only tomato lover in this apartment, I’m sitting here wondering how wrong it would be to make this and eat it all by myself. Over a few meals, of course! Looks incredible. I may just add some goat cheese to this. Yum!

  31. I have the same issues – so much to juggle with family food, chidren’s food and simple approachable recipes like these are perfect for an impromptu lunch. Am sure your friend was incredibly grateful. Love the garlic and capers with it. Our heirloom tomato plant is finally giving us ripe fruit so I shall be adapting your recipe for our larger knobblier tomatoes!

  32. Deb – I’m laughing at your statement about not apologizing being amazingly freeing, because I just had that epiphany this week also! I tend to pour over my cookbooks to the point where I just get overwhelmed, think I can’t make anything as amazing as what I’m seeing on the printed page, and before you know it, give up on trying anything new. Duh (smack on the forehead)! Who the heck cares? I have to remember my mantra to just cook things that look good to me and have ingredients I like, and (like tomatoes, parm and a buttery crust), those things are going to taste good even if the recipe doesn’t come out perfect. And really, no one else is reading the recipe, so how are they going to know if you screwed something up? Why don’t I remember this more often????

  33. Oh, this looks good! I started some A Grappoli D’Inverno tomatoes from seed this year and now they’re really getting going. They’ll be good on this, but I’ll have to do it up gluten-free for my husband.

  34. Awfulknitter

    Yummy! I have been making a tomato tart of sliced beefsteak tomatoes, over a layer of herb-garlic cream cheese. I don’t pre-bake the pastry (too lazy!) but I do bake it on a pre-heated pizza sheet so the bottom cooks and doesn’t get too soggy.

  35. I’ve gathered many tomato tart recipes over the years and have yet to make one! This one truly inspired me, on my way to gather the ingredients. Looks wonderful, sounds delicious, and yet is “unfussy”. I love blistered grape/cherry tomatoes. Actually had some “San Marzano” mini tomatoes, last week wish I’d had this recipe for those!! Thanx for inspiring me!

  36. Bonnie

    THANK YOU for not jumping on the fall pumpkin spice bandwagon yet!! I live in Texas and I get SO cranky every Sept 1 that all the northern bloggers think it’s fall when it’s still so hot here!

  37. Alanna

    This is perfect timing. The boyfriend is allergic to tomatoes and is GONE ALL WEEKEND. I am absolutely certain I can make, and eat this entire thing in 2 days.

    I will have to add cheese to it. Haven’t decided between ricotta or goat cheese.

  38. liz n.

    Oh, Anne, I hear you! Our tomatoes have done beautifully, but the bell peppers and poblanos died horrible, cruel, early deaths….which is odd, considering that the jalapenos, hatch chilies, and tomatillos have been outstanding.

    This gorgeous tart is going to be part of lunch on Sunday, because I cannot resist, and the vegetarians in the family will surely love it!

  39. Catie G.

    Deb! This recipe reminded me that I’ve been meaning to buy the baking sheets you use (mine are SHOT and flimsy to begin with). But the link you have to them on the “Build your own Smitten Kitchen” page no longer leads anywhere. Can you tell me what brand they are?

  40. This looks so delicious and like the perfect way to wrap up this season. I am a big fan of roasted tomatoes and if we’re mixing them with garlic and topping a puff pastry sheet with them…well, I’m all in!


  41. Nima

    Well that was a disaster! I thawed some puff pastry and rolled it on the pan as suggested. Then I did not have baking stones or beans to use to bake blind so I used rice. The pastry was a bit too thawed and the rice became imbedded in the pastry.I picked out as much as possible with the more I picked out the deeper the rice got stuck. Finally it was a mess with raw bits of rice embedded in puff pastry dough. I threw out the whole thing in disgust. Clearly puff pastry dough/baking blind is beyond my skill set. Guess we’re having grilled cheese sandwiches and a tomato salad for supper instead.

    1. deb

      Nima — Did you put parchment paper between the crust and the dried rice? You might have missed that step. It should keep the rice or whatever weights you use from embedding. Sorry it didn’t work out this time but it’s totally not above your skill set, promise. (Btw, I mentioned this because I TOTALLY did the same the first time I blind baked something.)

      Sarah — I can usually buy DuFour from Whole Foods (it’s especially prominently displayed in Union Square). I think that TJs sells puffed pastry. Fresh Direct claims an all-butter housemade one on their site, but I haven’t auditioned it. I haven’t checked Commodities Natural Market, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they had something in the freezer.

  42. Nima

    Parchment paper? *smacks forehead* I DID miss that step. I knew it had to be something silly – every other recipe of yours I’ve tried has worked out – so this was weird. Anyway it all worked out in the end – I ended up using the tomato/roasted garlic/herb mix with pasta (added bacon to compensate because..bacon) and it turned out great.

  43. Caroline

    Made this last night and it was absolutely delicious. Perfect timing – had all the ingredients (and then some thanks to our very tomato-heavy CSA) in the house save parm. Put all of my extra hard cheese from a cocktail party last week into the blender, then combined with goat cheese. It was such a treat – thanks, Deb!

  44. I used about 28 ounces of cherry tomatoes freshly picked from a garden last weekend to make shakshuka. Now I wish I had a similar pile to make this over the weekend. It looks amazing!

  45. Karen

    Nima #89 – so pleased you missed that step. Love the idea of this tart but am lazy about the faff of pastry. Am now going to make the blistered tomatoe step and mix it with pasta (with bacon. because bacon). Bless.

  46. june2

    I never understand why people rush to end summer with all the pumpkin pie spice recipes, etc…I literally wait all year long for the lush, and HOT, days of September and it is definitely not so I can kill it with autumn flavors…that’s what November is for. So, Thank You, is what I’m trying to say.

  47. Angela H.

    I’ll vouch for the TJ’s puff pastry — legit ingredients, less spendy than DuFour. Thanks for this recipe — I’ve made one from Martha that’s similar (roasted garlic base, etc.), and it’s super-good — but it uses sliced tomatoes and gets soggy super-quick. Broiled cherry tomatoes to the rescue!!

  48. Deb, I made one of these last night, using baby San Marzano tomatoes I’m growing in pots outside my kitchen. This is incredible! Like a pizza the California pizza movement would be proud to serve. Thanks for the brilliant insights, and for all your efforts. By the way, if you haven’t read “Provence, 1970”, MFK Fisher’s incredible memoir of that amazing summer, you need to go out and find it immediately. Heartwarming and full of the best notions from America’s greatest chefs. It actually made me think of you.
    Cheers. :)

  49. Pam Spettel

    Two thoughts about this delicious recipe:
    When my tomatoes are coming in strong, I roast them just like this, then toss them into freezer bags so that I can have them all winter long. Great on lots of things, as you can imagine.
    Anchovies would be awesome in this dish. I plan to try it that way for guests next weekend!

  50. Claudette

    I was wondering too about the little egg-like things in the puff pastry, so thanks for clarifying that they are pie weights. Although I have to say I did gag a little at the thought of pennies touching my food in any way! Haha, anyway, it looks wonderful and I’m off to my local farm stand in hopes of scoring a few more cherry tomatoes.

    1. deb

      Claudette — The pennies don’t actually touch the tart shell or your food. You line the pastry with parchment and put whatever weights you’ll use on top. Pennies are a popular choice because most people have a jar of them around, they’re great conductors, and unlike rice or beans (which will be harder to cook with/not ideal after they’ve been baked) they’re just as usable. Hopefully not sounding argumentative here, just wanted to give more reason behind suggesting something so odd/seemingly unclean. Idea was inspired here.

  51. cheesepuff

    A friend made this and brought for dinner last night and it was UNBELIEVABLE. Delicious. Room temperature, no reheating, nuthin’.

  52. Joanne

    My broiler doesn’t work (surprise surprise!)… and never will. I’m thinking roasting the tomatoes instead. Could you suggest an oven temperature and time?

    1. deb

      Joanne — Just roast them at the highest temp you can to emulate the broiler. They’re done when they look slightly blistered and have released a bit of their juices. Re, your broiler — I have endless trouble with the ones I’ve had. They seem to work for a few minutes and then just go out. Is this what’s happening to you? If so, I just read that you’re supposed to keep the door slightly ajar. Apparently, many turn off when they get too hot. Keeping the door open an inch or so keeps it from getting too hot, and can keep it from being too steamy in there, which isn’t ideal for a good blistering dry heat. I tried it this last time and it actually worked. I’m feeling hopeful about using the broiler again!

      1. If you have an electric, or a combination, stove, you MUST keep the oven door slightly ajar when you broil. If not, what happens is that the oven recycles itself to maintain a specific temperature. Keeping the door ajar lets the heat escape, while the food cooks under the flame/coils.

    1. deb

      Marian — Why size is your Pyrex, also a 9×13? I’d think so, but I would reduce the temperature by 25 degrees. Glass dishes usually need a temp reduction because they tend to brown things too quickly otherwise.

  53. Joanne

    Yes to the keeping oven door ajar tip! It was a revelation when my housemates and I worked that out in our university house. I was so excited to perform the oven door miracle when I went home to my parents’, thinking that the broiler at home which we’ve given up on a long long time ago did work after all. No such luck, our home broiler remains uncooperative whether its door is open or not. Darn.

  54. Liz

    Hi, I made this yesterday, but as a tomato tarte tatin. It worked very well! I mixed caramelised onions with the garlic, and pressed the parmesan into the puff pastry before laying it over the tomatoes. I added the anchovies rather than capers – lovely flavour. I also substituted freah thyme for the herbs. Thanks very much!

  55. Erin

    When I went to broil my tomatoes for 12-15 minutes they became blackened charred messes around minute 9.Did anyone else have this situation?

  56. mimiindublin

    Yours is much prettier than the Saveur one.
    Making this tomorrow, and delighted there are capers in it cos I have an opened jar from a salad last week.

  57. Susan Glenn

    Neighbor told me I could raid her tomatoes. Well she had the greatest cherry tomatoes, and I thought of this tart. Had to use a lesser puff pastry brand then Dufours (live in the sticks), but oh mercy, just swooned over this. And Mr. Cranky the Meatlover said “this is just awesome”. Also think you could put olives or anchovies in this for the salt lovers. But just a complete home run Smitten!

  58. Vancouver Girl

    I don’t eat onion or garlic (at least not knowingly) for several reasons….was wondering what I might be able to make instead to put in as a yummy layer btwn the pastry & tomatoes…. Obviously anchovie paste would have to be added to something. Chevre? or something totally different?
    Thanks in advance for the inspirations!!

  59. Liz

    made this tonight with some of the 8 billion yellow pear tomatoes we got this season. it’s incredible – AND I learned how to use my broiler. thanks deb, for yet another amazing recipe!! :)

  60. I probably used more garlic than was called for (when is that ever a bad thing?) and mashed it with goat cheese (again, never a bad thing) before spreading it over the tart shell. Next time I’d risk having extra roasted tomatoes though–my tomatoes must have been huge compared to yours, they were the right weight and volume (more, actually) but didn’t quite fill the shell. I tucked some chopped grilled lemon and herb chicken in the spaces though, which also made it more substantial as a meal.

    Spectacular as always Deb (did you use your new herb garden for this? Isn’t it fun to pluck little bits here and there?)

  61. Brittany L.

    This looks incredible – I love roasted tomatoes. When I’m not able to eat the overabundance of tomatoes I buy at the farmers market and they start to get a little shrivelly, I usually turn to roasting them. I know you said this makes a great lunch but I’m so thinking brunch with some blood orange mimosas!

    Oh, PS I work for Trader Joes and the puff pastry they carry is only seasonal. Although, we are approaching the holidays so it should be returning any day now. We’ve already gotten in the overkill of every pumpkin item ever.

    Oh TJ’s puff pastry is pretty good stuff, all butter just like DuFour but not *quite* as good (TJ’s pie crust is also all butter!)

  62. Mary

    Made a double batch Friday (in two separate pans) – through the point of baking the puff pastry with the mashed garlic and parmesan. Finished one batch to have for dinner, and enjoyed it immensely…packaged up all the other components separately and refrigerated. Also, froze the tomato “drippings” for a future soup addition. Two days later – just put the tomato/herb layer atop the previously-baked puff pastry, and added crumbled goat cheese. It was even better than the first rendition on Friday, as the garlic flavor had developed quite nicely. No compromise of the dish even with the two-day refrigeration!

    1. deb

      sam1 — I was going to respond sarcastically but then I looked at the photo and, you’re right, it looks kind of terrible. But many delicious things look terrible. That’s the roasted garlic.

  63. Allison

    Made this tonight! It was a big hit. My photo turned out just as good as yours so the instructions were excellent. Next time (perhaps it was our oven) I think I will take about 5+ minutes off the baking of the pastry. Ours was just a tad crispy.

  64. Aja

    I made this over the weekend and I’m pretty sure it’s the best thing I’ve ever put together. I was supposed to share this with my family but I wound up eating half of it, and I don’t even like tomatoes unless it’s some form of salsa or pasta sauce! But I absolutely could not stop putting this in my mouth it was so freakin’ delicious. This kinda changes everything.

  65. Otter

    I just made this for a “goodbye to summer” dinner with some friends. It was awesome. What a great way to say goodbye tomato season. Keep up the good work!

  66. MeganNJ

    Yours looks a lot better & more tidy than mine did, & I expect by Thrown Together it also didn’t take you two hours.

    But it tasted great! Yellow bowling pin shaped & orange cherry tomatoes from the garden. With fresh basil & parsley. Plus green/unripe cured olives (can.) ( Not all of the tomatoes leaked their water out & it was funny to bite into those few & shoot hot tomato jizz across the room.)

    It will smell exactly like a toasted everything bagel. – It did!

  67. pstmom

    Made this for dinner tonight w/ homemade “rough pastry” and it is yummy! Also added fresh basil. Could see millions of modifications using fall/winter veggies. Such a nice change from quiche! Definitely a winner. Thanks Deb!

  68. Lauren

    I ended up using a wheat pie crust because I didn’t want to spring for the puff pastry, but holy cow it was delicious! Thanks for the recipe! Definitely was a good idea to broil the tomatoes.

  69. kim

    I made this and it was wonderful! I added sauteed leeks and some shredded basil between the garlic and tomatoes. And thank you for sharing you method for roasting garlic. It works like a dream.

  70. CeeJohanna

    Given all the glowing reviews here, I’ll have to try it again. I think my tomato skins ended up too tough and the whole tart got a bit soggy. Perhaps if I roasted the tomatoes longer instead of broiling them? I blame the tomatoes? Maybe they get tougher skins come September?

  71. CeeJohanna

    And, a second thought (as I’ve just polished off the last of it), maybe I squashed the crust too much with my “weights” (the family penny collection).

  72. laura

    don’t want to be a fuddy-duddy, but i’m going to make this soon and couldn’t help but notice you call for 45 minutes for the garlic at 350 and 25 minutes for blind baking at 375. i’d think you could roast the garlic with the pastry at that slightly higher temp, and then keep for another few minutes (lowering that temp back down once the pastry is out). seems a tremendous waste of energy to have an oven on for 45 minutes with nothing but a head or two of garlic.

    1. Heather

      Exactly! I did as you suggest–basically roasted the garlic in the bottom of the oven while I par-baked the crust and roasted the tomatoes. Garlic was ready by the tim the tomatoes were finished.

  73. Meredith

    This tart will definitely make its way into my kitchen soon. The multiple steps certainly don’t discourage me from the recipe- sometimes, the more steps, the better! Sometimes, not. You are an amazing cook, and I really appreciate your pursuing what you love and sharing it with the world wide web!

  74. M-C

    My favorite variation (from Toulouse): smear the dough with mustard. Sprinkle with thyme. Cover with tomato slices. Sprinkle with parmesan. Bake. Voila!

  75. amyselwyn

    This is a lot of work (lots of steps — nothing difficulty) and it’s good but not great. I had expected more. What I love is the idea of the puff pastry, the garlic and the cheese, and I will use that for a different recipe.

  76. Alex

    Sadly, this didn’t work for me. The bottom of my crust was so soggy I ended up having to throw the whole thing out :(. The flavors of the filling were delicious tho! Next time I might just put the pastry on top of the filling and bake it that way, sort of an upside down tart.

  77. Heather

    I made this using an SK all-butter pie dough recipe instead of puffed pastry. It didn’t look quite as nice as Deb’s but it was quite good, including cold the next day for lunch. I found you didn’t have to wait for the garlic to finish roasting before starting the other steps. I just left the garlic to roast while I par-baked the crust and broiled the tomatoes, and it was soft by the time they were done.

  78. Athina

    Could one use your savory galette crust recipe for this, rather than store bought puff pastry? It has such a puff-pastry-ish texture, I would like to think it might work…

    1. Jen

      Hi Deb! Hoping you might have an answer for this crust question, since I have GF family members and there’s no puff pastry option for that :( BUT, I’ve adapted your galette crust :)

      1. deb

        I’m not positive. I’m concerned the tomatoes will be too wet for how thin it is, but I don’t think it would taste bad or anything.

  79. Anna

    We moved last month and the previous renters left behind a package of Dufour in the freezer (they are good friends so it’s not gross!). I made this for an appetizer at a BBQ last weekend and it was a HUGE hit. Even my husband who “hates” roasted cherry tomatoes loved this. That said, I totally misread the directions on baking the crust. When I pulled it out after par-baking in the first step the middle was totally raw. It would have torn if I tried to spread the garlic on it. So while I pre-heated the broiler for the tomatoes I stuck it back in there to crisp it up and I pulled it out when it was just beginning to over-crisp. I totally missed the step of baking with the cheese on it before the tomatoes so of course it was too soft after cooking with the tomatoes. I cut it up, put it back on the unlined baking sheet and the bottom crisped up very nicely. I will definitely be making this again!

  80. It’s like you knew what I wanted. I picked surprise me and this popped up. I love tomatoes and garlic. Not only that but it is super easy to follow and quick to make. I can’t wait to make this for my hubby tonight

  81. Monica

    I couldn’t find a puff pastry that didn’t have palm oil, so made the ricotta galette crust (from the blueberry galette recipe on this site). Followed those baking instructions with this filling and it was a heavenly summer meal! Served with the Cannellini Aglio & a green salad.
    This recipe is so brilliant in reducing the liquids to avoid a soggy crust,

  82. Deborah

    This was superb exactly as written. We reheated (per your instructions) and enjoyed perfectly crisp crusted tart the next day, too. Now I want to make it on a Wednesday for an early dinner Saturday. Will that be too long in the fridge?

  83. lia

    I’ve made this tart twice, and both times I was surprised by the amount of work required. I’m used to SK recipes being extremely streamlined, but this one has you going back and forth between ingredients and the oven several times, with the total time being 2+ hours. Some of the steps seem like they could be combined, such as roasting the garlic at the same time as the crust is par-baking (initial 25 min), and doing the tomatoes while the crust is browning (second 12-15 min) rather than cooking them separately. The overall tart is pretty, but doesn’t have as much flavor as I’d expect – the SK slow-roasted tomatoes are much much better.

  84. Rebekah

    This was absolutely delicious! I used a mix of cherry/grape tomatoes, all from our garden or CSA. It was so colorful! I used the tomato/shallot juices & leftover herbs for a vinaigrette. I have been wanting to make something with puff pastry and there it was. Next up- pear tart to celebrate our abundant harvest!

  85. MaryZee

    I made this, and it was very flavourful and delicious, and turned out perfectly. But as others said, it was **extremely** time consuming, which is not typical for most SK recipes. Because of the time commitment, I would probably not make this again.

  86. Lisa

    I made this tonight. The steps are easy and mostly hands off but 4 oven temperature changes and almost 2 hours (I did consolidate steps to save time as others have commented), it just wasn’t worth it to me. It was good but not worth the time/effort.

  87. Claire

    This is lovely!! I will say I had 1.5 lbs of tomatoes and it wasn’t nearly enough to cover the pastry, maybe consider having more than you need on hand just in case. Worst case scenario you have enough to make this again ;) nom nom nom

  88. Monica

    This is my go-to tomato tart recipe (for the filling). I can’t always get high quality frozen puff pastry where I live. So, my main modification is that I make it as a galette, using Smitten’s savory galette recipe (from her cookbooks, or the burst tomato galette here on the site, or the berry ricotta galette dough minus sugar). Can roll as a rectangle / square / oval / round, whatever shape you like.
    Last night, I added roasted bell peppers in thick strips with the tomatoes and it was ah-mazing! Following instructions for another galette here on the site, I finished with an egg yolk wash on the galette crust and sprinkled parm. Another definite keeper. Thanks, Deb!