Recipes

mathilde’s tomato tart

I read a new novel, The Margot Affair, last month and loved it. It’s not about about food, but every time a meal comes up, I was riveted by how good it sounded.


“The salt-cured cod was layered with cream mashed potatoes and presented in a small cocotte… the mussels bathed in white wine and garlic sauce.”

“Caramelized slices of pear hid beneath the custard, and the top was sprinkled with shards of toasted almonds.”

“She made it with whole milk and a dash of cream and pieces of dark chocolate. I dipped a piece of buttered toast into the chocolate.”

make tart doughroll out dough, easy peasyfittedweighted to bakea thin layer of dijon, if you wishdot the herb mixture over

Because I buy and read books completely blind — I don’t like reading reviews or even the backs of books or I find I’m always waiting for [something that is mentioned that’s not a spoiler, sure, but still a thing I now know will happen and I only want to know when] and it’s not as fun. I also didn’t know anything about the author, Sanaë Lemoine going in and hadn’t realized she is, in fact, a Food Person, a former cookbook editor from Phaidon and Martha Stewart. No wonder every time a character cooks, you want to be in the kitchen with them. After I mentioned on Instagram how much I’d enjoyed the book, Lemoine emailed me to ask if I’d like recipes for any of the dishes mentioned. A real recipe from a fictional character? Is it too bizarre? Even more challenging was choosing between the clafoutis with caramelized pears (above) and other dishes but in the end it’s tomato season and I had no chance resisting the recipe behind this passage, which sounds like the only kind of August I want to have:

“For dinner Mathilde made a tomato tart with fennel salad. She had bought the tomatoes at the market and they spilled juice onto the cutting board as she sliced them open. She always made her own crust and shaped it like a true pâtissier, leveling off the edges until it was flush against the mold. Beneath the tomatoes, she added a layer of parsley pesto and grated cheese.”

august tomato rainbow
sliced, salted
arranged, extra pieces fitted in

I used heirloom tomatoes but you do not need to — I try to limit my fussing over heirlooms here, anyway, because it feels like hagiography — any good field-grown tomato will work, or even smaller tomatoes, halved or sliced. Inspired by Mathilde, I did indeed make my own crust and leveled off the edges, but I won’t tell anyone if you use a storebought crust or sheet of puffed pastry instead (for the latter, I’d bake it flat, as we do here). The result is exactly as good as it sounded in the book, an abundantly flavorful, very summery light meal. We had it with a green salad with a vinaigrette I snuck a spoonful of mayo into, also inspired by Mathilde, but next time I’m going to make my favorite fennel salad — do you want the recipe? anyone? (I always get tumbleweeds when I talk about fennel, it’s okay, sigh, more for me.) However you serve it, I hope you love it as much as we have for lunch this week.

mathilde's tomato tart

Previously

Six months ago: Pina Colada
One year ago: Black Pepper Tofu and Eggplant
Two years ago: Foccacia Sandwiches for a Crowd
Three years ago: Blackberry-Blueberry Crumb Pie
Four years ago: Summer Squash Pizza, Peach Melba Popsicles, and Chile-Lime Melon Salad
Five years ago: Raspberry Crushed Ice
Six years ago: Cold Noodles with Miso, Lime, and Ginger and Apricot Pistachio Squares
Seven years ago: Charred Corn Crepes, Burst Tomato Galette with Corn and Zucchini and Strawberry, Lime, and Black Pepper Popsicles
Eight years ago: Pink Lemonade Bars and Charred Pepper Steak Sauce
Nine years ago: Sugar Plum Crepes with Ricotta and Honey
Ten years ago: Everyday Chocolate Cake and Zucchini and Almond Pasta Salad
Eleven years ago: Asparagus with Chorizo and Croutons and Sour Cherry Slab Pie
Twelve years ago: Cantaloupe Salsa and Plum Kuchen and Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad
Thirteen years ago: Summer Pea and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad
Fourteen years ago: Huevos Racheros, Blueberry Crumb Bars, Napa Cabbage Salad with Buttermilk Dressing, and Quick Zucchini Sauté

Mathilde's Tomato Tart

The tart crust (pâte brisée) is loosely adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Everyday Dorie. For the cheese, use any kind you like or a combination thereof. Lemoine loves Drunken Goat here, but gruyère, comté, cheddar, asiago, or pecorino could work too. I used an aged provolone. If you don’t have large or heirloom tomatoes, halved cherry tomatoes or sliced cocktail tomatoes will also work here. Serve with a green salad, like this, or a fennel salad, as Mathilde does.

    For the crust (pâte brisée)
  • 1 3/4 cups (230 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 115 grams), cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • For the filling
  • 3 large very ripe tomatoes, heirloom or other, sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick (about 1.5 pounds)
  • Coarse or kosher salt
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 cup (15 grams) basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 2 cups (25 grams) parsley leaves, loosely packed
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard (double if it you like mustard; skip if you don’t)
  • 2 ounces (55 grams) hard cheese, thinly sliced or coarsely grated (see Note)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Make the dough: Place flour, sugar, salt, and butter in a food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg and water to the food processor, pulsing to incorporate. Pulse until dough comes together. Turn out dough onto a sheet of parchment and shape into a disk. Place another sheet of parchment on top and roll out to an 11-inch disk. Slide onto a plate or tray and freeze for 10 minutes, until firm but not so hard that it will crack when bent. Line a 9.5-inch tart pan, preferably one with a removable bottom, with the dough. [A pie dish or cake pan lined with parchment could work as well, just keep the sides 1-inch high.] Trim excess dough (reserve in the fridge for patching) and prick the bottom with a fork. Freeze for 20 minutes, until solid.

Bake shell: Preheat the oven to 375ºF with rack in center. Place the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Weigh the crust down with parchment paper and pie weights, dried beans, or rice (that you don’t plan on using for anything else). Bake crust for 20 minutes. Remove parchment and weights. If there are any cracks or breaks, you can patch with the remaining dough. Bake for 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and let cool.

Make the filling: Meanwhile, place tomato slices on a rimmed baking sheet and lightly sprinkle with salt.

Combine garlic, parsley, basil, and ½ teaspoon salt in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add olive oil and pulse until a spreadable paste forms. You might need to scrape down the sides of the food processor a few times. If making the herb mixture in advance, store in the refrigerator with plastic wrap pressed against its surface.

Blot tomatoes with paper towels to remove excess liquid.

Using a small spoon or offset spatula, spread Dijon mustard evenly on the bottom of the crust. Evenly distribute cheese on top. Dollop with herb mixture and gently spread to cover in a thin layer. Top with tomatoes, overlapping. Cut smaller pieces of tomatoes to fill gaps. The tomatoes shrink while roasting, so keep them snug and the tart pan full. Lightly brush tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.

Bake tart: Until tomatoes are softened and the crust is golden, about 50 minutes and up to 1 hour, until the tomatoes are deeply roasted. Allow to cool slightly then serve warm or at room temperature.

Do ahead: You can make the dough a few days in advance and refrigerate. You can also bake the crust one day and make and bake the filling another, as I did. Leave at room temperature; no need to wrap. Leftovers of the finished tart keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.

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364 comments on mathilde’s tomato tart

  1. jen

    FEN-NEL! FEN-NEL! FENNEL!!!!!!!!!!

    I am team fennel, I am always seeking out ideas for when I’m not just slicing them up and eating them like an apple; your green bean salad ft fennel a la (RIP) Porsena is on summer repeat for me year after year after year.

    please share!

    1. Pdub

      Yes fennel lover here too!!! Ps would be fun to have those x year ago links turn into months or weeks ago timing, because coronavirus time….

      1. Transatlantic

        Fennel fan here too! I even grew some this year, though they are pretty small due to a sorry lack of watering.

        You may enjoy “Tiny Moons: a year of eating in Shanghai” by Nina Mingya Powles. Title is a bit of a giveaway but very much worth pursuing; it’s a short memoir, highly evocative and pulls together themes of family, nostalgia, eating, city solitude (ok, now Deb won’t read it because I gave too much info!).

    2. Emma

      Another one for team fennel! The last fun salad I made with fennel was thinly sliced with a large amount of chiffonade(d) sorrel and a light mayo/vinegar dressing. GIVE US ALL THE FENNEL RECIPES.

    3. Aubrey

      Yes, I make The Wednesday Chef’s roasted fennel and cherry tomatoes on an almost weekly basis! I think I was first linked to it on this blog. Please more!

    4. I need that Fennel Salad recipe, too. I always buy fennel with good intentions and use some but then it eventually goes to the worm bin (and they like it). I need a good recipe that will use the bulb.

    5. Deanna

      I am also team fennel. I make a shaved fennel salad with a lemon/thyme/olive oil dressing and it’s perfection. My family clamors for it every time make it.

    6. JSPA

      If raw, “like an apple” is the obvious default. At most, sliced thinly and piled onto fresh, seedy rye with chevre. If cooked; slice, oil, and caramelize in the oven. Salt is optional. There’s really nothing else I want from fennel.

      I’m sure you can make it fancier (gold dipped roses also exist) but not convinced it is therefore better (again: gold-dipped roses).

      But I’m willing to be convinced.

    7. Julie

      Saaaaame! I just made the America’s Test Kitchen pappardelle with pork, fennel, and lemon ragu and holy LORD what a perfect dish.

    8. Susan

      I would love to have a good fennel salad recipe! Mine is with citrus-fruits and I am always looking for something different to try! Tomato tart looks lovely

  2. Sallyt

    This looks amazing! I’ve been wanting to read her book, and how lovely that she has actual recipes for her character.

    I think you have a typo for flour grams – do you mean 230? Thanks!

  3. Kathy

    I was lucky enough to find Dry Farmed Early Girl tomatoes at Trader Joe in CA Bay Area; I usually can find them this time of year at Farmers Markets. I know they will be great in this recipe!

    1. Susan L

      Thank you for mentioning that we can purchase the dry farmed early girls at TJ’s in the Bay Area.. Sometimes I just can’t get to the farmers market!

      1. Kathy

        You need to call your TJ first thing in the morning; if they have these tomatoes, have them save them for you. I was lucky I got to my store early enough because they were only given one case per day.

      2. Jenny Rappaport

        If you hate mustard, what could you use instead? I know I could just leave it out, but I could be wild and crazy with something like a red miso?

        1. jane

          I would think a spoonful of good vinegar like balsamic or red wine would be a great substitute – possibly stirred into the miso to round it out a bit. Try it and see!

  4. PlumGaga

    This sounds absolutely delicious, but please check your flour weights. 30 grams is about 1/4 cup, not 1 3/4 cups, which would be 210 grams.

  5. Heather

    I had the most wonderful fennel gratin with tomatoes and black olives, with a glass of crisp white wine, in the hot sun on the island of Rügen in Germany that I have tried numerous times to recreate and never quite managed to get right. Team Fennel here, too.

  6. Annemarie Banas

    A summery fennel salad recipe would be great, Deb! I usually think of fennel for winter salads (mixed with citrus) but would love to hear your ideas for one in these hot months.
    And I love a good piece of fiction mixed with recipes (Nora Ephron’s Heartburn!) so will search out The Margot Affair soon. Thanks.

  7. Kate Sendegeya

    Looks gorgeous, as all your recipes do! Sorry you get crickets when you say “fennel”:-( I adore it, and love it both in a salad or cooked, but my husband can’t stand it! Nor can he stand parsley! Sad. So I just don’t bother.

  8. Jillian

    I would love to know your favorite fennel salad recipe! We are obsessed with the arugula fennel salad from the SK Cookbook, and often make it as a side salad even if we aren’t having the chicken.

    This tart looks fabulous! Can’t wait to make it before tomato season ends.

  9. Anna

    The tart looks lovely and I will make it tomorrow if I can get nice tomatoes at the veggie stand! As to the fennel, though: I am so sorry, but no. Not even from you :-) Fennel is a no-no in my otherwise very open-to-all-flavours kind of kitchen. Sorry! ;-)

  10. Tracey Ferrell

    Very similar to a Southern tomato pie, esp with the mayo. Last summer I had a lovely “deconstructed” version at Easy Bistro in Chattanooga. This is such a classically good combo & the variations are endless.

    P.S. blech on the fennel

      1. Kathy

        Made this last night using Emmental. Pressed for time, I used a store purchased crust, but otherwise followed the recipe. It was so, so good…. I’m sure the homemade crust ups the deliciousness. This is a wonderful way to use summer tomatoes. This is a recipe that works for any meal — brunch, lunch or dinner with salad.

  11. Anita Schattner

    My method for blind baking was difficult to acquire but works flawlessly, if one has a bit of time and plans ahead.
    Once when I listed, in frustration, the many various ways of baking empty pie crusts, my friend replied that her mom doesn’t understand all that unnecessary fuss. I asked what her trick or method was and she said there was none. I begged her to please ask again, there had to be Something that she does. But she came back with the same answer, no special tricks. I insisted that she must get more detail, it’s simply impossible to just roll out the crust and bake empty. Finally she came back with the key, “just let the crust sit for 3-4 hours before baking”. Viola! It seems to dry out enough to hold in place, even the fluted edges.
    Must be the egg, I’ve often wondered if it would work with an all butter crust as well.

    1. Sonia

      That is fascinating! I’d like to try this trick next time I make a pie.

      Does she let the crust rest in the fridge, the freezer, or just on the counter?

      1. Anita

        Just on the counter. One time I got interrupted and put in the fridge overnight. It kinda got wet so I let it dry a bit before baking.
        It still needs the pricking all over, to prevent puffing.

    2. Erin B

      I’m intrigued! It sounds so beautifully lazy! Pastry shells always torture me with shrinkage and slumping so I will absolutely try this method!

      1. Anita

        We were making apple pies for freezing, it was so fun and easy, and then my rant started about baking empty shells and all the frustration that I’ve experienced. Took a bit of digging to get the tip, but so worth it.

        1. Erma

          I chill my pie shells in the pan until cold but still prickable. Heat oven to 450 slide in cold pie shell. Turn oven down to 425 and bake 12 minutes. I very seldom have a shell slump. Read this truck somewhere and it works. Shell must be very cold though.

  12. Gary

    You better post that fennel salad recipe!!!

    Bon Appetit had a fennel/orange salad a few years back that was very good but rather fussy. A simplified version of that is my go-to.

  13. Dyepotgirl

    Oh please give us fennel recipes! I’m team fennel all the way! One of my favorite Meatless Monday recipes is Bucatini with Roasted Fennel and Tomato Sauce. Oh so good!

  14. Falling Diphthong

    This looked like a lovely way to dent our pile of large farm stand tomatoes. Skipped the cheese and used a frozen pie crust, as one family member has a dairy allergy. It’s very good–I love roast tomatoes, and with the pesto it’s a lovely simple taste of summer.

  15. Jennyg

    My friend and I read this book a few weeks ago and THIS was the recipe we pinned over!!! Thank you thank you!!! Loved the book, loved the imagery, feels like a walk through Paris at times.

  16. Allison

    Team fennel here!!! I would love any and all fennel recipes you have up your sleeve. Also, this looks beautiful and delicious and exactly what I want right now.

  17. Robin

    Yes please for fennel recipes!!! I buy a bulb almost every time I shop because it’s just so versatile: fresh sweet and raw, roasted, soup…

  18. Brian Gulledge

    Add me to those who adore fennel and would love (any) recipes you send our way! I even made a picnic lunch in Italy once for myself and seven others where I bought a small mandolin at a farmer’s market and served a simple fennel salad along with everything else. However, I understand the lack of general excitement, as I ended up having the fennel salad all to myself….

  19. TinaD

    How do you keep your pastry from shrinking in a tart mold? I always level it off before baking (that thing they do on GBBO where they saw at the cooked pastry edge with a knife looks to me like total disintegration just waiting to happen), but no matter how many pie weights I use, I always get one side that slips down, making the filling stage… interesting… I’m not Team Fennel (too much in the sausage when I was a kid), but I would be Team Baccala if you had any good recipes going.

    1. deb

      This recipe shrinks a little, but not a ton. But you brought up GBBO and there’s a pressing thing I need to discuss: I actually noticed, in the years I watched (I confess my interest waned with Mary left, but I hear it’s still great, regardless), that they made perfect tart crusts by leveling them AFTER they baked and I wondered why I go through so much trying to get mine to shrink less. Of course they look perfect if you do it that way!

      1. Kit

        I have noticed that on GBBO as well. I’m with Tinad, though. I imagine a cooked tart shell cracking into shards with that method. I suppose the only way to know is to try it.

        1. deb

          I think if you do it when still warm with a serrated knife, if a chef’s or paring knife is dragging, it will be fine. You cut shortbread into its classic shape when warm from the oven, and it’s never a problem (unless you wait for it to cool).

    1. S reid

      From someone who lives in France, here is the tomato tart I and most of my friends make:
      Make your own pastry and bake blind (not so essential as the filling is not heavy, but better)
      Smear lots of Dijon mustard on the bottom- I use smooth and grainy
      Sprinkle grated cheese – gruyère, comté, etc
      Slice tomatoes on top
      Cook until cheese bubbles up. Add some basil leaves if desired
      Voilà, c’est fini

  20. Linda Cullinan

    Can’t wait to read The Margot Affair. Sounds wonderful. I know you don’t like recommendations but I think you would love Dinner with Edward—about food, relationships and set in NY. It’s by Isabel Vincent.

    1. Rebecca

      Thank you for recommending Dinner With Edward, I will check it out right away. I just finished a book called Wild Game by Adrienne Broderick- Also about complicated relationships and food is a major presence.

  21. Isabel

    This reminds me of a David Lebovitz tomato tart that I absolutely love! The main difference seems to be the herb paste and grated cheese (Lebovitz has you dollop goat cheese on top of the tomatoes, which I highly recommend trying as it gets browned and amazing). I’m hoping we get tomatoes in this week’s CSA so I can try this version and compare!

    Also, yes please to another fennel recipe! I have mixed feeling about fennel (not a huge licorice fan), but we’ve gotten it in the CSA a few times so I’m always looking for new chances to learn to love it (:

    1. Liane

      The Lebovitz tomato tart recipe has the advantage of skipping the blind bake. Coat uncooked shell with mustard or pesto (my variation) and let sit for 15 minutes before filling. Add tomatoes (or grilled eggplant or other grilled veggies), cheese to complement veggies of your choice and cook at 450 for 25-30 minutes. This is a summer staple for us. Deb, thanks for varying toppings suggestions that I will apply to an already perfect less fussy crust process.

        1. Lisa

          Oh! All of those recipes sound so good. Maybe we could also get the clafoutis recipe too? :)
          And YES please to a fennel salad recipe. I love the taste but never know what to do with fennel when it comes in our CSA.

  22. Eileen

    This is gorgeous. Another vote for fennel in any form. The only salad I make with it is the fennel/celery/apple…a basic variation of your recipe, I thought (with pears?).

  23. Bridgit

    Similar to Ina Garten’s “Anna’s Tart”, which we made this week on pizza crust that was cooked on a pizza stone on the grill. I do not regret it!

  24. Michael

    Wow! Fennel has really generated a lot of interest!! In the recent food network series, Amy Schumer Learns to Cook, Amy’s husband, Chef Chris Fischer, shared his love for fennel, and included a recipe for fennel and celery salad with parmesan. I’m so excited about this tomato tart, I just want to put fennel right in the tart!!

  25. Beth M.

    More fennel! I will take all the fennel recipes you’ve got. I put it in my lemonade, eat it raw, sneak it in sandwiches, saute it, bake it…..

  26. Jennifer

    That book is on my nightstand and coming up next in my rotation! So glad to hear it’s a good one. This tart looks like just the thing to make with the tomatoes that are currently exploding in my garden. Thank you for sharing! (Also- I love fennel and would welcome a fennel recipe!)

  27. This is just lovely. A real recipe from fiction?! And it’s somewhat similar to my tomato pie which is on my list to make this week! May just switch to Lemoine’s instead.

    Love heirloom tomatoes, too, but the frustration of trying to get them home from my city market with the rest of the produce drives me crazy. They’re usually so ripe they split and mash – arghhhhh.

    Also, we love fennel!! And only know a few things to do with it, so would love the Smitten Kitchen take on it!

  28. Ingrid Emery

    Fennel salad recipe please – I love fennel and frequently make fennel salads. Would love to see more fennel recipes on Smitten Kitchen!

  29. Emill

    Ahhhh…..food porn! Most of my favorite books are full of it, 1000 Days in Tuscany, Bella Tuscany, and of course, Chocolat.
    Definitely will read the book now. The tart looks and sounds delicious, too! I have a garden full of heirloom tomatoes right now that need a home.

  30. Kim Nitchkey

    I love fennel, so you’ll have to share with me. I especially crave it grilled. And yes, please to your fennel salad recipe.

  31. Wow, no wonder you loved the book so much! One of my favourite books is Chocolat by Joanne Harris for precisely the same reason as you loved this one – the descriptions are to die for! Sounds (and looks!) incredible.

  32. Barbara

    I want the fennel salad recipe! I LOVE fennel and always have one in the fridge, ready to use in places where most people use celery, to sahve into salads, to saute along with onions,…. This tart is also going on the menu this week.

  33. Colleen Spada

    I also love fennel! So bring on the salad recipe!

    I had a tomato tart years ago that was delicious. I am certain I requested, and received, the recipe, but in multiple moves, a husband, two children, etc. since then I cannot find that darn recipe anywhere. So glad you shared this one.

  34. Jan

    Yes please for the fennel recipe. This looks amazingly good. Heidi at 101 Cookbooks also has a delicious Rustic Tomato Tart that has been a favorite of ours since she first published it.

  35. Erin B

    Please share the fennel salad recipe, Deb! We grew fennel in our garden for the first time this year and I’m a huge fan of it in every iteration: raw, roasted, grilled or braised! I think it’s an unsung hero of vegetables and adds such an interesting flavor to whatever it’s paired with. I don’t even like black licorice, and I know fennel is KIND of licorice-y, but it’s much less of a punch in the face and more nuanced and delicately perfumey. I especially love it paired with arugula, lemon, olive oil, reggiano and flaky salt, but I’ve made that a million times and want something new, so please “spill the tea” on the fennel salad!

  36. I adore fennel! Please share your salad. I think many people have a preconceived idea of whether they will like it based on their dislike of licorice candy. I can’t abide licorice candy but braised fennel, fennel ice cream, fennel salad are my number ones!

  37. Sofia Montgomery

    I made the clafoutis as soon as I finished reading but I’ve been thinking about this tart and fennel salad! Please share the perfect fennel salad recipe to accompany! I’m so delighted by the conversion of my favorite recipe blog and my new favorite novel!

  38. Elizabeth

    Yes please. More fennel. I made a fennel salad for Shabbat this week. Sliced fennel, shallots, a peach, chopped toasted hazelnuts drizzled with white balsamic and olive oil.

  39. OMG! Another French novel by a cook! Thank you for its tomato tart recipe, which I want to make soon.

    I have long enjoyed the Bruno, Chief of Police series by Martin Walker. His hero cooks. If you want to read the series, which is now in double digits, start with the first, simply titled Bruno, Chief of Police. Food is just one dimension of this engaging series.

    Thanks again,
    Nancy

  40. Gwyn Ganjeau

    YES, to the fennel salad recipe!! I’m stumped as to why the radio silence when it comes to fennel. What a fun veg to cook with!

  41. Jen unter

    I would like a fennel salad recipe! And I never know which parts of the fennel to use, so a little tutorial on that would be appreciated, too! Thank you!

  42. Joycelyn

    Great timing as always Deb, we just picked up some lovely heirloom tomatoes at one of our local farms so will be giving your recipe a go for sure. Just need to wait a day or so for this nasty heat wave we’re having to cool down enough to turn on the oven.
    Just a suggestion, but if you enjoy reading books like the Margot affair with recipe suggestions, or other mystery books with recipe descriptions and the recipe itself, you might want to Check out some of Diane Mott Davidsons mystery novels such as “Sticks and Scones” “Dying for Chocolate” “Killer Pancake” etc.
    I had all Ms. Davidson’s books but lost the majority of them in house fire. I’ve replaced a couple copies I found at thrift stores though so pleased about that.

  43. Heather

    I’d LOVE the fennel recipe! I came to it just in the last year and we’ve enjoyed it quite a bit in a blueberry, fennel, celery type salad with the leftovers used on a lettuce, grilled garlic shrimp salad. Since eating AIP so many summer favorite are out (no nightshades) so I’d love to hear how your fennel salad comes together!

  44. deb

    I am glad there is so much fennel salad enthusiasm — I’ll get it to you very soon.

    In the meanwhile, there are two fennel salads here, one with blood oranges and one with proscuitto and pomegranate, so they both feel very wintery. There’s also this green salad with a fennel seed vinaigrette. Finally, in Smitten Kitchen Every Day, there’s a Fennel, Pear, Celery, and Hazelnut Salad, which I jokingly call the Haters’ Salad because there are so many maligned ingredients in it.

  45. Louisa Barash

    This was delicious! I skipped the 10 minutes of chilling the pastry before putting in the tart pan and freezing; I had just a tiny bit of basil and parsley so added a handful of cilantro to the herb paste; and I sprinkled a bit of extra grated gruyere on top. will definitely make this again!

  46. Maria Connor

    If you enjoy books with delicious food elements, check out The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller.

  47. Ali

    I am interested in the fennel salad. It’s one of those things I am working on loving through CSA membership. So far I absolutely love the citrus-dill pickled fennel in Bryant Terry’s Vegetable Kingdom book (I think you have that book).

    Also interested in trying to veganize this tart recipe, if I ever turn on the oven again before tomatoes are out of season.

  48. Elizabeth

    Yum. Food for the eye, stomach and brain In one post. Tart on menu for tomorrow. Book purchased and on menu for bedtime reading this evening.

  49. Mme Catastrophe

    Made this for dinner tonight-absolutely delicious, and the perfect project for a rainy Sunday in late summer! Pro tip: I didn’t have pie weights or dry rice/beans on hand, so I used a bunch of loose change. This was my first time blind-baking in quite a while, and it worked great!

  50. Molly

    Yum – another triumph, Deb! So cool to have a recipe from a character in a novel – I know many of us are adding The Margot Affair to our ‘to read’ lists after enjoying this post!
    I made this tart with one large-ish heirloom tomato and a bunch of cherry tomatoes from our overflowing pandemic garden. I was worried it would be too wet with all of the tomatoes (which I did not seed), leading to the dreaded ‘soggy bottom,’ but parbaking the crust and having the cheese layer on the bottom kept it wonderfully crisp. I used shredded gruyere and extra mustard, which made it deliciously reminiscent of a sort of vegetarian croque monsieur situation (minus the rennet in the gruyere, of course).
    And yes, please to more fennel recipes – yum!

    1. Molly

      Also meant to say-I have a ton of regular basil pesto in the freezer from the aforementioned pandemic garden, so just used that instead of making the parsley pesto and it worked beautifully

  51. Emma

    I want the fennel salad recipe! I love fennel – and one of my favorite go-to salads is your pear and fennel and lemon and parm salad.

  52. Now I want to go read The Margot Affair! I’m not sure what Mathilde would think of this, but today I made a galette version of this recipe, combining the tomatoes and parsley pesto of the tart with the galette dough and ricotta/parmesan blend of the SK zucchini and ricotta galette. (https://smittenkitchen.com/2010/06/zucchini-and-ricotta-galette/) It was a delicious franken-recipe, and I was pleased to discover that the bottom wasn’t soggy even with the addition of the tomatoes.
    Looking forward to trying the original while it’s still tomato season!

  53. E E Deere

    Deb, This tomato tart looks grand, I will make it and read the book too.
    And I will take your fennel recipes.
    I just finished a novel called A Gentleman in Moscow, and our hero orders and salad of fennel and oranges as a counterpoint to osso buco. Yum.

  54. Bruce

    My first SK recipe! I made this for dinner tonight, and it was excellent. Tasty, still juicy, tomatoes on crisp pastry, flavoured with the herb pesto and a hint of local cheddar. Delicious with a bottle of Mi Mi en Provence.

    The only change I’ll make to the recipe will be to reduce the pre-freeze time for the pastry. It ended up cracking in a couple spots (easily repaired) because it was too cold. Maybe 10min instead of 20.

      1. Bruce

        The pastry disk cracked after the first freeze, as I was trying to settle it into the pie pan. After the 10min pre-freeze (I did use a timer) I brought the plate out of the freezer and transferred the pastry to the ceramic pie pan that I used for baking. At that point the pastry was frozen hard enough that there was no real way for it to sink down into the pan. I waited a while for it to soften, but even after that it cracked in a couple places.
        I was wondering whether this first freeze step be skipped completely. Is the intention to help keep the pastry thickness uniform as it’s settled into the pie/tart pan?

        1. Erin

          Agreed, Bruce- I won’t chill my pastry next time before I put it in the pan. I don’t think the pastry necessarily needed it (firm enough with the cold butter) and mine cracked as well. Net time!

          1. Since I’ve made SO MANY different tomato pie recipes I had two individual tart crusts (Parmesan) cooked and ready to be filled. Used the left over tomatoes for pasta and other dishes.
            I used Stella Parks recipe –crust is in the oven now. Next time though I’m sticking to nut crusts. While not a big fan of a lot of Epicurious–I got this email AFTER I started w Deb’s Peach and Creme Fraiche pie.

            https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/06/old-fashioned-flaky-pie-dough-recipe.html
            https://www.epicurious.com/recipes-menus/end-of-summer-stone-fruit-custard-tart-technique-article?utm_term=firstarticle

  55. Tim

    Uh..yes, please to the fennel salad! I never use it often enough, but whenever I do, end up saying things like “this is one of the best things I’ve made…”. Mostly thanks to your blood orange and fennel recipe already here, I’ve branched our and added it as a secondary ingredients to all sorts — Eg with lemon vinaigrette, lettuce, scallions, chili, parmiggiano, and toasted almonds on Saturday it was way better than expected.

  56. Sarah C.

    Made this last night. Amazing! Such intense summer flavors—just what I was craving. It did take nearly 3 hours, including down time and baking time. Made it in a pie plate and it worked great. In future I will skip the initial freeze, which made the dough too hard—had to wait for it to thaw before transferring to the pie plate. Subbed farmers market kale for parsley, which I didn’t have. Sharp cheddar was my cheese. It was very well done at 35 minutes, not 50, but my oven may run a little hot. Another winner from Deb.

  57. Allison

    Has anyone made this filling without cheese? We have a dairy allergy in the family. Wondering if anyone has either skipped the cheese entirely or used a dairy-free creamy alternative with success? (I can make do with a vegan crust.)

  58. Cathy

    I made this using the David Lebovitz tart recipe, since it’s just too simple. It was so good. I used heirloom tomatoes from my local farm stand and goat cheese. I think next time I’ll use a smaller piece of garlic in the herb spread (gasp! and I always put in more garlic to everything) because I think it slightly overpowered the tomatoes, which should shine here. Mustard is a must!

  59. Cheryl

    I made this – the filling was heavenly but the crust was VERY tight with no hint of flaky… seeing other folks’ comments on the flour amount, I’m wondering if there was just way too much flour. I definitely added way more water than the 1TB listed because it was so dry – seems like the crust recipe is off. Please fix!! Otherwise it’s perfect.

    1. Rebecca Freedman.

      This was fantastic- used garden tomatoes I picked today and gruyere cheese. Had more basil than parsley so I used what I had. I loved the mustard and the crust was delicious and so easy. I didn’t freeze it- made it in the morning and refrigerated it a few hours and parbaked around 2pm. Turned out great- I was so happy with how crispy and non soggy it was. Sprinkled fresh basil on top after cooling. It was like summer in a tart.

  60. I just placed the order w my library; there are 11 requests ahead of me!
    I for one am a Fennel fan-so YES PLEASE, Fennel recipe!
    I’ve made about 8 different tomato tarts this summer & a good 1/2 dozen cold soups: gazpacho, salmorejo, ajo blanco–even a zucchini soup that turned out awful. My husband has said enough already! When in Lyon a few springs ago we discovered those amazing little “apero” cherry tomatoes at the Farmers Market. We went through a kilo every other day. Costco has some right now, that are similar but despite being billed as from “France” (seeds) the skins are tougher and they are a bit more tart than the ones we remember.

  61. T

    Creating “real recipe from a fictional characters” is the schtick of youtuber Binging with Babish – in this case from TV shows rather than books. It’s been really cool to see his techniques (and setup) improve over the years!

  62. I’ve been slicing and steaming fennel to feed my mom after her chemo. It’s still a flavor she enjoys, and I hope that it calms her stomach. I’m very curious to hear more about this fennel salad, for me, and for my mom. It’s been a tough summer. Hope you are doing well, Deb.

  63. Mary H

    This looks beautiful! I will have to try it with my black cherry tomatoes from my plant that has grown eight feet tall. I tried fennel a few months ago and was amazed by the flavor, so I would love to try a fennel salad recipe. I’m intrigued to read the book now, too!

  64. Laura P.

    These descriptions remind me of the food they talk about in Joanne Harris’s Chocolat. All those gorgeous Provençal flavors.

  65. Vilmarie

    Yes to fennel!! I love it. Also speaking of fiction with wonderful recipes or cooking details in their stories, have you read Like Water for Chocolate. It always makes me want to learn how to make those dishes.

  66. Maria

    Hi
    I LOVE FENNEL and would love a recipe for fennel salad, thank you very much! (trying to cancel out the tumbleweed here… orange and fennel salad is the best).

    also this looks delicious and now I want to read that book!

  67. Holly

    Howdy! Tomato pie favorite things on earth and French inspired can’t wait to make! But, I might be exhausted from just taking my firstborn to college bc I can’t find the note where you mention what types of cheese would work best here?
    Sorry for being asleep at the wheel!

  68. Alice K.

    I made this today for lunch with a social-distanced friend at my home outside on the deck. It was delicious! I used a pre-made frozen pie crust (sorry, Deb!) to save on time, but filled it with home-grown tomatoes (red and yellow) and home-made pesto. I had no smooth dijon mustard, so I used coarse ground; it didn’t seem to matter too much. I only had parmesan cheese, and that seemed to work okay, too. All in all the pie/tart was excellent, and I shall make it again.

  69. Francoise

    Can someone help?! Whenever I try to roll dough between 2 sheets of parchment is slides all over the counter. Any tips/tricks that you have would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!!

    1. Catherine

      Don’t push as vigorously? I honestly haven’t had this problem, so am to sure how to advise… maybe place a towel underneath? I hope I didn’t come off as rude or anything *embarrassing face*

  70. Catherine

    PLEASE post your fennel salad! I rarely have it, but do love fennel, especially in bright and crispy formats. P.S. the tomato tart looks and sounds lovely!

  71. Maeve

    “Blot tomatoes with paper towels to remove excess liquid.”

    No, no, no, please Deb, you are trying to save the world for your kids, right?
    Blot tomatoes with old dishcloths. I save mine just for drying veggies and tasks like this. The only thing that I haven’ found a replacement for paper towels is blotting bacon — but soon, I hope!

    Having said that, this recipe sounds like a winner and a great way to use some of the tomatoes that are now ripening all at once!

  72. Cathryn

    I love connecting literature and food! I will get The Margot Affair this weekend! My kitchen is currently under renovation. It should be done before the end of tomato season (famous last words). I would LOVE a fennel salad recipe to make along with this tart in my new kitchen!! Thanks, Deb!

  73. Hi Deb,
    Cheffzilla here, in Lancaster, PA. Great recipe! I love the Dijon mustard spread. Adds a layer of flavor I hadn’t thought of. Wonderful.
    Here’s an idea: salt the tomato slices on a cooling rack above the plate while the you are making the crust; it will draw out a lot of the moisture, and the tomato flavor will burst!

    1. Deanna

      Great idea on the rack to drain the tomatoes. Mine were much too wet and I had to siphon off extra juice in the baking process with a spoon because it took utterly forever to cook but was well worth the wait!

  74. M-C

    I am going to ignore that remark about fennel entirely. But 1tb of mustard, really? The mustard is what makes this. You could totally skip the cheese and never miss it. But you need a thick coat of mustard to make it work..

  75. Linda Komes

    I love your recipes but am I the only one that has trouble printing them? When I print, it seems the text at the top or bottom of a page is routinely cut off and I have to write in the missing info. This time it completely cut off the entire “Bake shell” paragraph. Good thing I caught it when I couldn’t find the oven temperature! I don’t want to have to change my printer settings each time I print a recipe:(

    1. deb

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention — I didn’t realize this was happening and filed a ticket with the team that helps me so we can get it fixed up. Thanks.

  76. Kelsey

    Ok, been eyeing this since it came out. What are your thoughts on making the crust ahead? Is that doable or a complete no-go?

  77. Michelle

    What size food processor do you use and/or recommend for making things like this dough? I’m getting ready to (finally) buy one, but now I can’t decide what size bowl.

  78. K

    I had some heirloom tomatoes on the counter, basil and parsley growing like crazy in the yard, and dough for a savory tart crust in the freezer, so this seemed like the perfect easy Monday night dinner. It came together easily and was so flavorful (I did put a more generous mustard layer at the bottom and sprinkle some piment d’espelette on top with the black pepper). We all loved it and I’m already planning to make it again soon.

  79. Alison Kalinski

    Hi. first time making a tomato pie – i was nervous it would be soggy – but it was perfect! so summery and delicious! i followed the recipe exactly but used a frozen pie crust with gruyere cheese! Thank you!

  80. Peg

    Another fennel fan here! Grew it in our garden for the first time this summer and discovered we love it! Would love more fennel recipes.

  81. Andrea

    This was delicious: thank you for helping us make a dent in our unusually bountiful tomato crop. When I make it again I will definitely use a quiche pan to create a deeper space to pile on the tomatoes. I think I’ll also do the food processor steps (dough and pesto) in advance to spread the work out a bit.

  82. Rebecca Whitney

    First time commenter, long-time reader… I loved that book too, and was obsessed with all the food. Maybe she’ll publish more recipes, but in the meantime, thanks so much for inspiring this one! I can’t wait to make it.

  83. Funny; I guess it’s just classic “french stuff” but this reminded me of an old Patricia Wells cookbook I was obsessed with for a while. In it, she has both a tomato tart (v similar to this one) and a pear-anise clafoutis, both so good. When will the move-to-a-chateau-in-France portion of my life begin???

  84. Erin Paradise

    If I’m using a Trader Joe’s crust 🤫 that’s essentially raw do I bake as in your instructions and then bake again when tart is filled for the 50 m?

  85. Anne

    Very nice tart. I used arugula to make the pesto, having no parsley or basil and that worked well. I made a smaller tart and it took 45 minutes to bake. Crust was flaky and crisp which was great. Will make this again.

  86. Susan B

    Looks yummy, especially the parsley pesto. I feel almost guilty about not loving classic basil pesto, but this sound lighter, fresher. I might make it ahead, store it in a ZipLoc bag with the air squeezed out, and then snip off a corner and pipe it into the shell.

  87. Ruth

    Not to overstate things, but this is in the top 10 dishes I’ve ever made, and I’ve made well over 10 from this Deb alone. Modifications included using Kerry Gold Salted Butter (woe is me it’s all I had), and added about a tablespoon extra of water and didn’t add salt- worked great. I used probably closer to 3-4 tablespoons stone ground mustard, and still could have used more, I love it so much. I blitzed whole Parmesan and added more like 70 grams since that was what I had. I also had to broil it for 5 minutes at the end since I forgot to add the olive oil on top until late- oops. Anyway, it all turned out fantastically, and even though it was a good amount of work, it was well worth it. I will 100% be making this again.

  88. Sylvia

    YES PLEASE FENNEL SALAD tell me all your fennel deliciousness…

    My neighbor has a rogue volunteer fennel plant in his xeriscaped front garden that has turned into a shrub/tree of lovely fennel flowers. It’s right next to a hummingbird feeder, and the hummingbirds take turns lurking in it and chasing each other away from the feeder.

  89. K.

    Absolutely yes on the fennel recipes! I love fennel! We get lots of it in my farm share, especially in the winter farm share, and I am always looking for great ways to prepare it.

    (Also, I am totally making this tart tomorrow.)

  90. Claire

    I cook fennel whenever I can – especially in either a tomato based pasta sauce, or (favourite) caramelised, then braised in some butter and white wine to create a sauce, and bake under a crust of large parmesan breadcrumbs mixed with the fronds. Bring on all fennel recipes!!

  91. Sara McIntire

    Fennel is magnificent and under appreciated. Raw shaved fennel, mache lettuce, blood oranges, pine nuts, salt, olive oil: I first ate this in Italy and it never fails. I’m quite happy to eat the fennel untouched by others at the table.

  92. Ellen

    I LOVE FENNEL! I used to eat a quarter of a bulb at lunch every day, raw, when I packed my lunch and actually left the house to go to work. Send along the fennel recipe please.

    1. Maryse42

      I put the filling on store-bought naan to make sort of mini-pizzas (bad planning,
      didn’t give myself enough time to make tart crust) and omg it was DELICIOUS!!! Looking forward to making it again as an actual tart!

  93. Brenda

    I did make Mathilde’s Tomato Tart using gruyere as our cheese of choice and fresh heirloom tomatoes. The result was truly memorable. Interestingly, I later discovered that this recipe is very similar to Anna’s Tomato Tart from Barefoot Contessa. One difference is Anna’s recipe mixes the pesto with the tomatoes before layering them on top. Looking forward to comparing them both! Also, I love fennel and would very much enjoy seeing your favorite fennel salad recipe.

  94. Allison

    It seems you’ve opened up the floodgates and there will not, in fact, be quite as much fennel for you. Yes to fennel salad, please!

  95. Fontina

    Recently you posted a recipe using Italian fontina Valdosta. I have purchased the cheese but I can no longer remember which recipe I said it for can you help me please thanks

  96. Eliza

    Deb! Help! Tart disaster! It just POURED oil on the bottom of my oven and there was a ton of liquid in the tart itself… so sad because it looks gorgeous. Wondering if a standard lie crust might work better? I’ve also done this crust with no freezing first and you just press it in warm which helps seal cracks more?

    Clearly I want to eat this tart and want to try again.

    1. Deanna

      I had a similar problem – my tomatoes were very fresh, beautiful looking and had too much liquid come out as they baked. I ended up using a spoon to carefully siphon off the liquid and had a solid 1/2 cup after 2 rounds and baked for much longer (about 90 minutes). The end result was perfection and I’d recommend carefully spooning out the liquid should this happen. I’m not sure how to prevent it but will add more salt in the draining step.

      1. Many tomato recipes solve this issue by partial roasting or baking tomatoes (no olive oil in them) https://www.thedaleyplate.com/blog/roasted-tomato-cheddar-pie, https://www.saveur.com/vivian-howard-tomato-pie/. Alternatively, drain and dry the tomatoes on towels for a longer period. I don’t care for mayo in my pies so I tend to go w creme fraiche and less liquid. While I’ve used many different types of cheese-I’ve made about 8 pies so far this summer–my personal favorite is the Sea Coast Cheddar (affordable from either Trader Joe’s or Costco). Good luck everyone. Oh and pie crusts are a bitch!

        1. Deanna

          Might try roasting tomorrow – going to work on draining a bit more. The pie is really excellent. And yes, pie crusts are just the worst!

  97. Nicole Stupka

    I would love a fennel salad (as long as no sliced oranges are involved – too fussy). Our current favourite is thinly sliced fennel, roughly grated carrot, feta, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. I use a food processor for the veggies. The salad is keeps well for a couple of days.

  98. sallyt

    This was delicious! My initial freeze was about 9 minutes, and my crust was fine (2 tiny cracks but nothing I couldn’t fix). I hate wasting the trimmed crust, so just fold it over to make a double-thick upper crust. I had more basil than parsley, and prefer a basil-only pesto. Thank you!

  99. CG

    Hi Deb,
    Love your recipes, making this tonight. I just wanted to know if anyone else had issues when scrolling through comments on their phone with the reply pop up coming up constantly. This has always been an issue for me on this site, but didn’t want to “complain” about something so minor. Perhaps my way of scrolling somehow causes this. Anywho, occured to me today that perhaps others had this issue and Deb might want to fix it. Clearly a low priority!

    Thanks

    1. deb

      You should definitely complain if something is interrupting your experience! Tell me more. What is the reply pop-up? Do you have a screenshot you could email me (deb@smittenkitchen.com)?

      1. LM

        Seconding this! The “reply” button on the comments is exactly where I want to put my thumb when scrolling through comments on my phone so I always end up tapping it. If I’m thinking about it, I can just scroll on a different part of the screen, but it would be nice if the reply button was a little bit harder to hit accidentally.

    2. Becca

      That happens to me, too, basically every time I scroll the comments. Agree with LM and SG that the reply button is right where my thumb hits when scrolling.

  100. Tamara

    I’d love to get the recipe for your fennel salad! I love it raw, grilled, in soups.
    I’m never hugely drawn by vegetable tarts for some reason but this one I’m going to try… and the book! Thanks as always.

    1. Francoise

      I did. You roll the crust a little thinner. The only issue I had was the center of the crust was a little limp. Not soggy but not crisp either. Not sure if it was because of rolling thinner or the tart dough I used (opted for a whole wheat recipe instead of Deb’s). Other than that worked great and the tart was delicious!

  101. angela

    Hi hi! My dad has gone overboard in his garden this year and we have more tomatoes than we can eat, even after making oceans of sauce. Do you think this would freeze OK after it’s been baked?

  102. Lara

    First: Fennel salad with apples, cranberries and walnuts for the win!

    Second: I made the tarte with a few modifications (sour cream instead of mustard, thicker yeast-based crust instead of the paté brisée, freestyle shape on a baking sheet instead of a tarte) and it was delicious! Made it with homegrown tomatoes and basil from the garden – absolutely fantastic. I also made the “Pissaladière” from Chocolate&Zucchini the same night to feed a crowd and it was an all over dinner hit!

    1. Lara

      oh and a question: How long do you drain the tomatoes? I did it for a few minutes, but still got something of a soggy mess on the baking sheet, which I did then remove with some more kitchen paper during the baking process.

      1. Lauren

        I cut and salted the tomatoes first thing, and set them on a few layers of paper towels while I did everything else, changing the paper towels when they got saturated. Might have been overkill, but I just can’t stand watery tomatoes!

  103. Lisa P

    As someone else noted about the flour, i think the ratios on this recipe are way off. I ended up doubling the cheese to 4 oz (mostly to use up what I had) and still when I cut into it, the filling layer was super thin and the pie came out very flat. The cheese barely registers when you taste it, and I buy good cheese. When I checked some other recipes – something I should have done before I started, apparently – they call for 8 oz of cheese or more. So not a keeper for me

  104. Joanna

    I saw this recipe over the weekend just after getting 1.5 lbs of beautiful heirloom tomatoes from my CSA, so I made it the next day and it was excellent! I needed an extra tbsp of water to get the dough to come together… honestly I probably could have added a third tbsp, my dough was still on the dry side.

    I skipped the first freezing step completely and instead I made my dough early in the day and shaped it into a disc, which I put in the fridge. Then later I rolled, placed in the shell, and did the 20-min freeze before blind baking. Used 1 tbsp of dijon and while I love mustard, I felt it slightly overpowered the other flavors… next time I’d use slightly less or maybe use a different type of mustard. But overall DELICIOUS!! Thank you for the recipe!

  105. Mike

    This was fantastic. Nothing better than roasted tomatoes. Umami heaven. I swapped the ratios of parsley and basil- 1 cup parsley and 2 cups basil. I noticed some liquid in the tart itself and was worried it would run out when I cut it. But it didn’t. Still was more liquid pooled there than I would have liked, but the crust did a good job at keeping it in (and wasn’t soggy). Thank you for this recipe!

  106. Carol Love

    I made this for dinner tonight with a simple Fennel salad. It was delicious! My husband and I both really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the story about Matilde as well.

    Thank you!

  107. Liz

    The only ice cream shake I’ve ever liked was an orange and fennel one from the newly opened Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. I’ve been searching for that flavor ever since.

  108. This was probably the first time I was this quick into using one of your recipes and it did not disappoint. Roasting the tomatoes for so long left them so sweet, I’m glad I have leftovers for lunch!
    No team fennel here, sorry!

    1. deb

      Coconut flour won’t work the same as regular flour here, but a gluten-free baking mix might have more potential. Coconut sugar should be fine in the crust, or you can omit the sugar altogether.

  109. MMBK

    I made this and it was delicious! I used a pre-made refrigerated crust (type that comes rolled up.) My only question is how to prevent it from being too ‘soggy’? It tasted great, but came apart in a million parts when we cut it. Thank you!

  110. Carolyn

    This tart is amazing. Used Jarlsberg cheese, cherry tomatoes which were at the point of becoming over-ripe. Absolutely delicious, thank you.

  111. Leigh

    If you feel like venturing to distant shores, Sally Andrew has written three books in a series, set in a small Karoo town in South Africa. The main character is an avid cook, and all the recipes (many traditional) that she makes are included at the end. The Tannie Maria mysteries – something entertaining and different.

    Recipes for Love and Murder
    Tannie Maria and the Satanic Mechanic
    Death on the Limpopo

  112. Hey! I am also a lover of fennel, and grew it for the first time this year. I didn’t get much in the way of bulbs, and they have grown up now anyway, so I’ve got lots and lots of fronds! If you’ve got recipes, please share! I add them to spaghetti sauce, and salads.

  113. Karen

    This tart was delicious!
    Made it last night and followed the recipe closely. Used pecorino and parmigiana for the cheese underneath, as well as a light layer of Dijon on the crust. The mustard added a wonderful complexity to the flavour and was not overpowering at all. Increased the cooking time to about 70 minutes, as the tomatoes were still a bit runny at 1 hour. Served it at room temperature with a side salad of the leftover seasoned heirloom tomatoes topped with Burrata. Heaven.

  114. meadowmuffin

    This was so delicious. I omitted the first freeze of the crust and just did the second in the tart pan. My daughter who is 11 and does not like tomatoes (despite my best effort) asked for seconds, and then asked to make it with me next time. It was the perfect use for my ripe heirloom tomatoes, and tasted just like summer. Thank you!

  115. Colleen

    I was not certain about the mustard, but I am really glad that I used it. It was perfect against the herb mixture.
    I used heirloom tomatoes and I think that I am going to let the tomatoes drain on a rack over a cookie sheet next time. I blotted with them as instructed, but the crust got a bit soggy. I think that they would be find just on a tray for less juicy tomatoes.
    The tart is incredibly light, which really lets the tomatoes shine through. As a result though, I have to disagree with the number of portions. If you are serving it only with a salad, I would say 4 servings rather than 8. And if you are home by yourself, you might possibly eat a third in one sitting it is so good.

    1. Yeah, that was definitely the case for us, when I made tomato pie recently. That ended up being maybe a quarter of the pie remaining for my wife’s lunch the next day. I had three servings. 😳

  116. Erika

    This recipe is ~DELICIOUS~! I made it yesterday for a small family birthday and it was a smash hit! Especially with tomatoes fresh from the garden. I subbed feta for the hard cheese and left out the dijon and there were zero leftovers! Thanks for the amazing recipe…I’m officially smitten with your website!! ;)

  117. Kylie

    When my tart was ready out of the oven it was full of tomato juice and olive oil with the tomatoes sloshing about a bit. I dried the tomatoes on the cookie sheet as instructed. My only other thought was maybe slightly too much olive oil on top and too much olive oil in the herb blend? Any recommendations?

  118. Gail Hardenbergh

    This tomato tart is insanely good. First, I made it, cut it into quarters and ate a portion for dinner along with my husband. Right after he put the last bite in his mouth he said, “I don’t think I’ve had enough food, let’s split the rest.”

    Then, we liked it so much I made again it two days later. Again, groaning with pleasure as we ate it. Magic!

  119. Joanna

    This is pure summer goodness! It felt like eating a very fancy, grown up pizza. The crust is buttery and rich, and the tomatoes absolutely sing.

  120. Nina

    So I thought this was nice but I wish I had used less pesto and more mustard? It tasted like a pesto pizza in a tart shell which was pleasant but not amazing…I did love the crust. I didn’t process until it formed a ball but dumped out the crumbs and used the parchment to bring it together.

  121. Pam McG

    This. Is. A. Winner. I used mozzarella. It baked up beautifully in a 9.5” Corning Ware French white. I’m going to make it again tomorrow!

  122. JP

    I was glad to see this recipe because I had everything needed to make it and some especially ripe tomatoes that needed to be used. However, I never roll out tart dough these days- I use one of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine’s recipes for either savory or sweet pat in the pan tart dough. So much less stressful! I was happy with the outcome but I think the cheese I used was too salty. Fortunately, the tomatoes were extremely sweet so it balanced out the flavor pretty well. What hard cheese would have been best? Park? Romano? Thanks for the recipe, Deb! Stay well!

    1. Lauren

      Oh man, I need to try that Cook’s Illustrated tart dough!! I struggle so much with pastry, rolling it out specifically – thanks for mentioning it!

  123. pjcamp

    I make one very similar to this. I’ve found if you’re short of time, you can use puff pastry instead of the pastry crust. Just be sure to dock it.

  124. Elizabeth

    This tart is a beautiful crowd pleaser! I used my own go-to pate brisee recipe but followed the recipe otherwise. So good. It’s kind of like a French pizza. :-) Thank you for bringing food joy during these weird times.

  125. Jill R

    Loved it! The mustard and parsley are great flavor additions to the usual tomato/basil.
    Used an all-butter premade savory pie dough and it was perfect. Brand is Rustic Tart and is new and available in the Midwest.

  126. Caiti

    I made this tart with a bunch of cherry and grape tomatoes I had on hand from friends’ gardens and it turned out so lovely. I’m sure it was because there wasn’t as much liquid to give off from the tomatoes but it was a bit dry for me with a hard cheese (pecorino romano). Has anyone successfully tried this with goat cheese? I thought it might be good with a creamy cheese too and I have another bucket full of cherry tomatoes to use up.

  127. Hannah

    Thank you! I made this tart and everything was perfect and easy – somehow we didn’t have parsley so I subbed cilantro (and kept the basil) and it didn’t taste strange, just garlicky and wonderfully herby. I am also not a fan of Dijon mustard, but included the smear of it anyway and loved it!!!
    I just finished reading The Margot Affair and loved it, too. Thank you.

  128. Mir

    Just made this! I didn’t want to waste all the good goop from the salted tomatoes, so instead of blotting I put the tomatoes in a salad spinner and went to town.

    Mixed the tomato juice with vodka, Worcestershire, and other goodness for a drink while baking the tart ^_^

  129. Oh my! Exactly what I need to make tonight for my socially distanced visit with a girlfriend. And I am so serving fennel with it. I too am the only one in my family that likes fennel. Going with a zucchini and fennel carpaccio salad. Blood orange olive oil drizzle and roasted walnuts maybe some Romano shaved onntop. But I would totally appreciate more fennel recipes, especially for fall! Thank you!!

  130. Sarah

    I have been experimenting with tomato tarts all summer and this one was a winner – even my five year old liked it, which is saying something. I doubled the mustard as suggested and used gruyere (might have had a heavy hand with that but it was worth it). The addition of the herb paste added additional summer flavor. As others mentioned I definitely needed more than one tablespoon of water for the tart dough. I live in a humid and hot place and I needed three tablespoons to get it to just hold together and was able to shape it in a disk with the help of plastic wrap.

  131. Janice

    Hi there!
    This sounds de-lish. I am having company for dinner party this weekend and would love to serve this as an appetizer. Making it ahead – How do you think this would freeze?

    1. HI, I made this yesterday for company. Did the pastry and the pesto in the morning. Then mid afternoon prepped the tart and salted and dried the tomatoes. Too about 55 to bake. I served it 3 hours later and left it on the counter in the meantime. Today I have leftovers, crust is starting to get soggy and the tomatoes are mushy. No where near as good as yesterday. My suggestion? Prep and freeze up to the pesto stage. Thaw in fridge and bake the day you want to eat it. The roasted mostly dry tomato texture is far superior then the mushy tomatoes I have a day later. This was amazing last night! Worth the time to prep ahead- up until the tomato add. Best luck!!

  132. Lauren

    This turned out so yummy!! The pastry came out…funky, probably because I didn’t freeze it before baking and I couldn’t find anything to weight it down, also I was using a glass pie pan with sloped sides… So it sort of slid to the middle and I tried to reshape it after it came out, with dubious results 😂So lesson learned. But it tasted great, even though it looked weird! Just goes to show, even if you think you’ve ruined everything, just keep going and it’ll probably turn out okay!

  133. Kate

    This was delicious and as a relative beginner to pastry and shortcrust it felt *super* to pop this tart out and it didn’t leak at all. That said, I think I made the pastry a bit too thick. Part of the issue may have been that I was working with a straight sided springform pan, and maybe I should have rolled it out further. All this says is that more experimentation is needed.

    I ended up using a mix of provolone and asiago, and it was a perfect light dinner.

  134. Judith

    It said in the recipe you were going to say something about the cheese in the notes, but I couldn’t see it. Now I must know! I have a ton of tomatoes at the moment, so I’m dying to make this!

    1. deb

      It’s in the headnotes:

      For the cheese, use any kind you like or a combination thereof. Lemoine loves Drunken Goat here, but gruyère, comté, cheddar, asiago, or pecorino could work too. I used an aged provolone.

  135. BetsyD

    Straight up unbelievably amazing! I waited ALL summer for my heirloom tomatoes to ripen and they finally were picked yesterday. Made this tonight and what a wonderful way to celebrate tomatoes! Absolutely worth the wait. I will be making this often. Thank you for always being so trustworthy with your recipes. It’s a motto in our home now when I make a new recipe that “Deb can be trusted…have no worries. It’s going to be fab” Indeed it was.

  136. Diane

    Hi and sorry.

    I am writing only because I love most of the recipes here ( recently, loved the kachumber cooler and yes I purchase fennel and olives to try that too!) but want to save someone from making this one.

    This tart was not a winner in our crowd. Looked pretty but kinda laborious, didn’t really hang together and was a meh taste wise.

    To start, i consistently misjudge and end up with overly tough shells when I make the dough in the processor. Plus it takes forever. Then the tomatoes did not dry out enough to keep this from being soupy. And really we all prefer basil to parsley pesto as we now discovered. Honestly, I recommend just making pizza.

  137. Lisa

    Made this with different tomato varieties (including ground cherries) and grainy mustard instead of dijon mustard. Delicious. Don’t be afraid to change it up as needed.

  138. Dani James

    What food processor do you use? Needing to replace my old Cuisinart and user reviews on the brands that tip the “Best of” lists are mixed.

    1. deb

      The note is just above the recipe:

      For the cheese, use any kind you like or a combination thereof. Lemoine loves Drunken Goat here, but gruyère, comté, cheddar, asiago, or pecorino could work too. I used an aged provolone.

  139. Rachel

    I made both tomato tarts on the SK website this summer, and liked them both, but am definitely team Mathilde. I had to add a little extra water to the crust, but otherwise followed exactly. I was pleased at how sturdy but still tender the crust was and how well the salting and blotting of the tomatoes worked to remove some moisture so the crust stayed crisp.

  140. Dahlink

    I read the book and enjoyed it, but I’ve made the tart twice and it is much more memorable! Perfect summer dinner along with the fennel salad.

  141. Sujatha

    Made this tonight for Vegetarian dinner. Was concerned that it would not be enough for our family of 4, but the cheese and crust makes it filling. Good alternative to a quiche. Added dried thyme to Flour for crust. Shortened blind bake time to 12 minutes. Used sliced gruyere inside and shredded gruyere + Parmesan on top. Had to reduce baking time to 45 minutes so top cheese wouldn’t burn, but these were all good additions.

  142. Susan Seigerman

    Made this the other night with some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes! Light, delicious for a late summer supper with a salad, not fennel (husband not a fan). Reheated for lunch the next day. I made the crust a day before and it was perfect.

  143. KarenA

    This was delicious and the tart crust was perfect, one of the best I’ve ever made! Used cheddar, went a little heavy on the Dijon. Mmm!

  144. Juka

    this was delicious. we ate it with Meera Sodha’s malai broccoli.

    changes made: swapped 1/2 AP with whole wheat flour for both nutrition and flavor. Used Honey Mustard because that’s what I had: this really added a much needed counterpoint-y flavor. Pesto was made with basil and turnip greens because a) no parsley b) the turnip greens were fresh, green and very inviting looking, saying “use me up! use me up!” used a mix of gruyere and parmigiano reggiano. made w/ heirloom tomatoes.

    very very tasty, will keep this recipe in mind for heirloom, tomatoes season!

    1. Juka

      Oh! for blind baking the crust, I used Deb’s method of buttering the foil and molding it tightly to the crust (after having frozen it). I actually forgot to prick it as well, and it was totally fine. didn’t really rise or anything.

  145. Katrina

    I’ve now made this delicious tart three times and it’s on the menu for tomorrow. It takes a long time but so worthwhile…the taste of summer in every bite!
    I do not put the dough in the freezer before placing in the tart pan, as ten or fifteen minutes in the fridge seems to do the trick. I also reverse the quantities of basil and parsley due to personal preference. Otherwise, follow the recipe exactly. YUM!

  146. Charli

    This was amazing. I made a vegan version (adjusted the pie crust with coconut oil and vegan butter and vegan cheese in the filling). So good and my family loved it.