My trip to the farmer’s market on Saturday provided me the inspiration and the ingredients to make a tomato and goat cheese tart for dinner that evening. I’d made something like this once before, but it was much richer than what I wanted this time, so I struck out on my own. I really enjoyed the process of developing a recipe that fit the ingredients I bought at the market. Plus, anytime I work with fresh herbs and garlic, I can’t help but feel happy — the fragrances are so invigorating!
I was delighted with how the tart turned out. It looked elegant and the colours and aroma were so appealing. Your guests will be impressed! Unfortunately, since dinner was quite late I didn’t have bright natural light for the “after” photography, but I think the photos still give you an idea of how good the finished tart looked.
The Culinary Enthusiast had never had anything like this before, and he pronounced it one of his all-time favourites. In fact, he said it’s even tastier than my Hungarian Goulash, and that’s saying something considering it’s the dish he requests most. Good thing they’re dishes that suit different seasons, otherwise they’d be in real competition!
This tart provided a symphony of textures and flavours. The filo crust was crisp and flaky, and flavoured by the infused oil I brushed it with. The rich and creamy goat cheese base with the heat of onion and garlic was complemented by the tangy sweetness of the roasted tomatoes.
The tart served as our dinner, but it would also be a lovely first course at a dinner party. It would be easy to make individual tarts, too. Just remember to use tart tins with removable bottoms to make serving easy.
Be prepared for compliments when you serve this!
Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart
Pre-heat oven to 375º. I used a fluted 4″ x 13-1/2″ tin with a removable bottom. You could also use a round one or individual tart tins. I may also try my hand at making free-form tarts on a baking tray one of these days.
- 1 large or two small cloves of garlic, minced
- a few leaves of fresh rosemary, minced
- 6 to 8 basil leaves, chopped
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion or large shallot, 2 tablespoons finely chopped and the rest thinly sliced and separated into rings
- 4 oz (113 g) plain goat cheese
- 3 sheets filo (phyllo) pastry
- 4 medium tomatoes (I used yellow and red), sliced 1/4 inch thick
- freshly ground pepper
- kosher salt
For the Infused Oil – Put half the minced garlic, the rosemary and about a quarter of the basil into a ramekin. Add the olive oil and a good grinding of pepper, and set aside while getting the rest of the ingredients ready. This will infuse the oil with the flavours of the herbs and garlic.
For the Goat Cheese Base – Put the rest of the minced garlic and the finely chopped onion into a small bowl. Add about half of the remaining chopped basil, somewhat more than 3/4 of the goat cheese, and a good grinding of pepper. Mix together with a fork until well incorporated.
To Assemble the Tart – Cut the filo pastry to fit the tin you’re using plus some coming up past the edges. Don’t worry if the filo breaks – you can easily patch it together. I didn’t take mine out of the freezer early enough and it broke into lots of pieces, but the dish still turned out looking fine.
Brush each piece of filo with the infused oil and layer into the tin (at least six layers). Distribute the goat cheese, garlic, onion and basil mixture over top the pastry base. Since it was a creamy, not crumbly, mixture I broke it into small pieces to spread evenly around the tin. Distribute the onion rings over top. Arrange the yellow and red tomatoes in an overlapping pattern. Brush with the rest of the infused oil, and sprinkle the remaining garlic/herb mixture over top. Season with freshly ground pepper and a light sprinkle of kosher salt. Break the remaining plain goat cheese into small bits and strew evenly across the tomato slices. Garnish with the remaining chopped basil.
Put the tin on a large baking tray and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Place the tin on a rack to cool for a couple of minutes, then carefully separate the bottom from the sides. Cut into the serving size you desire and dazzle your dining companions.