Fresh Tomato and Basil Tart

Tomatoes, naturally delicious and full of nutrients.  right now they are peaking in my garden.  Every year I look forward to making this tart with the tomatoes that I grow. 

Try this for dinner Kirsten from New York.  I believe "Hampton Tomatoes" are supposed to be pretty good. 

I feel very fortunate to have a vegetable garden.  If I could only grow one thing, I would definately grow tomatoes.  If I could only grown two things, I would definately grow tomatoes and basil.  What a perfect pair.

Look at these red baseballs.  Gorgeous.

Sweet 100's!  That's not a lie either.  You literally get 100's of these cherry tomatoes from one plant.

The harvest.

For this tart you will need one sheet of frozen puff pastry.  Read the directions on the package on how to thaw.  I have removed the frozen puff pastry from the package and I am letting it thaw on the countertop on a floured surface.  It doesn't take too long.

Once the pastry dough has thawed, unfold it carefully.  If the dough is still frozen, just be paitent and wait a little longer.  If you force open the pastry dought, it will break.  You don't want to do that.

Once the dough has completely thawed gently roll it out to a 14 x 11-inch rectangle. 

Pull out a ruler to measure so that you can be exact.  The pastry dough will be thin.

Cut a 1/2-inch strip from each side of the pastry rectangle.

Like this.

Crack one egg into a small bowl.

Beat it.

Place the pastry on a parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheet

Brush the pastry dough with the beaten egg.

Place the 1/2-inch cut strips on edges of the tart.  Press gently to adhere.

Cut the excess strip off.



Do the same on the all  four sides.

Adding the strips of dough will create a frame for your tomatoes.

Brush the strips of dough with the egg.

Take a fork and piece the entire tart several times.

This will keep the pastry from puffing into a pillow.

Piece the edges as well.

Place the pastry into a preheated 400 degree oven.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. 

Remove from the oven.

Carefully lift the pastry from the baking sheet and cool completely on a wire rack.

Turn the oven down to 350 degrees because you are going to bake the tart again.

Next step: 

You will need a few tomatoes, pesto sauce, cream cheese, milk, olive oil and salt and pepper.

Place the cream cheese in a small mixing bowl.

Beat for a minute or so to lighten up the cream.

Add the pesto sauce. 

Mix the cream cheese and pesto together.

You just have to beat it until it has mixed together.

Add the milk.

Thoroughly mix.  Make sure the cream cheese isn't lumpy.

Set aside for a minute.

Slice the tomatoes about 1/2-inch thick.  You can slice them thinner if you like.  My tomatoes are medium size...about like a baseball.  

I'm slicing three tomatoes.

Return the cooled pastry to the baking sheet.

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooled pastry tart.

An off-set spatula makes the job easier.

Spread as evenly as possible.

Arrange the tomato slices on top of the cream cheese mixture.

I have to cut a row of my tomatoes in half due to the fact that their size didn't permit me to make three rows of whole slices. 

Like Tim Gunn says, "Make it work"!

Drizzle with a little olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Place the tart in the 350 degree oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the tart has set up and there are not visible juices.  If there are still a lot of juices, the tart will go soggy.

While the tart is baking, you can get the fresh basil ready.

Remove the basil leaves from the stem.

Stack the leaves on top of each other and roll them together a bit.

Slice the basil.  This is called a "chiffonade". 

Set the basil aside until the tart comes out of the oven.

When the tart is completely cooked with no juices visible, remove from the oven.

Sprinkle with the basil chiffonade.

Isn't that pretty.  I love the green against the red.

I like to eat this while it is hot.  Because the pastry is so crispy and I love the crunch with the juice tart tomatoes and the creaminess of the pesto and cream cheese. 


Cut a wedge and serve with a lightly dressed mixture of greens tossed in lemon juice and olive oil.

For me, this is a perfect end of  summer supper.  Other members of my family consider this "chick food". 

Pshhh!  Whatever!

Fresh Tomato and Basil Tart

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten
4 oz cream cheese
¼ cup pesto sauce
2 tablespoons milk
3 medium tomatoes
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
Salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or lightly grease. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 14 x 11-inch rectangle. Trim edges to even. Cut ½-inch

Strip from each side of pastry, forming 13 x 10-inch rectangle; reserve strips. Transfer pasty to baking sheet. Brush edges with some of beaten egg. Place strips on edges of tart, creating a border. Press gently to adhere. Brush entire rectangle and edges with remaining egg. Pierce bottom of pastry several times with fork. Bake about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and gently lift pastry to a cooling rack until completely cooled. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

In a small mixing bowl beat cream cheese. Add pesto and milk and mix well. Spread cream cheese mixture carefully over bottom of pastry. Arrange tomato slices, overlapping decoratively on top of cream cheese mixture. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until tart has set up and there are no visible juices. If not, the pastry will become soggy. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with basil. Can be served hot or at room temperature. Serves 6

This tart is one of the dishes that I look forward to making at the end of summer.  Garden fresh tomatoes give this tart a bright, fresh, burst in your mouth flavor. 
To the male(s) of my household who won't even take a courtesy bite (that would be the husband that never reads this blog)  - tisk, tisk.
You are missing out...really missing out.


  1. Okay, the only thing I can't figure out is why there aren't 100 comments about how delicious this dish is! I loved it! I added garlic salt on top too. I think that the only thing I will do differently is slice the tomatoes a bit thinner next time. AMAZING though, thank you for the post!

  2. Hi Candace,
    I agree with everything you said. Yes there should be more comments. This is truely fabulous and yes I wish I had sliced my tomatoes thinnner as well. You are spot on!

  3. Whoops...that would be truly without the "e".

  4. I'm terribly infatuated with your blog! It has really re-ignited my love for cooking. I'm attempting to recreate everything off your blog ala 'Julie & Julia'... Will be trying this tonight.

  5. You are my new best friend! Thank you for being infatuated with my blog. This is a great recipe to recreate. Oh my gosh...I love this so much! That's it. I'm making it....

  6. C'est bon. C'est tres bon. What an awesome medley of flavors! I'm going to bust out your jalapeno cheddar burgers for a date tonight...

  7. Merci beaucoup. Je t'aime. Oh man! I can't wait to hear how the burgers go. Seriously they are fabulous. Best of luck on that date...wish my son would date....

  8. Your recipes and photos are wonderful! Please tell me what you are using to roll out your crusts on. Are they ordinary cotton tea towels or something especially for pastry?

  9. I am using a large square of canvas. I purchased it specifically for rolling out pastry. I have made them by purchasing canvas from a fabric store then surging around the edges. I love them they are fabulous. The canvas holds in the flour so that it doesn't all go into the dough.

  10. I have some beautifully ripe, heirloom tomatoes that must be used today, and lots of fresh basil in the garden... so I did a search for a tomato tart recipe. Most seem to be heavy with cheddar and mayo, blech! Then I found yours, yum!
    I didn't have any puff pastry, so I am using some organic whole wheat filo dough instead, with olive oil between the layers instead of butter. My husband is going to grill some lamb chops to go with it. I think it will be a perfect summer supper... Thanks for the recipe, I'll let you know how it turns out!

    1. Oh my, that sounds amazing. My kind of dinner. My mouth is watering right now. I still have a few weeks before my tomatoes will be ripe. My basil is anxiously waiting for them. I just love this time of year. Thank you for your comment and for another meal idea.

  11. Very nice! I made this today with phylo. Imagine my suprise when I defrosted a roll of what I thought was puff pastry to find phylo.... I used your recipe with few improvisions to make a delicious tart.

    I used only 2/3 rds of the with the remainder I made a fresh fig and cranberry strudel. Both are quite delicious!


    1. OH yum! You are so creative. The fig and cranberry strudel sound AMAZING!!

  12. This is amazing!!!! I can't wait for tomoato season!!!

  13. This is absolutely amazing. Am going to make again of the best things I have ever eaten!!!!! Everyone loved it. CRAZY GOOD.

    1. Thanks, Michelle. Sometimes I wonder if anyone notices this recipe because it IS CRAZY GOOD! I can't wait for my garden tomatoes so I can make this everyday!

  14. My God..this is perfection! I love tomato and basil..
    Can't wait to make this..(although it's not summer here in Toronto, I'm sure it will still be delicious). Just found your blog and loving every recipe! You're awesome. Keep doing what you're doing :)

    1. You made my day. You'll love the tart.

  15. Making this tonight and I can't wait. I'm a big fan of your blog, but I don't think I've ever commented. If I'm craving the authentic, unadulterated version of something... not the low-fat or quick version.... then your blog is my first go-to for the recipe. If the recipe is on here, I know it's going to be good!

  16. I adore dishes like this! Colorful and vibrant and so full of lovely Italian flavors.

  17. Thank you. I love it too. I can hardly wait for ripe tomatoes from my garden.

  18. I made this over the weekend for my best friends mother who came into town for a brief visit. It was delicious! The nice thing about your blog is I can blindy make something. And I know it will be wonderful!

    1. You just made my day. I love this tart so much. Thank you for such a kind comment. xoxo

  19. This comment is long overdue, because I have been making this recipe for the past 3 years. It is hands-down one of my top 3 favorite things to make (and eat)!

    I make it frequently during the summer months.

    1. I agree with you completely. It's one of my summer favs as well. I can hardly wait for tomato season. Thank you so much for your comment. You just made my day and have my mouth watering for summer foods.