Tomato Tart with Mascarpone and Basil is on my mind.
I’m alone on my screened-in porch.
Ivy has inched its way to the top of the screen as a gift of protection from the outside world.
It’s my private sanctuary – the perfect place for an introspective morning.
Only the steady beat of rain is my companion, and it is playing its song for me.
A guest arrives but stays in the shadows of the yard.
Oh so quietly he tells me I’m pretty.
I smile and wonder his name.
He comes closer to say it again and that is when I see his beautiful face.
“Well, Good morning, Mr. Cardinal, I think you’re pretty, too.”
It has been that kind of summer; the kind of summer when tomatoes appear in abundance and Cardinals perch nearby to tweet sweet nothings in my ear.
Summer means fresh food, and my favorite fresh foods are off-the-stalk-and-into-my-mouth-corn-on-the-cob, plucked-from-the-tree-sweet-juicy-peaches and vine-ripened-with-an-acidic-punch-tomatoes.
Tomato Tart with Mascarpone and Basil showcases one of my summer favorites. This is one dish that makes the tomato proud. This is the dish Mr. Cardinal will sit next to on the windowsill while chirping “pretty, pretty, pretty.”
Tomato Tart with Mascarpone and Basil
- 1 store bought crust or favorite homemade pie crust
- 1 cup 8 oz. Mascarpone Cheese
- ½ cup ricotta or goat cheese - crumbled
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil
- Kosher salt – to taste
- Black pepper – to taste
- 1 ½ lb fresh tomatoes sliced ¼ inch thick
- Good Balsamic Vinegar - flavored or not - optional
- Sea Salt for sprinkling
- Fresh basil leaves for garnishing
- Please read full directions before preparing the tart.
- Note: Prepare the crust 1 hour prior to serving. The crust needs time to cool completely before making the tart.
- Position a rack in the lower third of an oven.
- Preheat oven to 400F
- For the crust:
- Take the crust out of the fridge ½ hour before preparing.
- Gently press the dough into a tart pan and leave a small overhang around the rim.
- To make the sides thicker than the bottom, fold in the excess dough and press it into the sides or the pan.
- Refrigerate the pie crust 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, place the tart pan on a baking sheet.
- Cut a sheet of parchment the size of the tart pan and place it inside the pan on top of the unbaked crust.
- Fill the pan with uncooked raw beans or pie weights.
- If using store bought piecrust, bake the crust according to package directions.
- If using homemade pie crust, follow the directions below.
- Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes then remove the parchment paper and beans/weights.
- Continue baking 6-10 minutes or until the crust is baked through and light golden brown.
- Transfer the tart pan to a wire rack and let cool completely in the pan.
- For the filling:
- In a medium bowl, combine mascarpone, ricotta (or goat cheese), Parmesan and basil then mix well.
- Add salt and pepper to taste (be careful with the salt – Parmesan cheese is already salty).
- Use a small offset spatula or rubber spatula to spread the filling mixture into the cooled tart shell.
- Top with tomato slices.
- Sprinkle with sea salt (opt.) and basil leaves.
- Drizzle with your favorite balsamic vinegar (optional)
- Serve immediately. *see notes
This dish makes a delicious, beautiful appetizer. Cut into bite-sized pieces and serve it in the tart pan.