Garden Tomato Tart

This recipe is slightly adapted from a long-ago issue of Midwest Living magazine; I used tomatoes from my parents’ garden– you can see the vibrant color and the taste of a home grown tomato is unparalleled. My brother recently told me that the most awesome (and truly foolproof) pie crust he has ever made came from Cook’s Illustrated so I decided to try it out. He was totally right! CI has one of these irritating web sites where they actually expect you to PAY in order to use it!!! The nerve! Here is a link to the pie crust recipe; you won’t get the lengthy scientific explanation with the free version but you can trust that they’ve spent countless hours building humidity chambers to get this recipe right.

1 unbaked pie crust (1/2 recipe for a 9″ pie)– be sure to leave out the sugar for a savory tart; needless to say, I have a spare pie crust in the fridge because I didn’t think of that the first time around…..

6 oz. shredded provolone or mozzarella cheese
3 medium sized tomatoes
2 cubes frozen chopped basil or some chopped fresh basil to taste
4 cloves of garlic, pressed
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground pepper
kosher salt

Line a 9″ tart pan with the pie crust. Let rest in the fridge for 1 hour; meanwhile preheat oven with a pizza stone in it (preferably) to 450º. Slice the tomatoes into 1/4″ slices and sprinkle with a little salt and place on a paper towel-lined platter to drain. Bake the tart crust (do not prick with holes or line with parchment and beans) for about 7-10 minutes- just until slightly dry. Sprinkle with about 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese. Reduce oven temp. to 375º. Mix the garlic, basil, mayo, Parmesan and remaining cheese; add a pinch of salt and a hearty amount of ground pepper. Spread the mixture over the crust and lay the tomatoes over the cheese mixture. Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbly. Let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting into it. In the spirit of disclosure, the original recipe has you lay the tomatoes down first and then spread the cheese mixture over them, but I like the way the tart looks better with the tomatoes on top.

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