This is the season to let tomatoes take center stage.
Tomatoes are at their best and plentiful in home gardens and farmers markets. A tomato tart is the perfect dish to make summer's bounty be the main event at your table.
This tomato tart is stunning and simple. Layered with nutty Gruyere cheese, fresh basil, and garlic, it is a winner as a light entrée with a salad, side dish, or a party hors d'oeuvre. It is one of my family's favorite summer-time treats. (I have been known to even eat it cold for breakfast!)
The fun of summer tomatoes is the variety of heirlooms. When making my tomato tarts, I like to mix it up and use red and yellow tomatoes as well as cherry tomatoes.
Unlike some tomato tarts that are very cheesy and egg-y, my lighter version gets a punch of flavor from the layer of mustard spread on the crust. My rule of thumb is to spread the mustard just like I would on a sandwich.
The real stroke of genius to this tart is the basil, garlic, and olive oil mixture added at the end. By spooning this mixture over the hot tart right when it comes out of the oven, the flavors infuse into the tomatoes and crust creating the sublime tomato and basil combination that we all love.
Jennifer Chandler is the author of "Simply Salads" (Thomas Nelson, $24.99) and "Simply Suppers: Easy Comfort Food Your Whole Family Will Love" (Thomas Nelson, $24.99). She is the national spokeswoman for French's Mustards and French's French Fried Onions. She lives in East Memphis with her husband and two daughters.
1 unbaked pie crust (9-inch), homemade or store-bought
3 large tomatoes, cut into 1/4 -inch thick slices
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup coarsely grated Gruyere cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place the pie crust in a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Using a fork, poke holes in the bottom of the crust.
Bake until the crust is light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
Evenly spread the mustard over the bottom of the pie crust. Sprinkle the cheese over the mustard. Arrange the tomatoes over the cheese in one overlapping layer. Lightly season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake until the pastry is golden brown and the tomatoes are very soft, 35 to 40 minutes.
In a small bowl, stir together the basil, garlic, and olive oil. Spoon the mixture evenly over the pie while it is still hot. Serve the pie warm or at room temperature.
Serves 6 to 8.
Cooking Tip: Sharp white cheddar is an acceptable substitute for the Gruyere cheese.