Heirloom Tomato Tart with Pesto and Goat Cheese

Just to state the obvious, our tomatoes have been very successful this year. After struggling to grow them the past couple years we were determined to have a good crop this year. I think we may be on to something.

Each year I think we get a little less ignorant. At least I hope we do. Spring begins the same. After months of waiting for the weather to warm up so we can begin our tomato frenzy, we’ll hit the nurseries scouring for tomato young-ins. We make sure to find a few of our favorites (meaning roughly 10 varieties), then we’ll ask, read, and stumble upon new varieties that sound either delicious or sexy or both.

Then after filling all of the available garden space, we’ll end up finding a few more we just have to try, re-arrange a few things in the garden, then plant some more tomatoes. All is in the hope that we’ll have a Midsummer Night’s Dream of having more tomatoes than we’ll know what to do with. Sometimes dreams do come true.

Combine the over abundance of red, yellow, and green fleshy tomato deliciousness, with another busy summer travel schedule and most of our home meals have involved tomatoes, one way or another. Everyone has been amazing with the sharing of your favorite recipes, several of which have landed on our feasting table.

One tomato recipe I’ve been craving is a tomato pie or tart. After stumbling upon one David Lebovitz had put up a couple years ago after he spent the day with a friend in Gascony I knew I had to try it. The simplicity of the tart, highlighting the beauty of the tomatoes in the peak of their season sounded perfect. In a pastry crust, a thin layer of mustard, a layer of thick cut tomatoes, fresh herbs, and goat cheese all baked together to a slight singe.

Normally I have my go-to crust recipe, but always willing to try one of David’s recipes, I made the crust using his recipe. I now have a new go-to.

So quick, non-fussy, and utterly delicious. It handles nice to roll out and flip into the tart pan. It seemed effortless to make the crust.

The for our tart, we made a fresh pesto sauce to use instead of the mustard and added layer of onions below the tomatoes. For the amazing tart dough recipe, please visit David’s site.


Spread fresh pesto

start with fresh tomatoes

slice, slice and slice

layer with pretty slices of onions

layer with tomatoes, goat cheese and fresh herbs

We’d still love to hear of any more favorite tomato recipes, plus we’d love to hear of your favorite varieties or growing tips. Here’s some of the varieties we love or tips that have worked for us.

Fav. Tomato Varieties

Kentucky Beefsteak
Sweet Million
Green Zebra
Anna Russian
Dr. Wynchees
Black Zebras
Cherokee Purple
Most any Brandywine (the potato leaf  variety has been fabulous


Manage watering well (we love a particular drip irrigation spray head)
Mulch very well
Feed the plants like their a pregnant momma (cause they are)
Neem Oil to deal with mildew
Trim off any ugly leaves

Tomato Tart with Pesto & Onions

Yield: 1 10" Tart

Total Time: 1 hour

The tart was inspired by and uses the tart dough recipe from David Lebovitz's Tomato Tart recipe. This is a perfect use of tomatoes in their prime, putting them on a delicious pastry pedestal.
The Pesto recipe makes about 2 cups. We'll store the extra pesto in a closed jar in the fridge to use over a couple weeks time. The recipe is written out for a food processor, but the recipe can be ground together in a mortar and pestle if you want to go old school.


Tomato Tart Ingredients

  • Tart Dough
  • @ 1 lb. Fresh Tomatoes, sliced 1/2" thick
  • 1/4 c Pesto (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 med. Onion, sliced 1/4" thick
  • 3 oz. (85g) Goat Cheese
  • 1 T fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Sea Salt & fresh cracked Black Pepper

Pesto Ingredients

  • 4 T Pinenuts, toasted
  • 15 Walnut Halves
  • 4 Black Peppercorns
  • 2 med. cloves of Garlic
  • @ 4 c gently packed Italian Basil Leaves
  • 6 oz (170 g or 2 c when grated) freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 T fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 t Sea Salt
  • 1 1/2 c Olive Oil, approximately


Tart Directions

Preheat Oven to 400º F.

  1. Make tart dough and roll out into a 9" or 10" tart pan. Trim excess dough.
  2. Press the bottom of the tart with your fingers to "dock" it, making indentions in the bottom.
  3. Spread the 1/4 cup of pesto over the bottom of the crust.
  4. Layer in the onions, creating a light layer loosely covering the bottom of the tart. Layer tomatoes on top of the onions.
  5. Crumble the goat cheese into large chunks and spread over the tart. Sprinkle thyme leave over tart. Season tart with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cheese and edges of tomatoes are starting to char, and crust is golden.

Pesto Directions

  1. Combine nuts, peppercorns, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse a few times to break up and combine.
  2. Add basil leaves, cheese, lemon juice, salt and 1/2 cup of olive oil in processor. Grind until very fine.
  3. Gradually add remaining oil grinding until smooth (you may not need the remaining cup or may wish for more depending on your preferred texture of the pesto).
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.