Heirloom Tomato Tart with Pesto and Goat Cheese

This heirloom tomato tart with a fresh pesto and goat cheese is a perfect summer delight. 

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 tart or pie. 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.

We have a go-to pie and tart dough. 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 heirloom tomato 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.

Favorite 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

5 from 1 vote
Tomato Tart with Pesto & Onions
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
The Pesto recipe makes about 1 cup (you'll only need about 1/4 cup for this tart). We'll store the extra pesto in a closed jar in the fridge to use over a couple weeks time. 

Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 179 kcal
for the crust
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter , (1/2 stick) cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
  • 1/4 cup cold water
for the filling
  • 1 lb. fresh tomatoes , slice about 1/2" thick
  • 1/4 cup pesto , recipe follows
  • 1/2 medium onion , sliced about 1/4" thick
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves , optional
  • sea salt or kosher salt or any preferred finishing salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper , to taste
  • 9-10" tart pan
Make the Crust Dough:
  1. In a large bowl, pinch together the flour, butter, and salt with your fingertips until most of the big chunks of butter are flattened or broken up.  Incorporate the cold water into the flour until the mixture binds together and forms a rough ball (you may need to gently knead the ball to incorporate the last of the flour).

  2. Flatten the ball into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. Chill for 30 minutes or up to overnight.
Complete the Tomato Tart
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). 

  2. On a floured surface, roll the dough disk out to a circle slightly large enough to fit your tart pan. Gently place the dough in the tart pan, pinching off the excess dough. 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. Layer in the onions, creating a light layer loosely covering the bottom of the tart. Layer tomatoes on top of the onions.

  4. 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.

  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until cheese and edges of tomatoes are starting to char, and crust is golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Everyday Pesto Recipe (makes about 1 cup)

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, or herb leaves of your choice
  • .5 - 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (depending on how rich you like your pesto)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or chopped nuts of choice (walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, etc…)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt, or to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, approximately 
  1. In a food processor, combine the basil, Parmesan, nut of choice, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Pulse several times to mince the ingredients.
  2. Add about 1/2 of the oil to the food processor and process until very fine.
  3. Gradually add the remaining oil, to taste, pulsing until smooth (you may not need the full amount of oil, depending on your preferred texture for the pesto). Taste for seasoning and add additional salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice to taste. Pulse to combine completely if additional seasoning is used.

Store in fridge. The olive oil based pesto will begin to firm in the fridge, so bring it out to come to room temperature if you want it more oily.

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. J Renee

    I made this tonite and it was sublime! So fresh and delicious. How do you recommend we store the leftovers?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      So glad you loved it. This one doesn’t hold up the best for leftovers, the tomatoes start to soften the crust. However we will wrap it up in foil, put it in the fridge, then re-bake the next day or gently heat individual slices on a pan.
      Have a great night.
      T & D

  2. sally cameron

    Spectacular! I love the combination of colors in the tomatoes, plus the goat cheese and pesto. All of the best thing combined! Photos are amazing as always.

  3. Katherines Corner

    Be still my tomato loving heart! We just picked a bowl of fresh tomatoes from our garden. Thank you for sharing another delicious recipe xo

  4. Sues

    I’ve always wanted to make a tomato tart. But I’ve also always wanted to have my own garden filled with tomatoes. There is NOTHING like a freshly grown tomato and enjoying them makes me abhor the grocery store variety. This tart looks beautiful!

  5. @Honest

    Quick, non-fussy, utterly delicious: all words we love to hear about a recipe! Can’t wait to make @WhiteOnRice’s tart- http://t.co/76QeYqCm

  6. Deanna

    My favorite tomato right now is the Kellog Breakfast. So much meat and its hard to go wrong with a yellow/red tomato. I have some chocolate cherry tomatoes that are almost ripe. Ours are moving slowly this year, but I just picked a 3 pounder so I know more are on the way.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Deanna- wow, a 3 pounder? congrats.

  7. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    That looks delicious!

  8. Kankana

    I love making tomato tart and about few weeks back I had something similar with a little bit of Indian spice mix. Tonight I might make it again 🙂

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Kankana- adding Indian spice mix sounds like a wonderful addition. We’ll have to try it.

  9. @HomeGrownEdible

    Up to your eyeballs with toms + pesto? White On Rice Couple has an idea…Tomato tart with Feta & pesto! http://t.co/BMsA18yz

  10. Shut Up & Cook

    My tomatoes are still green, green, green, but I haven’t given up hope yet.

    This looks exquisite and like the perfect appetizer for a summer crowd.

    Thanks as always for the beautiful pix and inspiration!

  11. Lori Lynn

    The tart is just beautiful!
    I was thinking of you guys, we are taking a cooking class at Mar’ Sel on Saturday.

  12. carrian

    I have seriously been thinking of tomato tarts lately, so this post is not what I needed to be reading at 10:30 pm. I was already craving it, and now I’m starving so late at night! This looks beautiful AND delicious! Lovely post!!

  13. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    This looks too beautiful!!! I’d still devour it, after much deserved praised 😉

  14. KG

    This looks so, so good. I want to run to the pantry right now, but how much goat cheese did you use?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Sorry. Missed that in the ingredients. It was about 3 oz of goat cheese.

      1. Sandra

        Could you pelase add the goat cheese to the list of ingredients in the original post? I just went to the store after emailing myself the ingredients list, and totally missed buying the goat cheese!

        1. White on Rice Couple

          Our apologies. Don’t know how we missed putting it in the ingredients. The tart is still quite nice w/o the goat cheese so don’t feel like it is a complete requirement. We used about 3 oz. (85g) of goat cheese for one 10″ tart.

          1. Sandra

            No worries at all! Just thought somebody else might be as ditzy as me and forget it that way too 🙂 Made it tonight, a nearby grocer luckily had some goat cheese! It was absolutely divine, definitely one my new favourites.

  15. Diane, A Broad

    That is, indeed, super sexy. I love that you used pesto instead of mustard — it sounds like it would make the tart taste even more of summer!

  16. Kate

    I think I’m in love with this recipe. I’ve never made a tart crust before- makes me nervous, but swoon!

  17. Bev @ Bev Cooks

    Slide me on in that tart and let’s call it a DAY.

  18. Kalyn

    Absolutely gorgeous! I’m really having a great tomato year in Utah as well. Can’t get enough of them this time of year!

  19. Kim Bee

    My hubby would love this one. I have trouble with tomatoes which is so sad. We’re right near Leamington Ontario where Heinz is so it’s tomato city around here. No lack of them to choose from. I used to grow my own like you. It’s so nice to just go outside and pick your own produce off the vine.

    ps. as per our convo at FBF, I finally got my new camera. I am now trying to learn to use it. Thanks again to both of you for all the advice. It helped a lot when it came to buy one last month.

  20. Colette

    Beautiful combination of flavours. A must-try!

  21. @alisonlewis

    love this: Heirloom Tomato Tart with Pesto and Goat Cheese http://t.co/vPQMjBvs via @WhiteOnRice

  22. Karen (SoupAddict)

    Black Cherry tomatoes are my very, very favorites. Beautiful mahogany coloring with dark green shoulders (kind of like a mini-Cherokee Purple, only not lobed) – they have a rich, smoky-acidic flavor. Gorgeous in a salad!

  23. Marian (Sweetopia)

    Oh, yum! Thank you for another inspiring idea!

  24. JulieD

    This looks incredible!! I can’t wait to try David’s tart dough!

  25. Catherine McCord

    This is the perfect summertime party recipe and a great use for gorgeous heirloom tomatoes. Yum!

  26. @ziziadventures

    “@WhiteOnRice: Heirloom tomato tart on the blog today http://t.co/IOXW2IYo” – Yum!

  27. @ktkare


  28. @FreshTartSteph

    Indeed! RT @ArtisanBreadIn5: Beautiful. “@WhiteOnRice: Heirloom tomato tart on the blog today http://t.co/VOfrWzRu”

  29. @ArtisanBreadIn5


  30. Kare @ Kitchen Treaty

    What a work of art! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Here in the Seattle area I was so discouraged by the cold, miserable June that I ended up giving up on planting tomatoes at all. Regretting that now!

  31. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    I love heirloom tomatoes and you made gorgeous use of them! Bet the goat cheese & pesto are just fabulous with them!

  32. Veronica of Muy Bueno

    I have been daydreaming about a tomato tart for weeks now. So imagine my delight when I saw your post. I don’t have beautiful fresh tomatoes in my backyard but will find some in the farmer’s market here, but I do have fresh goat cheese from my friend Maggies goat farm. Yum!! Thanks for the recipe and the tomato growing tips…besos!

  33. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    This tart is beautiful! And so full of goodness. I love it!

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