This recipe displays my love of any kind of pastry. I especially like the gooey cheese, the soft tomato and the crunchy pastry together. And of course, the roasted garlic. Roasting sweetens and softens the sharp flavor of raw garlic and pairs delightfully with the acid tomato. Despite the many photos this recipe is very easy, especially if you use refrigerated pie crust, everything can be prepped ahead and just assembled and baked before you want to serve it. It also looks so professional as a first course or as an unexpected side to grilled meat. Before service, I often top it will a nice julienne of basil or substitute other melting cheese for the Fontina. Of course, this dish can be made year-round, but in tomato season, it is elevated to another level.
8 oz. of pie dough-homemade or ½ a 15 oz. package of refrigerated dough
1 garlic bulb, roasted*
½ tsp. olive oil
1 TBL. water or chicken broth
1 ½ C. Fontina cheese, shredded (divided) or mozzarella, pepperjack-anything melty
4 large fresh tomatoes (on the under-ripe side of ripe)
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp pepper
Basil, julienned for serving.
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- Press piecrust into a 9” tart pan with a removable bottom. Freeze for ½ hour.
- Line crust with a piece of parchment or foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. (“weighting” is to help the crust not shrink)
4. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned.
5.Remove from the oven and let cool.
6.Lower the oven temperature to 350°.
7. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into ½” slices and place them on a double fold of paper towel. Season with salt and pepper and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
8. Spread the roasted garlic paste over the bottom of the cooled tart and sprinkle ½ C. of cheese over the garlic paste.
9.Arrange the tomatoes over the bottom layer of cheese.
10. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top of the tomatoes.
11. Bake at 350° until lightly browned-about 45 minutes.
12. Let cool to warm, sprinkle with some basil and serve warm or at room temperature.**
*To Roast Garlic:
Cut off the top ¼ of the garlic bulb, exposing all the cloves. Place the garlic on a sheet of foil, drizzle the olive oil and water over the garlic. Gather into a “Hershey’s Kiss” and bake for 30 minutes or until the garlic is very soft. Let cool. Grab the bottom of the head of garlic and squeeze all the pulp out, picking out any skins. Discard the skins and using a fork, mash the roasted garlic into a paste.
** the crust will get a bit soggy upon sitting, if you serve it at room temperature, but it is still delicious. Using tomatoes that are naturally not too juicy and cheese that isn’t too “wet” helps.