Are You Ready?



Over the next few weeks heirloom tomatoes will be abundant at your local farmers markets or from your own yard depending on when you planted! I wanted to get this post up in time to give you a few ideas on what you can do with your bounty of tomatoes. This tart is so yummy that you should consider making it for breakfast, lunch or dinner! If you are like me and you have more than enough tomatoes to feed an army, make an extra one for a friend or neighbor... you too can share the good stuff!


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water


3/4 lb fresh mozzarella (not unsalted), very thinly sliced
1/2 cup pesto [see my recipe posted July 01, 2009]
2 lb mixed heirloom tomatoes, sliced 3/4 inch thick

Make pastry:Blend together flour, butter, shortening, Parmesan, pepper, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size lumps. Drizzle 2 tablespoons ice water over and gently stir with a fork (or pulse in food processor) until incorporated.

Gently squeeze a small handful: If it doesn't hold together without falling apart, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) after each addition until incorporated, continuing to test. (Do not overwork dough, or it will become tough.)

Turn out dough onto a work surface and divide into 2 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather both portions of dough into 1 ball, then pat into a disk. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch round and fit into a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable rim. Roll rolling pin over top of pan to trim dough flush with rim. Lightly prick tart shell all over with a fork.

Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights or rice. Bake in middle of oven 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights and bake until golden, about 15 minutes more. Cool in pan on a rack.

Fill tart shell:Remove side of pan and slide shell onto a platter. Arrange one third of mozzarella in bottom of shell and drizzle with one third of pesto. Arrange one third of tomato slices, overlapping, on top of cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat layering twice.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: Pie weights or raw rice.

NOTE: Tart shell can be made 1 day ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature

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