One of my favorite summer dishes is the tomato tart. There are so many variations on this classic dish. Some include cheese, puffed pastry, eggs for a quiche-like tart, etc. And they come in all shapes: rectangles, squares, circles, ovals, or free-form, like the one I’m making today! Yes, I know I may be jumping ahead a season. Spring just arrived, but I’m craving sweet tomatoes and summer sunshine. And although tomatoes are not super in season, roasting them will bring out all their juices and sweetness! But that’s not all, this tart also has kale pesto, which is a delicious change from the traditional basil pesto. It’s heartier, a bit more earthy and bitter, but compliments the tomatoes beautifully! Shaped like a galette, this tart is rustic, easy to make, and most important full of sweet and earthy flavors. It’s sort of a cross between a tart and a pizza. But the most important part is that is takes good, and it’s vegan!
This is a homemade tart, with few steps and ingredients. It’s meant to be simple, versatile, and rustic. You could add any vegetables you like (like mushrooms and leeks) and play with different ingredients and quantities. To make the tart, I start with a simple dough. It’s similar to a pizza dough (in ingredients) but has no yeast. So there’s no rising time, but just some flour, salt, olive oil, water, and some elbow grease to knead the dough. I formed the tart in free-form shape, similar to a galette. I roll out the dough into a circle, then place the ingredients on top, pinch in the edges every 2 inches or so to form pleats. This will give the tart a rustic border (and a delicious and crispy one too!). For the flour portion, I decided to use a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat. The whole wheat flour provides earthiness and heartiness, while the all-purpose flour adds levity. Whole wheat is denser than all-purpose flour, so using both creates the perfect balance.
For the tomatoes, I use roma or plum tomatoes. These tend to be less juicy than vine tomatoes, which is great for roasting, because they hold their shape better and don’t sog. But if you can’t find roma or plum, you can use vine (which I used a portion of because that’s what was looking the best at the market) or even grape or cherry tomatoes. Roasting tomatoes will bring out their flavors, so this is my favorite way to prepare them this time of year. A little fresh thyme and rosemary on top gives this tart a wonderful last touch. You could use dried oregano or really any herbs you like. I love thyme and rosemary with tomatoes. It brings out the lemon of the pesto and creates an earthy and warm roasted flavor.
The kale pesto is what really binds together the tart. It compliments the tomatoes beautifully and creates a wonderful base for the tart. Instead of a traditional basil pesto, I decided to make a kale pesto. Inspiration for the kale pesto came from one of my favorite food bloggers, Cookie and Kate. I’ve made variations of pestos before, but using kale was new and surprisingly delicious. I have a basil plant, which I’m nurturing back to health and hope by the time summer rolls around, will be full of leaves. For now, kale pesto will do. And it does not disappoint! The recipe for this kale pesto is similar to a traditional pesto, except for the basil and the parmesan. If you wanted to make this with cheese you could of course add parmesan, or if you wanted to keep this vegan but desired the cheesiness, add a little nutritional yeast. In this pesto is kale, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, salt and olive oil. That’s it! Pine nuts can be pricey, so you can substitute with almonds or other nuts/seeds. I love adding parsley, because it adds freshness and brightens all the flavors. This is also a great recipe if you want to make a winter pesto for pasta, roasted vegetables, or spoon some on some bread for a great snack!
This tart uses all the right ingredients. Garlic, lemon, olive oil, fresh herbs, roasted tomatoes, and of course an earthy, hearty crust. Serve with a salad and this becomes a meal! It only takes an hour or so to make, so it’s great for a homemade weekday dinner or for a weekend lunch. Eat it like a pizza or serve it like a tart. This is an easy and simple tomato tart that will surely impress all and most importantly satisfy. It’s a healthy, comforting dish that looks and tastes good. Enjoy!
Preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit. Line a (preferably rimless) baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly grease with olive oil.
To make the dough, in a large bowl, mix together the 1 cup all purpose flour, the whole wheat flour, and salt. Add the olive oil and water, and using a fork, slowly stir to combine until most of the water has been absorbed (dough will still be clumpy). Turn onto a lightly floured surface and work the dough together. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Add flour as needed. Place in a clean bowl and cover loosely with a lint-free kitchen towel. Set aside.
To make the kale pesto: In a food processor, add the kale, fresh parsley, garlic, pine nuts (or almonds), lemon juice, and salt. Pulse together until a paste forms. On low speed, drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto forms. You may need more or less depending.
You can make one large tart, or 2, 8-inch tart. If you are making two, cut the dough in half. Roll out of the halves into a 9 inch round or until it is about 1/8 inch in thickness. Place on the baking sheet. Spread a thin layer of pesto (about 1/4 cup) onto the dough leaving about 1 1/2 inch border. Arrange the tomatoes on top, also leaving a border. Sprinkle on fresh thyme and/or rosemary and a pinch of salt. Fold and pinch the edges every 2-3 inches. This will help create the pleats. Use a little water to help the dough stick. Brush the edges with a little olive oil. Place in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden. *Note: cooking time will depend on size of tart. Remove and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Total time: about 1-1 1/2 hours
Makes: 1 15 inch tart, or 28-inch tarts
To make the dough:
1 cup all-purpose flour + more for dusting
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup cold water
To make the kale pesto:
2 cups firmly packed kale, deveined
1/4 cup packed fresh parsley
1 large garlic clove
1/4 cup pine nuts or almonds
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon salt + more to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + more for greasing
about 6-8 plum or roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
a few sprigs thyme or rosemary