Tomato Goat Cheese & Basil Pesto Tart

September 27, 2013 § 12 Comments

Tomato Goat Cheese & Basil Pesto Tart

Tomatoes and basil together is a classic pair. You just can’t think of tomatoes without fresh basil leaves. And add some wonderful goat cheese to them, it ties up the knot between the two so well that just one slice of this buttery tart loaded with so much of goodness and gorgeousness can ride you straight through heaven.

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I often make tomatoes and basil sauce for my pasta and pizza at home. The passata simmering slowly in huge pot with fresh basil leaves, can’t just be replaced by some bottled stuff. The vibrantly red sauce gives the pasta a whole new identity. And I love serving that to my friends quite often too. It’s kinda quick fix for a dinner party at my home.

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I used to buy a lot of fresh basil leaves from market, until very recently, when I brought home two pots with tiny basil plants. I saw them flourishing day by day, bearing loads and loads of happy green leaves. Seeing them growing so quick, just makes me happy. I would make a lot of pasta sauce and then I would whiz some leaves into beautiful pesto.

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A basil pesto and tomato sandwich is my favorite weekday breakfast. A humble yet generous slather of green summary basil pesto on a slice of wheat bread with freshly sliced tomatoes, has become my favorite breakfast besides granola and fruits. I wouldn’t mind slipping some into my lunch box to be enjoyed in evening, as I have been staying pretty late at work these days. A bite just freshens up my mood.

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I know, Italians would scoff me at, hearing that I substitute pine nuts with almonds in my pesto. But truly speaking, almonds are a great addition too. Plus they are budget friendly too, as compared to pine nuts. So that way, I can make basil pesto frequently, and save the pine nuts for some other day.

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Okay, so now speaking about the tart, it’s a wonderful, light summery tart recipe, which you would love baking for a Sunday bunch and serve it alongside some fresh greens. It sounds simpler than it’s mouthful name. If you made your tart dough and basil pesto beforehand, you are all sorted.

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And did I mention, that it’s a vegetarian’s delight. Yup, it doesn’t even require any eggs to be added. So you could treat a larger group and I am sure non-vegetarians wouldn’t miss the meat.

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Basil Pesto

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup almonds
2 cloves garlic, chopped in halves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Place almonds in food processor and whiz them until coarsely processed. Add remaining ingredients and process until all the ingredients are well combined. Store in a glass jar.

Tomato Tart

Ingredients

Tart Crust:

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
85 gm butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp chilled water

Filling:

3/4 cup goat cheese
1/2 cup ricotta, drained
2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup basil pesto {recipe above}
2 tbsp olive oil
sea salt to sprinkle
cracked pepper
handful fresh basil leaves

Directions

  1. For the crust, pulse both flours, cornmeal and salt in a food processor. Add chopped butter and pulse 15-20 times, to make fine crumb.
  2. Add the water and pulse for another 10 times to bring the crumbs together.
  3. Place the dough between two large sheets of cling wrap to form a round disc. Roll the dough into a 12 inch circle. Peel one side of cling wrap and invert the rolled pastry loosely onto a 9 inch tart pan. Using your finger tips, gently snug the pastry into the tart pan, peel the other cling wrap. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 15 minutes in a 190 degree C oven.
  4. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, until tart becomes golden. Let it cool completely.
  5. For the filling, mix goat cheese, ricotta, cracked pepper in a bowl and set aside.
  6. Spread a thin layer of the pesto over the entire base of cooled tart. Spread the goat cheese and ricotta mixture over it.
  7. Top with cherry tomatoes with halved sides facing upwards, Sprinkle torn basil leaves, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt over it. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 190 degree C oven.
  8. Serve warm with some more fresh basil leaves sprinkled over.
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