The crust of this tart is flaky (thank you butter) and when you bake it you may just swoon in front of your oven because the smell of the Parmesan cheese melting and baking in that crust is something else. The tart shell is then layered with sautéed garlic, bread crumbs to soak up the tomato juices, more parmesan, sliced tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella and then baked again until the mozzarella is browned and blistered on top. The tart would be delicious served just like this, but I took it one step further and made a balsamic syrup which I drizzled over the top of the tart. I know you wouldn’t think of a tart as “finger-licking-good,” but it was. We truly did lick our fingers too! (We abandoned our silverware after the first bite in favor of the more efficient method of eating with our hands. Hey, when something is this good you might be too impatient to eat with silverware too.) The sweetness of the tomatoes, with the sautéed garlic, herby basil, salty parmesan, mild, melted mozzarella, and the tangy-sweet balsamic syrup all came together and complimented each other so well. We gobbled down as much of that tart as we could, along with the rest of our supper, and when we couldn’t eat anymore without being completely gluttonous, we sat back and admired the remaining tart for awhile, recapitulating just how tasty it really was, discussing why we thought it was so good, and acknowledging how lucky I was to be eating it for my lunch the next day.
And now, without further ado, the recipe:
A few notes:
- Ok, I know what some of you may be thinking, "Make a tart crust?? I am no pastry chef and doesn't that take a lot of work?" but on the contrary, you do not have to be anywhere close to being a pastry chef to make a good tart crust and it takes a maximum of five minutes hands on time to make the dough. An extra bonus is that any extra dough you have left after fitting it in the pan can be rolled up into a ball and frozen to make another tart crust later.
- While I loved the smell of the parmesan baking in the tart crust, I would say that if you're on a budget it is not necessary. I tasted the parmesan in the filling of the tart much more.
- If you want, this tart can be a meal all on its own. You don't need any other accompanying food.