This Rustic Tomato Tart is even more wildly delicious than it looks. It’s one of my absolute favorite things to make for entertaining because it looks extra fancy! I also find myself craving it on slow summer days when my garden is bursting with ripe tomatoes!
It comes together much faster than it looks and reminds me of when I was growing up how my parents would slice a ripe tomato, sprinkle it with a little salt and tell me it was like garden candy. Haha, I didn’t believe them but now I can totally taste the difference between a garden and a store-bought tomato.
I’ve mentioned this before, but my parents have a huge, amazing garden. Fresh tomatoes remind me of home, of being a kid, of all the work my parents (and us kids) put into growing our own food. I love that! Simple, fresh ingredients make the best food!
This rustic tomato tart is made with filo dough, two kinds of cheese, red onion, fresh tomato and basil. It is incredibly easy to make and tastes like an appetizer you would order at a restaurant. Go pick a ripe tomato from your garden (or from your grocery store), and let’s do this thing!
What is Filo Dough?
Also known as phyllo dough, it is a very thin unleavened dough used for making pastries. It is made with flour, water, and small amount of oil or white vinegar, and take a lot of time and skill to perfect if you’re going to make it at home. I won’t even entertain the idea of making my own, so I go store-bought every time. You can find filo dough in the frozen food section at most grocery stores near the puff pastry.
What Makes a Tart?
When you get down to the bare bones of what a tart is, it is an open pastry case that contains a filling. Tarts do not have pastry that covers the top like most pies do. Tarts can be sweet or savory. While most people think of tarts as being fruit or custard filled, this rustic tomato tart is all about the tomatoes and cheese!
What Kind of Tomato to Use?
Not all tomatoes are created equal. Some are better for canning, others are better for sauces, and others are better for fresh salsas. For this rustic tomato tart, we recommend using a plum, roma, or heirloom tomato. Stay away from the beefsteak tomatoes. Those just don’t have enough flavor!
Feta and Fontina
While the tomatoes are the star of this show, they would be lost without their supporting cast of cheeses. It is all about the feta and fontina cheeses in this dish. Feta cheese is a brined curd white cheese originally made in Greece that is made from sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep and goat’s milk. Feta can be purchased in a block or crumbled and is a strong and salty flavored cheese. It is sprinkled through all the layers of filo dough making the most fabulous crust for this tart!
Fontina cheese is a semisoft cow’s cheese that has a subtle buttery and nutty flavor. It has its origins in Italy (I love you, Italy, and miss you every minute!). If you have a hard time finding fontina for some reason, provolone, gruyere or gouda can be used as a substitute. It is sprinkled all over the top and baked to cheesy perfect.
Lesson on Onions
So we have filo dough, feta and fontina making this tart delicious! You also need few purple onions in there to make the flavor just right. So why purple and not white, yellow, sweet, etc? Just like all tomatoes aren’t created equal, onions are the same. Here is a run down on onions:
- Yellow: most commonly used and great for roasted meat dishes or as a base for soups and stews
- White: best for salsas or in stir-fried veggies, not very sweet and very crunchy
- Purple: best for guacamole, pickling and eating raw in salads or sandwiches, a little bit sweet and not as pungent as yellow
- Sweet (Walla Walla, Vidalia): best for frying (think onion rings), French onion soup and roasted veggie dishes
- Shallot: technically not an onion, but has a similar flavor to a mild purple onion with a spiciness to it
The flavor of the purple onion is the perfect sweetness and bite for this rustic tomato tart. Plus, it’s just pretty!
Fresh basil tops the tomato tart. Talk about garden candy! Fresh basil is just the best herb out there! Ok, that was a bit bold because I love all fresh herbs, but as you would expect, we have a special place in our hearts for fresh basil! Invite some friends over and wow them with this rustic tomato tart!
Fresh Tomato RECIPES
Looking for a few different fresh tomato recipes? Here are just a few to get you started: 20 Minute Cherry Tomato and Basil Angel Hair Pasta, Easy Tomato Mozzarella Salad, Four Cheese Stuffed Tomato, Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Tart, Greek Chicken Pasta Skillet, Balsamic Caprese Chicken, or Simple Greek Salad Skewers.
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Rustic Tomato Tart
- 8-10 Sheets of Filo Dough
- 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
- 4 ounces Feta Cheese
- 1/3 Cup Thinly Sliced Red Onions
- 1 Cup Shredded Fontina Cheese
- 1 Large Thinly Sliced Tomato
- Salt and Pepper
- Heat an oven to 400 degrees.
- Place a silpat on a cookie sheet.
- Put one sheet of filo on the silpat and brush with olive oil all the way to the edges.
- Sprinkle 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Feta all over.
- Repeat the layers until all the cheese is used.
- Sprinkle with fontina and red onion. Top with tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Fold the edges up pinching the corners so it stays up.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden.
- Let rest, sprinkle with roughly chopped fresh basil and serve.