Heirloom Tomato and Pesto Tart
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Recipe courtesy of Sunny Anderson

Sunny's Heirloom Tomato and Pesto Tart

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min (plus chilling time)
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 2 tarts


For the tarts:

For the pesto:


  1. Set the crusts. Unroll and press the pie crusts into two 9-inch tart pans. If using rectangular pans, just trim one-third of each crust and press the pieces together to fit. Then, use your pointer finger to press the dough into the sides of the tart pan. Use a knife to remove the excess crust along the top edges and discard the scraps. Using a fork, prick the bottom of the crust a few times to allow for venting (maybe 3 pricks per quadrant). Chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Prebake the crusts. Spray the shiny side of 2 pieces of aluminum foil with a bit
  4. of nonstick spray and press into the tart shells, sprayed side down. Fill with dried beans or pie weights and bake until the edges are golden and the sides are set, about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and bake another 10 to 12 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
  5. Make the pesto. Blend the parsley, basil, thyme, garlic, Parmesan, almonds,
  6. lemon zest, and lemon juice in a food processor until the ingredients resemble a rough paste. Taste the pesto and season with salt and pepper, if needed. To finish, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the feed tube while blending.
  7. Assemble and bake the tarts. Divide the pesto equally and, using a rubber spatula, evenly spread it over the bottom of each prepared crust. Starting around the outer edges, place the tomatoes over the pesto, overlapping each slice slightly as you move around the tart pan. Then make a smaller circle of overlapping slices within the starter ring. Continue until the entire pan is covered in circles of tomato slices. Repeat for the second tart. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the top of each tart and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the tomatoes appear roasted in texture and the edges of the crust are golden brown. If the dough browns too quickly, tent the edges with foil.
  8. Garnish the tarts and serve. Remove the tarts from their rings and sprinkle Parmesan on top. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.