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Fresh Tomato Mozzarella Basil Tart

 

Fresh mozzarella cheese laden with robust, red tomatoes and fresh basil is one of my favorite summer food combinations.  I grow pots of basil, fill my vegetable garden full of tomato plants and keep fresh mozzarella on hand to have things like caprese salad and pizza margherita whenever the mood strikes – which is quite often.  This Fresh Tomato Mozzarella Basil Tart is another great way to enjoy these flavors in a whole wheat crust that includes fresh basil and garlic mixed directly into the dough. Yum! 


Fresh basil is a must for this recipe and I recommend looking for live plants.  You can usually find them at most garden centers and even in the produce section of the grocery store this time of year.  Pluck a handful of leaves for this recipe and then replant the basil in a pot outdoors when the weather warms up.  Before you know it, you’ll have big bushy plants from which to harvest fresh basil all summer long.    

The tomatoes are the ever-flavorful grape tomatoes that can be found in the produce section of the supermarket, too – same for the garlic.  And of course, you need some Hodgson Mill Naturally White Flour and Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Flour to bring the quality and whole grain goodness to this dish.  This Fresh Tomato Mozzarella Basil Tart wouldn’t be the same without them.

To make the dough, mince the basil and garlic in a food processor and then add the flour and salt.  Pulse the mixture together a few times to mix.  Add the butter and pulse about 10 times, or until the mixture starts to come together and has pea-sized crumbs. 


Add 3 tablespoons of ice water to the flour mixture and pulse a few times.  Add one more tablespoon of water and process until the dough pulls together and starts to form a ball.  Add additional water a tablespoon at a time if necessary.  Notice the ice cubes in the small bowl?  We’re talking real ice water to make sure the butter doesn’t get warm while we’re working with the dough. 


Remove the dough from the processor to a sheet of plastic wrap that’s about 18 inches long.  Gently press the dough into a disc by using the edges of the plastic wrap to help form the shape.  Wrap completely in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

Look at all of those lovely green flecks in the dough.  I can never have enough basil in my cooking.

 

While the dough is chilling, slice the tomatoes and put them in a paper towel-lined bowl.  Place another paper towel on top and then put a small bowl or ramekin on top of that to apply a little bit of pressure on the tomatoes.  The goal here is to try and wick away some of the moisture in the juicy tomatoes so the crust doesn’t get soggy when the tomatoes release more juices as they bake.   Set aside.

 

Next, lay slices of fresh mozzarella cheese on a paper towel-lined tray and refrigerate until ready to use.  This is another way to wick away excess moisture from the cheese to keep the tart’s crust from getting soggy. 


When the dough is thoroughly chilled, roll it out into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured work surface.  There are those beautiful green flecks again.  I’m going to have to figure out a way to include fresh herbs into more crusts this summer. 


Gently place the rolled dough into a 9-10 inch tart pan.  Place a layer of foil over the dough and fill the center with dried beans or baking beads.  Blind bake the crust in a 425˚F oven for 10-15 minutes or until the edges are pale golden brown. 


Remove the pan from the oven and carefully lift out the foil and beans.  Return the empty tart shell to the oven and bake for 5-6 minutes more or until the bottom of the crust looks dry and is pale golden brown.  Remove from the oven and set aside.  Turn the temperature down to 375˚F.

 

Layer the bottom of the baked tart shell with the sliced mozzarella cheese. 

 

Next, arrange the tomatoes evenly on top of the cheese. 

 

Season the tomatoes with a dash of salt, a drizzle of olive oil and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and minced basil. 

I could eat this tart as is and be completely happy.  Be sure to bake it, though.  It’s amazing when the cheese gets all bubbly and the tomatoes roast and become even sweeter. 

Bake the tart in a 375˚F oven for 30 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly and golden brown in places.  Check on the tart about half way through cooking and use a paper towel to wick away any excess moisture collecting on top.  I tipped the tart a little to one side and was able to absorb the extra juices with no problem.  This crust is too tasty to let get soggy. 

Allow the tart to cool for five minutes and then serve immediately.

 

Here it is – Fresh Tomato Mozzarella Basil Tart.  It’s just as pretty as it is delicious.  The gooey, melted cheese, roasted tomatoes and fresh basil make this dish irresistible.  The crust, made with Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Flour, Hodgson Mill Naturally White Flour, fresh basil and garlic make this tart all that more appealing from both a health and flavor standpoint.  Paired with a fresh garden salad this dinner is one of my new favorite ways to enjoy the flavors of summer.  My basil plants better hurry up and grow; I have a feeling Fresh Tomato Mozzarella Basil Tart will be on the menu a lot this summer.  Enjoy!

 

Fresh Tomato Mozzarella Basil Tart

Adapted from Annies-eats.com

  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • ¾ cup Hodgson Mill Naturally White Flour
  • ½ cup Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 Tablespoons butter, cold and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
  • 4-5 Tablespoons ice water
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 10 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1-2 Tablespoons fresh basil, minced

 

To make the dough, mince the basil and garlic in a food processor and then add the flour and salt.  Pulse the mixture together a few times to mix.  Add the butter and pulse about 10 times, or until the mixture starts to come together and has pea-sized crumbs.  Add 3 tablespoons of ice water to the flour mixture and pulse a few times.  Add one more tablespoon of water and process until the dough pulls together and starts to form a ball.  Add additional water a tablespoon at a time if necessary. 

Remove the dough from the processor to a sheet of plastic wrap that’s about 18 inches long.  Gently press the dough into a disc by using the edges of the plastic wrap to help form the shape.  Wrap completely in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

While the dough is chilling, slice the tomatoes and put them in a paper towel-lined bowl.  Place another paper towel on top and then put a small bowl or ramekin on top to apply a little bit of pressure on the tomatoes to wick away some of the excess juice.  Set aside. Next, slice the fresh mozzarella into 8 slices and lay the slices on a paper towel-lined tray and refrigerate until ready to use. 

When the dough is thoroughly chilled, roll it out into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured work surface.  Gently place the rolled dough into a 9-10 inch tart pan.  Place a layer of foil over the dough and fill the center with dried beans or baking beads.  Blind bake the crust in a 425˚F oven for 10-15 minutes or until the edges are pale golden brown.  Remove the pan from the oven and carefully lift out the foil and beans.  Return the empty tart shell to the oven and bake for 5-6 minutes more or until the bottom of the crust looks dry and is pale golden brown.  Remove from the oven and set aside.  Turn the temperature down to 375˚F.

Layer the bottom of the baked tart shell with the sliced mozzarella cheese followed by the tomatoes.  Season the tomatoes with a dash of salt, drizzle with olive oil and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and minced basil.  Bake the tart in a 375˚F oven for 30 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly and lightly brown in places.  Check on the tart about half way through cooking and use a paper towel to wick away any excess moisture collecting on top.  Allow tart to cool for five minutes and then serve immediately.  Makes approximately 8 servings

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Author: Holly






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