Easy Tomato Pesto Puff Pastry Tart
Updated 19th September
This Easy Tomato Tart with puff pastry and pesto Is The Perfect Way To Use Up Fresh Tomatoes From The Garden. It is made With Store Bought Puff Pastry, it comes together nice and quickly and bakes up golden brown and delicious every time. We can’t get enough of a good tomato tart especially when the tomatoes are in season. We enjoy several versions of them and this pesto one is no exception. Pesto, ripe tomatoes and a mix of mozzarella and burrata cheese are layered on a flaky puff pastry crust – perfect for an appetizer or a light meal with a side salad.
Pesto is one of the most delicious and versatile sauces typically made with basil but so easily made with other green herbs and veggies and in this case wild garlic or ramps. It’s traditionally made with a mortar and pestle but I love to cheat and use my food processor to make mine. What can you do with pesto? There are so many delicious ways to use it. It’s so good with pasta but is really meant to be enjoyed in so many other ways like as base for this tasty tomato tart. Tomatoes and pesto make the perfect pair together. It’s also so good swirled through risotto, to dip your crusty bread into, slather on pizza, make garlic bread with or top crostini with. It can easily go over grilled veggies or meat and great in salads as a dressing too. You can easily make your own using the ramps or swap them out for basil or you a use store bought for this recipe. Lets break down the ingredients you will need for this puff pasty tart.
Tomato Pesto Puff Pastry Tart Ingredients
- PESTO: You will need approx 1 cup of pesto storebought to homemade. The recipe below uses ramps or wild garlic but you can swap out the ramps for basil and add two cloves of garlic for a classic basil pesto. For the homemade version you will need fresh ramps or fresh basil, garlic (if making with basil), toasted pine nuts, parmesan cheese, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
- PUFF PASTRY: Use a good quality one that you like the flavour of (tips on working with puff past below)
- TOMATOES: I used heirloom tomatoes of various sizes - you will need 2-3 depending on size
- CHEESE: I like to use mozzarella cheese and burrata for this tart. Mozzarella for some pull and burrata for the creamy richness. Feel free to use any cheese you like - even a creamy brie, Ricotta or Boursin or even mascarpone or cream cheese for an extra rich finish.
- EGG: Lightly whisked for egg wash
Puff Pastry Tips
Working with puff pastry can be so easy and not intimidating at all once you keep a few factors in mind. It acts the same way as pie dough in a way so the same tips that apply to working with pie dough can be applied to puff pastry too. That of course is because they both are made with a high content of fat which can make things tricky and a bit sticky if you over work the dough. So here are a few tips that will help you get the most out of your puff pastry and ensure you get a flaky bottom every time.
- Always defrost your pastry in the fridge. Rom-temperature environment will cause the puff pastry to wilt and become floppy which will make the layers stick, and make it almost impossible not to mention frustrating to work with.
- Do not be afraid to stop what you are doing if you find the dough start to get warm and difficult to deal with. If your puff pastry gets too soft, take a break and return it to the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes or even the freezer for half the time before moving forward.
- Be gentle when handling it, work quickly and don’t over work it (too much manipulation makes it tough), and roll it out on a lightly floured surface if needed.
- Freeze It Briefly Before Baking. Once you have your puff pastry tart or whatever you are making with it ready, place it on a sheet pan and freeze of refrigerate it for 15 min or so before baking. I usually use that time to preheat the oven. The cold temperatures firm up the pastry, meaning that the butter in the dough will melt more slowly. Slower-melting butter means that the pastry will hold its shape, rather than weeping and becoming lopsided.
- Preheat the oven properly. A hot (over 400-degree) oven is ideal, because the higher temperature is what creates steam that makes it “puff,” and, helps the bottom of it crops up and gives it that golden hue.
- Do use an egg wash on the edges of your puff pastry which will help your puff pastry achieve that gorgeous golden sheen.
- Mind the order of your toppings. If you have very juicy wet toppings like ripe tomatoes for example, or juicy berries or peaches make sure you have something like a sauce or cheese layered underneath them which will act as a barrier between them and the puff pastry. Moisture from the toppings can seep through and cause a soggy bottom on you tart. Cheese is always a good and delicious barrier to use.
Tomato Pesto Puff Pastry Tart Instructions
- MAKE Pesto - if using homemade pesto
- SLICE, salt and set tomatoes aside then pat dry (salting helps draw excess moisture from tomatoes and prevent a soggy crust)
- ROLL out puff pastry retaining a rectangular shape. Use a fork to poke holes in the dough. Fold up the edges of the puffy pastry slightly to create a bit of a frame for the ingredients.
- SPREAD pesto evenly over puff pastry
- SPRINKLE the shredded mozzarella over the pesto and dollop the burrata over as well
- ARRANGE tomatoes slices on top
- CHILL tart 10-15 min while preheating oven
- BAKE until edges are golden and cheese is bubbling
- SERVE with fresh basil
Speaking of tomatoes, it’s always a good idea to slice them, sprinkle them with a bit of salt and let them sit for 10 minutes or so. The salt draws out excessive moisture and they don’t release as much when they are baked on the tart. Feel free to use whatever tomatoes you like in this tart. Heirloom tomatoes are always gorgeous to use in a tart like this but really any size, shape and colour will work. I always recommend using a good quality all butter puff pastry if possible as it will always make for a tastier tart. I used the mozzarella as my base cheese layer and barrier and I also added some creamy burrata cheese which melts into the tart and is so rich and so delicious. Its a real treat and admittedly a splurge, but can easily be substituted with some dollops of ricotta too. Really and truly though you can use any cheese you like with this tart - its great with feta too. I just love how versatile it is. Serve it hot out the oven and garnished with fresh basil. Slice and enjoy!
If you like this tomato tart you will love these recipes:
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry thawed according to package directions (I used a 225 gram sheet)
- 1 cup pesto (store bought or homemade - I used a homemade wild garlic pesto recipe below)
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella
- 2-3 tomatoes, I used heirloom (or 16-20 cherry tomatoes or a combination of both)
- 1 ball burrata, sliced or torn thickly (I used a 100g ball)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 egg whisked for egg wash
- Fresh basil for serving
For the wild garlic pesto (optional), Makes approx 1 cup
- 2 cups chopped wild garlic (see recipe notes for basil version)
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Slice tomatoes and place on plate or rack lined with paper towels then sprinkle them with a little bit of salt and set aside for 10 min. This will allow the tomatoes to release some of their juices and prevent your tart from becoming soggy. Pay dry before placing on tart.
- For the wild garlic or basil pesto if making your own: Place all ingredients for pesto in a food processor except the oil. Pulse until everything is finely chopped, scraping down the side of the bowl when needed. Drizzle in the oil while the processor is running and process until the pesto is nice and smooth or the consistency you like. Taste and season with salt and pepper according to taste. (For the basil version just replace the same amount of wild garlic for basil and add two cloves of garlic to the processor)
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Unfold or unroll the thawed sheet of puff pastry and place on a sheet of parchment or a silicon mat. Roll out the puff pastry lightly to smooth out the creases if needed, retaining a rectangular shape. Use a fork to poke holes in the dough. Fold up the edges of the puffy pastry slightly to create a bit of a frame for the ingredients.
- Spread pesto over the puff pastry.
- Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the pesto.
- Arrange the burrata slices over the mozzarella, and add the sliced tomatoes between the burrata.
- Slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet, chill tart for 10-15 min and then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown with puffy edges.
- Slice, and serve immediately garnished with fresh basil.
- Feel free to use any tomatoes you have on hand or that you prefer
- Feel free to make your pesto with basil or any herb for that matter like parsley or you can even use or a combination of a few as long as they measure approx 2 cups - just replace the wild garlic with basil and add two peeled cloves of garlic to the recipe.
- You can use ricotta in place of the burrata or replace it all together with more mozzarella or any other cheese you would prefer