Summertime… and the tomatoes are plentiful. Around here, my girls love tomato in all its incarnations… they will even eat them right off the vine like an apple… and a Caprese Salad is their favorite. So I took the that idea and made this Caprese Tart Recipe.
This Caprese Tart is divine. The kids call it tomato pizza…. I call it an easy summertime dinner, that is fresh and as tasty as eating a tomato right off the vine.
A regular Caprese Salad is layers of fresh Tomato, slices of fresh Mozzarella, fresh Basil… and then sprinkled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar… delicious, and fresh on a warm summer day. On a crunchy base of puff pastry that’s been baked with a sprinkling of Parmesan Cheese… ohhhh… sooo nice. (You can even convince the kids that it’s PIZZA, and therefore yummy. )
This Caprese Tart Recipe is pretty easy to assemble… you can even pre-bake the Puff Pastry, which speeds up the process quite a bit.
Now, best way to make Puff Pastry? Go to the supermarket, and look in the freezer section. Seriously. Take it home, thaw it out, use it for 9,000,000 things. If, however, your Great Aunt Edna left you the world’s best Puff Pastry recipe, and you feel compelled to make it… go right ahead (you can even feel smug about it if you want… we don’t care… we’re busy EATING while you are fussing with pastry). Fair warning… do not mix up Puff Pastry with Phyllo Dough/Pastry. Phyllo is thin sheets, Puff Pastry bakes up thick and flaky.
Please use fresh RIPE Tomatoes for this recipe… it makes a difference. I used some lovely Heirloom Tomatoes (if you are wondering why my tomatoes are orange and yellow… that’s why). Ripe matters, color and size does not matter.
I also used FRESH basil… it’s one of the things I can keep alive in my garden consistently…. so I like to use it. That stuff that comes in a jar might work in a pinch… but it won’t be the same, and you’ll be disappointed .
And at the risk of pounding the point home with a sledgehammer… use fresh mozzarella if you can… our grocery store sells lumps of mozzarella wrapped with some liquid.. it’s soft, and melts well. Avoid using the pre-sliced plastic stuff or the pre-grated bagged stuff (if it’s all you can get… then use it I guess, it just won’t be the same…).
The Caprese Tart I made in the example started out as a 7 x 10 inch pastry sheet because that is what I had in the Refrigerator. It made a Tart big enough for 2 hungry people at lunch (with room for dessert). You can make the tart in any size or shape that you want… HUGE, small, appetizer sized… whatever suits you. Just adjust the topping amounts. You can even adjust the toppings a bit if you want… I’ve included some variations below.
Caprese Tart Recipe
Simple Variations For Your Caprese Tart
(Additions you might have in your fridge….)
Spread store bought (or home made) pesto on the base of the tart before adding the tomato and cheese… continue as before.
Chop up some seeded Kalamata Olives… sprinkle over the tomato and cheese before baking.
Chop up marinated artichokes… sprinkle over the tomato and cheese before baking.
Prosciutto … yum. Little bits would be good. Both raw or baked onto the pastry.
Tools and Toppings for Caprese Tart Recipe