Recipe Review

I Tried Ina Garten’s Cheesy Tomato Tart (It’s One of Her Favorite Summer Lunches)

published Jul 8, 2021
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Credit: Kelli Foster

I’m one of those people who actually makes the recipes they save on Instagram. It might take me a while (like, a year or two!), but I eventually cook my way through them as soon as I find the time. And in the case of this cheesy, summery tomato tart from Ina Garten, the time was now.

I’ve been smitten with this tart ever since Ina shared a snap of it on her feed two years ago (the recipe is also published in Cooking for Jeffrey). Those vibrant summer tomatoes! The melted cheese! That irresistibly crisp-looking crust! At the time I had a one-month-old son, so hopping into the kitchen wasn’t exactly in the cards, but I saved it right away because I knew I’d eventually find the right moment to make it. Here’s what happened when I finally tried it.

Get the recipe: Anna’s Tomato Tart

Credit: Kelli Foster

How to Make Ina Garten’s Anna’s Tomato Tart

From start to finish, plan on about 90 minutes to two hours to make this tart. You’ll start by making the dough in the food processor. Pulse all-purpose flour, kosher salt, and cold, unsalted, cubed butter together until the butter is the size of peas. Add egg yolks and pulse to combine. With the machine running, slowly stream in cold water and mix just until the dough comes together. Dump onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Add sliced tomatoes to a large bowl. Blitz fresh parsley, fresh basil, garlic, fresh thyme, kosher salt, and black pepper in the food processor until finely minced. With the machine running, slowly pour in olive oil and mix until combined. Pour over the tomatoes and toss gently to coat.

On a well-floured surface, roll the dough into an 11×17-inch rectangle. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place a second sheet pan directly on top of the dough and bake in a 400°F oven for 15 minutes. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Bake until lightly browned, another 8 to 10 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

Coat the crust with a layer of Dijon mustard, followed by a thick layer of grated Gruyère and Parmesan cheeses. Add the sliced tomatoes in overlapping layers. If necessary, strain any liquid from the leftover herb mixture, then spread the herb mixture over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with additional Gruyère and Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Credit: Kelli Foster

My Honest Review of Ina Garten’s Anna’s Tomato Tart

I really wanted to love this tomato tart. As I was making it, I was hopeful it would become my new go-to summer recipe to pull out anytime I’m entertaining friends and family. Sadly, this is not that recipe — at least not for me.

For starters — and I can’t believe I’m saying this — but there was too much cheese. It made the tart feel heavy, especially for a summertime tart. Secondly, it was quite time- and labor-intensive to pull together. Although I wouldn’t call it advanced (as Ina does on her website), it requires a fair amount of hands-on work and a couple of hours to come together.

With that said, there were several things I liked about this tart! Many tomato tarts are plagued by soggy bottoms, but not this one. Before you add the tomatoes, the dough bakes into a flatbread-like crust with crisp toasted edges that reminded me of a really good cracker, and is then well-protected by a generous layer of Dijon and a thick layer of Gruyère. Even hours later, the crust remained firm. The dough was also incredibly easy to work with — and this is coming from someone who gets easily stressed about working with homemade dough.

Perhaps the very best part of this recipe is the garlicky-herb marinade that’s used for the tomatoes, then slathered over the top of the tart. Using it twice is so smart, and a trick I plan to use for other veggie tarts and even pizza.

If You’re Making Ina Garten’s Anna’s Tomato Tart, a Few Tips

  1. Roll the dough directly on parchment paper. You’ll need parchment paper for the baking sheet anyway, so instead of shaping and then rolling the dough on a work surface, do both of these steps on the parchment. It’ll make for easier cleanup, and makes easy work of transferring the dough to the baking sheet.
  2. Leave a 1/2-inch border around the outside of the crust. This isn’t noted in the recipe, but it’s helpful to leave about a 1/2-inch border when assembling the tart.
  3. Make sure you strain the excess liquid from the herb mixture. It’s almost certain you’ll have excess marinade from the tomatoes, and just as certain that there will some liquid in the bowl. You’ve come this far in the recipe, so be sure to strain out as much of the liquid as possible to prevent a soggy tart.
  4. Use less cheese. Next time I make this recipe, I’ll use half the amount of cheese to keep the tart feeling light.

Do you have a favorite tomato tart recipe? Let us know in the comments!