Sep 11, 2017

Tomato Basil Tart

I don't usually share recipes on my blog. However, over the weekend I tried out our cabin oven for the first time with such great results I wanted to share my cabin cooking saga experience and a link to the recipe I made. It's one of my all-time favorite dishes that I've been making with luscious summer tomatoes and fresh basil from our garden every summer for years. If you grow tomatoes, you probably have lots of them right now, so I hope you'll be tempted to try out this easy and delicious late summer tart. If you don't grow your own, I bet you can still find wonderful summer tomatoes at your local farmer's market. I only make this recipe for special once each year and only with home grown summer tomatoes. I wouldn't even think of making it with grocery store tomatoes. (Maybe grocery store tomatoes where you live are edible, but not here in Boise, Idaho. Blah!) 

The oven in our tiny cabin kitchen is a small cute 24" wide range that was here when we moved in last fall. I wanted to buy replacement drip pans for it, and when I googled the model number I was surprised to see it's still available. I had never seen such a tiny cook range, and I just assumed it was old like our cabin. We've been so busy working on fixer upper projects around here, we are just either too exhausted or haven't had much time to cook here. We usually fix a quick sandwich, get takeout, or grill something quick and easy on the Weber, so after scrubbing the cabin oven until it looked like new (no self cleaning option), it just pretty much sat unused for months. This weekend I knew I'd have some extra time, so I picked some fresh tomatoes from my garden at home and brought them up to the cabin along with the other ingredients for this recipe.

My cook range at home back in Boise is dismal. It has one of those encased heating elements in the bottom and I can only describe how it bakes food as steaming, not baking. It rarely browns food, and recipes just don't taste as good as they did in all my other past ovens. Plus, it takes an eternity to preheat. It also has a glass cook top that responds to heat changes at a snail's pace. I just hate it and hope to replace it with a gas range one of these days. Meanwhile, I have to admit that because it's such an unpleasant experience I've sort of lost my enthusiasm for cooking in general. In fact, the only reason I can imagine a company designing and selling such a dismal piece of cooking apparatus is as a kitchen place holder for people who don't cook. I've seen people like that on HGTV's House Hunters - they want great looking appliances, but they admit they never use them!

I'd forgotten how nice it is to cook on a normal range and oven until I used our inexpensive little cabin range this weekend. The electric coil burners heat up and cool down with the flick of a knob and the oven preheats in no time and (drum roll) it browns food! Honestly, it's nothing that special; it's just that I've been using my crummy range at home for a couple years and forgot how a normal cook range is supposed to cook!  The only thing it doesn't do is have a timer, so I bought a cute little owl timer to sit on top and it's like my little buddy now. 

So when my tomato tart turned out golden brown and bubbly delicious I decided to share it with you. I didn't want to step on any copyright toes, so I googled the recipe and was amazed to see almost everyone has this recipe on their food website! I guess I'm not the only one with good taste. :)

The recipes online are all pretty much the same, so I'm sharing the link to this one from the Better Homes and Garden Website. Basically, you just bake a store bought pie crust, sprinkle some shredded cheese in the bottom, arrange drained tomato wedges on top then spread spoonfuls of a cheese mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake. Trust me, this is food fit for the gods. If you love tomatoes, cheese, and basil, you will LOVE this tart. Serve it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, appetizer, whenever. 

(And then you might want to go for a long walk, run or bike ride because, be forewarned, it's not a skinny recipe - so worth it, though!)



  1. Hi Laurel! This looks so yummy, will definitely try before all the summer tomatoes are gone!

  2. Oh Laurel this looks delicious! I plan on making it soon. I had to laugh when you mentioned about people in HGTV that has great cooking appliances but admits that they will never use it. American of today is something surreal!!! Thank you for the recipe!

  3. Oh, this sounds so good, Laurel! I have an abundance of tomatoes just from friends and neighbors. I used to have a large garden but it was hard to maintain and the critters ate everything up before I could get to it! I've been making salsa-you can find my recipe on my blog post today. But I love tarts and this sounds fantastic!

    I feel bad about your stove problems. I love to cook and I don't know what I'd do without a gas stovetop. I never learned electric. When I try to grill food outdoors I usually start a fire!!! I think you'll get the hang of it, especially with winter ahead. :-)


  4. Laurel, we have a 20" Amana propane gas range in our cottage and I absolutely love it. It cooks and bakes perfectly. Your tart looks heavenly.


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