Tomato basil-pesto tart

The big favorite at this year’s pie party was a gluten-free tomato and basil tart baked by one of my co-workers. My money was on her to win because I’d tasted her food before, and it was always excellent.

She took a risk though, converting her recipe to be gluten-free because we had two guests with Celiac disease.  As one of the nation’s foremost medical writers, she’s very sensitive to health issues _ and very thoughtful.

The recipe below could be made conventionally or gluten-free. The difference is simply in how you do the pie crust.

To me, the most stunning thing about this recipe is how simple it is. And yet, it is delicious and could easily serve as an appetizer or a main dish, depending on how you portion it.

Tomato Basil-Pesto Tart

1 unbaked pie crust
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
4-6 tomatoes (Roma or beefsteak best), sliced and drained
1 cup fresh basil leaves and 1 or 2 cloves garlic (OR 1/2 cup prepared pesto)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prick the pie crust and bake it for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and immediately spread 1/2 cup of the mozzarella on the bottom of the hot pie crust.

Spread the tomato slices over the cheese.

Puree or mince the basil and garlic and spread evenly over tomatoes, or do this with pesto if you are using that in place of the basil and garlic.

In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, Parmesan and remaining cup of mozzarella. Spread over top of the other ingredients in the pie.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes more, until golden on top.


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