I am completely enamored with the juicy, colorful tomatoes at the farmers’ market this month. They’ve been ripening in the sun all summer long, and they’re finally ready to be sliced into salads, blended into sauces – and baked into a Rustic Heirloom Tomato Tart.
If you know me, you know pizza is my weakness. I’m absolutely obsessed with it. A tart seemed like a classier, prettier way to use up my bounty of heirloom tomatoes. Spoiler alert: it was.
To be honest, a tart is basically a glorified pizza. The three basic pillars are all there: bread, vegan cheese, and tomatoes. There are a few key differences, though. By definition, a tart is an “open pastry case containing a filling.” The pastry can be a vegan puff pastry or homemade piecrust – both bake up beautifully. The edges fold in and envelop the vegan cheese and tomatoes in a way pizza crust can’t touch. Finally, fresh herbs add a satisfying punch of flavor that screams summer.
I’ve had major tomato tart envy scrolling through my Instagram feed this summer, so I thought it was finally time to do something about it. If you want to get really fancy, you can make a homemade piecrust to cradle your tomatoes. For the sake of simplicity, I went with a store-bought puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm® Frozen Puff Pastry Sheets are vegan!) and my tart turned out rich and decadent. Heirloom tomatoes aren’t necessary, but the range of yellows, oranges, and reds make for a stunning visual.
This Rustic Heirloom Tomato Tart celebrates the end of summer in a delicious way. It’s sweet, savory, and fresh, making for a crowd-pleasing appetizer or a Friday night movie snack.Print
This Rustic Heirloom Tomato Tart celebrates the end of summer in a delicious way. It’s sweet, savory, and fresh, making for a crowd-pleasing appetizer or a Friday night movie snack.
- 2 vegan puff pastry sheets (or our Perfectly Flaky Pie Crust recipe)
- 2 lbs. heirloom tomatoes
- 1 12-oz. package extra-firm silken tofu
- 3 tsp. lemon juice
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. agave nectar (or maple syrup)
- ½ Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
- 1 tsp. olive oil (plus extra for brushing the puff pastry)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ Tbsp. fresh thyme, divided
- Remove the puff pastry sheets from the freezer and set on your kitchen counter to thaw. Slice the tomatoes into ¼-inch thick pieces and place them in a mesh strainer over a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the tomato slices with salt to release moisture. Check on the tomatoes every 10 minutes or so and pour off liquid that collects in the bowl.
- Meanwhile, make the vegan cheese. If you haven’t already, drain the tofu and press between a few layers of paper towels to remove as much water as possible. Add the tofu to the bowl of a food processor or blender along with the lemon juice, salt, agave nectar, nutritional yeast, and tapioca starch. Blend until creamy and adjust seasonings to taste (I added a pinch more salt).
- Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Unfold the puff pastry sheets. They should be thawed, but still cold. Use a rolling pin to flatten them to about 1/8-inch thick. Place the puff pastry sheets on two baking sheets.
- Warm a teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook until just golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vegan cheese mixture. As the heat activates the tapioca starch, the mixture will thicken and become gooey. This should take 3 to 5 minutes. At this time, sprinkle in a tablespoon of fresh thyme. Remove from heat.
- Use a rubber spatula to spread the vegan cheese over the puff pastry sheets in an even layer, leaving a 1-inch border. Remove the tomato slices from the strainer and lightly press them between a few layers of paper towels to absorb any remaining liquid. Arrange the tomato slices on top of the tart (it’s okay if there’s some overlap). Gently fold the edges of the puff pastry up and over the tomatoes. Brush the puff pastry with olive oil and place the tomato tarts the oven on the middle rack. Bake until the puff pastry is just starting to turn golden, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Remove the tomato tarts from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining thyme. Cut into square or rectangular pieces and enjoy warm.