Nick Malgieri
Nick Malgieri

Tomato and Cantal Tart

This recipe comes from my late friend, cooking school owner Peter Kump. Peter always made this tart for summer parties at his house in Easthampton on Long Island. The secret of its success lies in having perfectly ripe tomatoes. Cantal is a French cheese very similar to Gruyère, which you can substitute for this. Another good substitute is Italian Fontina.

Makes one 10- or 11-inch tart, about 8 generous servings


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 12 pieces
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk


2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
8 ounces Cantal cheese, coarsely shredded, about 2 cups
2 perfectly ripe tomatoes, about 12 ounces, sliced 1/4 inch thick
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 or 8 leaves fresh basil, rinsed, dried, and torn into small pieces

One 10- or 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom

Serving: This is a perfect lunch dish or hors d'oeuvre. Serve with a green salad for lunch.

Storage: This doesn't make particularly good leftovers because the cheese congeals. Wrap and refrigerate any leftovers and reheat in a toaster oven.

  1. For the crust, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the butter and pulse about 20 times to mix the butter in finely.
  2. Add the egg and yolk and pulse until the dough just begins to form a ball, but no longer.
  3. Invert the food processor bowl over a floured work surface to turn out the dough. Carefully remove the blade and transfer any dough on it to the surface. Use your hands to press the dough into a disk about 1/2 inch thick. Flouring with pinches of flour, roll the dough to fit a 10- or 11-inch tart pan. Transfer the dough to the pan.
  4. Set a rack in the lowest level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  5. Spread the mustard in the bottom of the tart crust and top with about half the cheese.
  6. Arrange the tomato slices, slightly overlapping, on top of the cheese. Grind some pepper on the tomatoes, but don't salt them or they will get very watery while the tart is baking. Top the tomatoes with the remaining cheese.
  7. Bake the tart until the crust is baked through and well colored on the bottom and the cheese is bubbling, about 25 minutes.
  8. Unmold the tart while it is warm and slide it to a platter. Drizzle the oil on the surface and scatter with the basil. Serve immediately.