Our favorite thing about cooking in the summer is that the produce is so ripe, so flavorful, and so fresh, that you don’t have to use a lot of fancy cooking techniques to make a delicious meal. One of the masters of this style of cooking is Giada De Laurentiis, probably because she gets so much of her culinary inspiration from Italy, which often puts seasonal foods front-and-center with tasty results. De Laurentiis just shared a summer tomato tart recipe that does just that. The best summer tomatoes are the star of the dish, and everything else complements their prized flavor. Even better? The recipe is easy to put together, but is fancy enough for any ocassion.
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To start with, you should go to the farmer’s market and pick out three of the best-looking heirloom tomatoes you can find. Ripe summer tomatoes should smell sweet and feel heavy.
Tomatoes are juicy as can be, so the first prep step you should take is slicing them, then resting the slices on paper towels to help get rid of some of that excess moisture. This will help keep your tart from getting soggy.
The base of the tart is made from storebough puff pastry, a shortcut ingredient we always have in the freezer. The puff pastry is covered with a rich layer of mascarpone and goat cheese studded with minced shallot, and the drained tomatoes are set on top.
While the tart is in the oven baking, you make a simple balsamic reduction. When the tart comes out of the oven after a quick broil, you drizzle it with the balsamic reduction, fresh chives for garnish (basil, parsley, thyme, or oregano would work too), and some flaky Maldon sea salt. The result is worthy of a magazine cover story, but the flavors are simple cooking at its best: ripe summer tomatoes, creamy and tangy cheeses, crisp and buttery puff pastry, and a lusciously sweet-tart balsamic drizzle. It’s everything we love about cooking in the summer.
Watch: How to Make Giada De Laurentiis’ Stuffed Lasagna Rolls