About this Recipe
This festive tomato torte recipe can be made with colorful cherry tomatoes of all colors, or with your classic red. In the town we live the month of August is prime tomato time. It is a treat to go to the local farmers market and drool over the many varieties of tomatoes available for purchase. My personal favorites are the heirloom tomato varieties with their oranges, yellows and greens! Yes, green even. It is so fun to make salads with all these colors, and then just a simple drizzle of good quality olive oil and some Himalayan salt and cracked pepper make for a delicious meal.
This tomato torte recipe uses cherry red and yellow cherry tomatoes, but of course you can get creative and also cut them into slices if you choose. The pastry in this recipe is light and crispy and makes for crowd pleaser at a harvest pot luck meal.
1. When buying tomatoes, you would surprised to learn that the less ‘perfect and uniform’ the tomato .. often times the more flavor it will have.
2. Store tomatoes on the counter (not the fridge) to keep maximum flavor.
3. Sniff your tomatoes before you buy them. If they smell like a tomato..they will taste like a tomato too. You will start to notice how non-fragrant grocery store winter sold tomatoes actually are and you may just start to choose another more seasonal vegetable for your salads.
4. Buy LOCAL produce when you can. It tastes MUCH better, is more nutritious a lot of the time since produce grown far away is often picked before maturity and therefore not quite as nutritious.
5. For your onions - Thinly sliced onions will burn faster and stick to the bottom of your pan. Plan to slice them about ⅛ inch thick.
6. With the onions - do not crowd your pan when cooking.
Makes: 1 large cookie sheet size, 12 servings
3 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 whole large cooking onions (Cut in halves then thinly sliced)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cheese grated (your choice, we used vegan almond cheeses but a combo of Monterey jack, Parmesan and Fontana are good dairy cheese choices)
3 cups cherry tomatoes (wash dried and halved) (red, orange or yellow is nice for a colorful presentation)
10-20 leaves fresh basil (more or less as per your personal taste) (Chiffonaide)
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter
1/4 cups milk (we used Almond milk or you can use your milk of choice)
Milk-Egg for Topping:
1/4 cup milk (we used almond milk, you can use your milk of choice)
Make the crust:
1. In a large bowl stir to together flour, salt sugar and baking powder.
2. In small cup mix together milk and egg.
3. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry cutter until a crumbly texture.
4. Add liquid ingredients and mix together using a fork and then your hands. Work into a ball.
5. Have a baking sheet at the ready.
6. Roll out the dough the best you can to the size of the cookie sheet.
7. Place onto the sheet. Cut off overhanging edges and place them into the gaps where the crust didn’t reach. Use your finger tips to stretch and make the pie crust ‘fit’ the cookie sheet.
8. Cover with plastic wrap to keep from drying out and set aside.
To prepare topping:
1. Slice the onions in half then slice them about 1/8 inch thick.
2. Melt the butter and oil on low heat in a large skillet.
3. Place the onion slices into the skillet.
4. Cook the onions for 25 minutes, stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper.
5. You want to caramelize the onions which means they will turn a golden brown. Shut off when ready.
6. While the onions are cooking on low heat cut the cherry tomatoes into halves.
7. Chiffonaide the basil leaves and set into a bowl, put into the refrigerator for later.
8. Grate whatever cheese choices you have made. You want 2 cups total of cheeses.
Assemble the torte:
1. Put all the cheese on the bottom layer on top of the crust.
2. Next place the caramelized onions spreading out so each sections gets some.
3. Place the tomato halves on the top in a nice pattern.
4. Stir the egg into the milk and using a pastry brush spread over the entire torte.
5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. and bake for 15-18 minutes. Watch crust doesn't burn. Tomatoes will start to burst when done and crust will be a golden brown. If cooking too fast reduce to 425F.
6.Remove from oven, allow to sit 5 minutes then sprinkle basil on top. Cut into squares and serve.
If you've never made your own torte or if you've never had the pleasure of trying a savoury torte, this is a recipe you don't want to miss out on. Usually, you'd think of a torte being a dessert recipe because we often hear of chocolate torte. But there is also the savoury version of the torte recipe too.
This is one of the easy dinner ideas that won't take a lot of effort but comes out tasting incredible each time you make it. A good torte recipe is largely dependant on the ingredients in the recipe, and in this case, for a tomato torte, you're going to want the best and most flavourful tomatoes. So try out our tips on how to pick out the perfect tomatoes.
The savoury recipes can be made with tomatoes and other vegetables as well as cheese. In France, these dishes are not meant to be for special occasions, and you'll often find people making tortes or quiches for a regular homemade meal. Choose fresh herbs whenever you can for your torte as well, which will also make all the difference in your recipe.
You can also easily grow your own herbs on your patio, in your garden or even right in your kitchen window or any other window in your home. Enjoy choosing the ingredients and making this recipe just as much as you enjoy eating it. That's what making good, homemade meals is all about after all, enjoying not only the product of your work but also the process.