This simple heirloom tomato tart pairs bright heirloom tomatoes with flaky puff pastry and creamy burrata. A simple summer appetizer! (Jump to Recipe)
I can’t believe tomorrow is the last day of August. Where did the summer go? Please don’t leave…
I do love the flavors and colors of fall, but I just don’t feel ready for it yet. This weekend is the first home football game of the season at Notre Dame, and you better believe we’ll be there – but it doesn’t feel like it should be football season yet. I probably say that every year, but it’s true. The first game is always more summer than fall. I guess it’s supposed to make up for the November blizzard games.
What’s your favorite fall activity? I’m sure I will shock no one when I say that apple picking is one of mine. There’s something so rewarding about going through the orchard picking your own apples, eating a couple along the way. They’re warm from the sun and the flavor is so bright. I don’t really recall going as a child, although I’m sure I must have, but the first time I did it as an adult was during law school with two of my best friends. We went on a beautiful September Friday to a farm in southwest Michigan and picked more apples than we knew what to do with. My fridge was full of apples for months, and I can’t say I was mad about it.
I miss the days where we could take adventures like that on a whim. Law school felt unbelievably stressful at the time — and at times, it really was — but the freedom you have as a student, even a law student, is just the greatest. We took walks around the quad at 3 o’clock on random Tuesdays, went to pilates and dinners at the dining hall together, and spent just as much time laughing in the library as we did studying in it. Some people hate law school, but because of my friends, I loved it.
Now we have to schedule weekends to see each other months in advance, since one of them lives in Portland and the other in Columbus. We do have a highly entertaining group text though, which we use to keep in touch with each other every day. Topics range from toddler bedtimes to the hilarity of modern dating to the intricacies of legal theory to Taylor Swift’s latest album. The three of us are now in very different life stages, but the friendship we built on a sunny September day picking apples is stronger than ever.
This isn’t about apples, however, so sorry for that deviation. This is about holding onto summer with both hands until I’m ready to embrace fall.
One of the best ways to do that is to make this super simple heirloom tomato tart. Ingredients required are ridiculously simple: puff pastry, pesto (I used store bought…ain’t nobody got time to make pesto right now), tomatoes (you don’t have to use heirloom tomatoes if you don’t want to, but…they’re pretty), burrata (!!!), fresh basil, salt and pepper. This is peak summer eating right here and I’m not letting it go.
Puff pastry is one of my favorite vehicles for easy yet super elegant tarts. You can also use it in other ways, such as to make these delicious breakfast rolls. All you have to do is defrost it, put whatever you want on it and bake…and 99% of the time, magic comes out.
Of course, I would be that 1% who completely screwed it up the first time I tried to make this. Originally, I used fig jam and mozzarella with the tomatoes, because it just sounded good. Word to the wise: if you’re going to basically make a pizza on puff pastry, go really light on the layers. I put way too much jam, too many tomatoes, and too much cheese…and it was a soggy, puddled mess of sadness. Not that we didn’t still eat it.
So in round two, I switched to pesto (much less liquidy), drained the tomato slices on paper towels first, and added burrata only after baking. Lo and behold, the puff pastry was restored to its former glory, flaky and puffed like a dream.
Therefore, I suppose there is a trick to puff pastry, and it’s this: give it room to puff. Go light on the pesto, leave space between your toppings, and put things like melty cheese on afterwards. Not so complicated…and 100% worth it, considering burrata is one of the best inventions ever. It basically had to be used here.
Summer, I’m not done with you yet.
Heirloom Tomato & Burrata Tart
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1/4 cup pesto (I used storebought)
- 1 large heirloom tomato, sliced thin
- 1 round burrata
- Fresh basil, for topping
- Salt + pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Unwrap puff pastry and lay flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lay tomato slices on paper towels to drain.
- Spread pesto over puff pastry, leaving about 1/2 inch border around the edges.
- Top with tomato slices, arranging them so they are not overlapping, if possible. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake tart for 18-20 minutes, until pastry is puffed and golden brown at edges. While tart is baking, cut burrata into even pieces so it can be arranged over the tart.
- Arrange burrata pieces on the baked tart, and top with fresh basil leaves and salt and pepper, to taste. Serve!
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