Roasted Tomato Tart

by Jenn on September 23, 2013

in Featured Posts,Gluten Free,Photography,Vegetarian

Pesto Tomato Tart, Gluten free

When I was younger, I hated waiting (ok, I still do – I was born with a serious deficiency in patience).  Every event in life felt like one slow tedious step to the next – must pass this test to get this grade, must advance through this year to get to this college, must do these things to get this degree, must get this degree to go back to school… and before you know it, a significant chunk of life has passed you by while you were so busy impatiently preparing for the next step. Having a vision and a plan is great – and for the most part, even something to be encouraged. As society we view aimless wandering as a detriment, and taking too long to accomplish a goal is indirectly punished by loss of opportunities and time.  If we were all robots, this would be fine,  however I think the human mind – the soul – needs a little bit of freedom (and fun!) in order to thrive.

[Baby girl decided to add some thoughts of her own to my post:] sxc xssww1ZZMeursault

Sometimes I was lucky enough to recognize those precious carefree moments in action – the ones where life just felt so alive, so real, where I felt comfortable and confident enough to actually let go and just be my true self, free of any insecurities or second guessing. Sometimes they consisted of a fun weekend out on the lake with friends, a backpacking trip along an empty beach exploring the nothingness with a childlike wonder at the complexity and sheer amazement of our natural world, or that romantic meal where I first realized I was falling in love with my husband. But what I have noticed as I have gotten older, is that the planning and structure of life tries very hard to thwart such moments.  We worry about money, about jobs, about the future – we talk with friends and family who worry with us, and all of a sudden somehow it seems all of life is about waiting/hoping for something to occur again. We look back on those fun and free moments, and sadly just think fondly on them realizing that after all this worrying and planning we simply don’t have the energy to break out of our current paradigms on life.

Olivier Leflaive L'Auberge de Vieux Vigneron

But it is a tough balance, no?

How do you move yourself back into the present, embracing our time in this world as it comes, while still maintaining some sense of security for the future? How do you do one aspect of life without ending up regretting not doing enough of the other?

I don’t have the answers, humankind has been searching for the answer to this age-old dilemma since the dawn of time. But for me, I feel like the right direction is in learning how to step back mentally from the situations we find ourselves in, and try to give ourselves time to keep making those memories that we love and cherish so much.  While living in Europe, my husband and I do this by traveling and exploring – tasting a culture, making new friends, and sometimes, just saying today it’s time to forget and go do something fun. It’s refreshing, although sometimes a bit difficult to work spontaneity into our lives (seems a bit oxymoronic, eh? trying to “schedule spontaneity”? this is part of the problem!). And while such trips are fun and I am certain we will cherish each time we get to drive off and walk among the famous vineyards and village streets of Burgundy, they are not always feasible whenever we need a little mental break.






And this is where the joy of cooking comes in.  And for me, the joy of blogging (remember when people truly felt joy about food blogging, and didn’t have all those pressures of bringing in enough traffic or ad revenue that can bring out a bit of an uglier side of folks? – but that’s a different topic for another day…).  Every time I cook from scratch, with real fresh produce and ingredients, I am reminded of the awesomeness of our world that nature could be so generous to produce such flavor.  And when I combine those ingredients together and smell their roasted sweetness wafting through our home, I am giving myself a little moment each day to remember that life is about more than making plans and worrying about what comes next. Just with the mere scents and sounds of a home-cooked dish, I can stop myself right there, standing in my kitchen, and take a moment to breathe – to remember that life is about the present, and about seeing the purpose and magic in the moments we have, right here, right now. And I hope that as my little baby girl grows up she also recognizes this transformative power of the act of cooking food, so that she can learn that no matter what the daily stresses and pressures of life throw at us, there is always a little time to cook and savor the present.


Pesto Tomato Tart, Gluten free

Roasted Tomato Tart

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours

Yield: 1 tart

Roasted Tomato Tart

This is a tart that showcases the ingredients in all their glory - so it's important to choose the highest quality ingredients for the best flavor - I like to use market tomatoes and freshly made sheep's milk ricotta to really add a richness to this dish. It can be served as an appetizer or a light main alongside other dishes.

Inspired by: Minimally Invasive

Note: It is most helpful to use a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom. It is still fine to bake this in a normal pie dish, but if you can get a flat pan where the bottom comes out it will help greatly in presentation. Also, this will make too much pie dough, feel free to use the extra for homemade mini tarts or quiches :)


    For the pie crust:
  • 2/3 cup tapioca flour
  • 2/3 cup chickpea (or other bean) flour
  • 2/3 cup white rice flour
  • 8 oz. cold cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 8 oz. cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian herbs
  • For the Tart filling:
  • 2 lb. ripe tomatoes, sliced evenly (between 1/4"-1/2" thick)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup of fresh pesto
  • coarsely ground sea salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat an oven to 125ºC (250ºF). Combine the pie crust ingredients together in a food processor and pulse until it comes together into a ball of dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge at least 1 hr.
  2. Meanwhile, gently mix the tomato slices together in a large bowl with the olive oil with your hands, being sure to coat them all with oil. Lay them out on a baking sheet (you will likely need to use more than one sheet to lay them all flat) and sprinkle some salt and pepper on them. Place the sheets in the oven and roast about 3-4 hrs, or until they are all nicely shriveled and shrunken. It may take more or less time depending on the thickness of the slices, and if they were not all sliced evenly, be sure to check on the thinner ones first (and possibly take them out) so that they don't burn before the thicker slices are done. Once the tomato slices are roasted, remove them from the sheet keep in an airtight container - any extras that you don't use for the tart are fantastic on salads, in pasta, whatever you like.
  3. Preheat the oven to 175ºC(350ºF). Take the chilled dough out of the fridge and gently roll it between two sheets of plastic wrap until about 1/4" thick. Peel off the top layer of plastic wrap, and gently flip the dough over as you transfer it into your tart pan. Gently press the dough into the sides and bottom of the pan making sure to eliminate any gaps between the pan and the dough. Now carefully peel off the (now) top layer of plastic wrap, allowing you to smooth and repair the dough if necessary.
  4. Since the filling will not be baked in the pie, the crust must be blind baked. In order to do this, use a fork to poke the bottom of the crust a bit - this will help allow steam to escape as it bakes and keep it from puffing up so much. Then carefully place a sheet of parchment paper (or aluminum foil) on top, and weigh down the crust with about 1-2 cups of dried beans. Alternatively, you can use fancy pie weights, but beans (or even rice) work just as well and are a lot cheaper. I keep the same dried beans to use over and over again just for this purpose. Bake about 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is dry. Then remove the parchment and beans/pie weights, and continue to bake another 10 minutes or until it starts to turn a golden color. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack until no longer warm to the touch, at least 30 minutes.
  5. To prepare the filling, mix together the pesto into the ricotta cheese. Spread this into the tart shell, and then top with the roasted tomato slices. Garnish with a little coarsely ground salt and pepper. Enjoy!


Rosa September 23, 2013 at 8:50 am

A beautiful tart! Thiose are flavors I really enjoy. Fabulous clicks too.

Yes, patience isn’t my thing either… 😉



Jenn September 24, 2013 at 1:52 am

Thanks Rosa! Yeah, patience is a tough thing for many of us…

Caneel September 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Gorgeous photos, as always, Jenn! Love, love this post. The photos, the food, the baby, and the thoughts! :)

Jenn September 24, 2013 at 1:52 am

Thanks so much Caneel!

Krystal R {Mrs. Regueiro's Plate} September 23, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Absolutely stunning photos Jenn! As always on point about the post, food and the cute adorable baby posting…just awesome. She’s your little foodie baby and I agree about the joy of blogging. It’s a different game out there now, but there are still a few of us left that enjoy it simply for the food. Well said my friend!

Jenn September 24, 2013 at 2:06 am

Aww thanks Krystal!
Yeah I’m all for celebrating an entrepreneurial spirit, but at the same time over the past few years we’ve also seen a certain shift of priorities develop in the food blogging world associated with that and its overall effect on the food blogging community, and not all of it has necessarily been for the better in my opinion. And now I just sound like an old grumpy curmudgeon yearning for the “good old days”, ha :)

judie September 24, 2013 at 12:48 am

I was so excited to see this gorgeous tart, but the bean flour is a no go for me….boohoo

Jenn September 24, 2013 at 2:10 am

Hi Judie – You could likely substitute in some other high-protein flour such as almond flour (are nuts ok for you?), and I am guessing it would turn out just fine. I haven’t tested it myself though yet, I have been meaning to because I know so many gluten free folks are paleo as well. I need to figure out what the appropriate equivalent volume measurement is still, but you are welcome to play with the recipe and see how it goes – I’d be very interested in hearing how it came out for you with a substitution :)

judie September 24, 2013 at 10:40 am

I will try it with almond flour and then with sorghum flour and let you know. thanks for the feed back.

Love your pictures of France.

Eduardo@Andaremos September 24, 2013 at 8:29 am

Slow roasting tomatoes intensifies their flavor. One of my favorite breakfast foods is a slice of toast with roasted tomato with a pinch of olive oil and salt. This is something very Mediterranean and I discovered it while traveling in Spain. Discovering new food and including it in our daily life is another way of remembering our travel experiences.

Jenn September 26, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Eduardo that is one of my favorite ways to enjoy roasted tomatoes!

Deepali Jain September 24, 2013 at 9:31 am

A lovely post, lovely dish and a breathtakingly beautiful location. How I envy you! I guess the place is good but you have captured it most strikingly. After looking at this post I am beginning to understand what it may mean to look at something from a photographer’s eye and then capturing it!

Jenn September 26, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Thanks so much Deepali! So glad you enjoy my work :)

Rochelle September 24, 2013 at 11:30 am

Gorgeous photos! I’d love to take that huge kitchen and slap it in place of mine. I think we could just take out the living room to make it fit. But only if I could keep all that cookery too 😀

On another note, that tomato tart is gorgeous and has me wanting to make one of my own!

Jenn September 26, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Thanks so much Rochelle! The kitchen was part of the outdoor courtyard while touring at Chateau de Pommard in Burgundy, I too loved all that copper :)

Helene D'souza September 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Jenn well said, we should savor the moment! We all face the same problems and fears in life, so we are not alone and that is comforting me. You are lucky to have a chance and visit new places. Honestly I miss that the most right now in our life but I hope that we will be able to travel soon more again. Your tart looks so perfect and the mood in the picture is very inviting.

Jenn September 26, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Thank you so much Helene – we are trying to take advantage of it while we can, luckily being in Europe, traveling for us can be as simple as a 2-hr car ride away :)

Ash-foodfashionparty September 24, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Love chickpea flour, it adds such a nice dimension of flavors. Love the beautiful tart and your pictures.
There’s so much meaning to your post and there’s so much I want to write about it, but for now, I will say I agree fully with you.

Jenn September 26, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Hi Ash – thank you so much! I need to find more uses for chickpea flour…so far I’ve only incorporated it into my GF mixes a handful of times…but I find for a pie/tart crust it is great :)

Fatemah Alhusayni September 24, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Jenn..I LOVE this blog post. So thoughtful and inspiring. I think the same thoughts almost every night. After a hectic day of getting the kids to school, cooking dinner, brining them back…helping them do their homework…getting them to bed…etc, as tired as I will be I keep wondering about the time when this will be all gone. When the kids will leave the nest and I will have no more of those hectic days. And it just brings tears to my eyes. We really need to appreciate each and every moment of our lives.

Also, loved every photo of this post and the tart looks incredible and so delicious.

Jenn September 26, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Thank you so much! I have just started on this parenting journey only recently, and already watching my baby girl grow I feel like I will miss these days…

Barbara | Creative Culinary September 25, 2013 at 12:27 am

We all need to live more ‘in the moment’ – it seems today more and more people prefer to ‘live in the iphone’ missing real human interactions while fantasizing about the ones online. Sad. But true.

So I’ll just think of a moment, with that tart…you, baby girl, Ryan EVEN…and some great wine. That would be a moment!

Jenn September 26, 2013 at 9:55 pm

lol Barb – a moment indeed!

I watched a really interesting thing on tv recently, that smartphones and texting keep us from feeling empathy because we are no longer interacting face to face and thus makes us all actually more disconnected. Was food for thought for sure.

Cathy September 26, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Hello. Having just walked into your site…..

Now, I don’t really understand your statement regarding ‘the joy of blogging (remember when people truly felt joy about food blogging, and didn’t have all those presssures of bringing in enough traffic or ad revenue that can bring out a bit of an uglier side of folks?’

Isn’t this just your choice? I write about food because I love writing about food. If you have decided to do it for clicks or money….that’s your choice! But why would you generalise to put the rest of us in your group. You are doing it for clicks. Some other people are doing it just because.

Alessio September 26, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Sorry Cathy, but since you just stumbled on Jenn’s blog how can you say she does it for the clicks? do you see any ads on this page perhaps?
If you knew her you would know that she is definitely not doing for the clicks… My 2 cents from knowing Jenn since a few years :)

Cathy September 26, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Well, I’m sorry, perhaps I have misunderstood the implications of the quote which I posted.

Jenn September 26, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Hi Cathy – Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment – I assure you I don’t do it for the clicks, I make no money blogging, don’t do sponsored posts, and likely never will. But I thought I’d clarify my statement a bit – I agree that everyone blogs for their own reasons, and I don’t take issue if someone chooses to make money or not, but just that over the past 5+ years I’ve seen a lot of people really change their attitudes toward blogging and interacting in the online community once their priorities switch to having a bottom line. I’ve seen a lot of ugliness and outlandish drama come out from people all in the name of a few hits in traffic (for ex. people bullying other bloggers because they didn’t adapt a cited recipe enough, demanding they remove their posts, etc.), and while it definitely is not all food bloggers (though certainly more than a few), I think it has impacted the nature of the entire community spirit amongst food bloggers, and not in a good way. I know I probably sound like an old curmudgeon saying “oh it was so much better back in the day”… but these are my general observations from watching the world of food blogging evolve.

Cathy September 26, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Oh my God!! I didn’t know the world of blogging could be so cut-throat. I would only have expected to lose a bit of finger cooking :) Well, I hope I never get involved in a recipe war then, sounds scary.

But I wasn’t meaning to imply that it is bad to make money from blogging or from cooking or writing about cooking through blogging – far from it. I was merely surprised at what I perhaps incorrectly surmised was the sense that it is normal to be involved in such a business-like way.

Cheers, Cathy

Luckily I am not in need of a gluten-free diet, but I have recommended your site to a couple of friends here in Switzerland who are.

Kevin @ Closet Cooking October 2, 2013 at 9:52 pm

What a tasty sounding tart!

Jenn October 22, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Thanks Kevin!

Jackie October 17, 2013 at 4:19 pm

I know you’ve done some gluten and dairy free cooking before – as for this tart, do you know if ‘Earth Balance’ and ‘Tofetti Better Than Cream Cheese’ would flatten the tart? I know the dairy free butter (Earth Balance) tends to make cookies flat.
: As for the filling – sharp cheeses are OK, so I’m not worried about the pesto and ricotta. :)

Also- My husband and I are reading a book called “Keeping the Feast”. I think there are few more intimate ways for people to enjoy each other than by communing with each other. Great post.

Jenn October 22, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Honestly I haven’t tried those yet, but my guess is that they would work fine – if you give it a try, I’d love to hear about the results with the substitutions!

Mel @ a table prepared November 13, 2013 at 7:58 am

That tart looks absolutely beautiful…and your photography is amazing. It makes me want to visit there, such an amazing place!

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