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Giant Summer Tomato Tart

Giant Summer Tomato Tart
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Because you can never serve too many tomatoes this time of year.

I realize this recipe comes right on the heels of our wildly popular Heirloom Tomato Tart recipe, but we just cannot get enough of this year’s stellar crop of tomatoes. This tart first appeared as the Cover Girl on Food & Wine in August 2017.  It’s the brainchild of Laura Rege, a regular contributor to the magazine.  Here she has made tomatoes the star of the show in a very simple, fresh tart.  Using layers of breadcrumb-topped phyllo dough, she baked a wonderfully crispy flaky base for the tomatoes. She spreads the crust with a simple combination of cream cheese and mayo. Finally, she tops the tart with glorious colorful tomatoes just minutes before serving. We used the Japanese Mayo, Kewpie, which is sweeter than American mayo. But we’re sure your regular Mayonnaise will be just as good.

How to choose the perfect Heirloom Tomato?  It’s well worth repeating.

The last time we talked Heirlooms or Heritage Tomatoes as they’re known in the UK, we gave some guidelines for picking the perfect ones. Here, verbatim, is what we wrote: If there’s anything worse than spending a small fortune on an Heirloom, it’s getting home and finding it a mushy mess. It happened here!  So here, some words of wisdom on how to avoid disappointment.  Do not buy Grocery Store heirlooms. The more local the tomato, the better it’s going to be. A farmer’s market or farm stand is your best bet. There, you can ask which varieties are best. Use your eyes. The skin should be taut and shiny. No splits or bruises. And the bottom of the tomato should be nice and dark when you gently pick up your candidate. Then sniff your best bets—don’t squeeze!  That can bruise or even split the skin. The heirloom should smell earthy and slightly sweet.

And here is Laura Rege’s Recipe:

Giant Summer Tomato Tart

August 13, 2020
: 8 to 10
: 15 min
: 25 min
: Don't be afraid of Phyllo...it's not all that intimidating and the results are well worthwhile

We wait all year for this rainbow of flavor that ripe tomatoes bring to the season. Here they are in a great yet simple tart.


  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 8 sheets of phyllo dough, thawed
  • 1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Basil leaves, for garnish
  • Step 1 Preheat the oven to 375°. Brush a large rimmed baking sheet with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Lay 1 sheet of the phyllo dough on the baking sheet. Keep the rest covered with damp paper towels. Brush the phyllo with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and sprinkle all over with 1 tablespoon of the breadcrumbs. Repeat the layering with the remaining phyllo, olive oil, and breadcrumbs.
  • Step 2 Bake the crust for about 25 minutes, until golden and crisp, rotating the baking sheet halfway through cooking. Let cool completely.
  • Step 3 In a food processor, pulse the cream cheese with the mayonnaise until smooth. Spread the cream cheese mixture in the center of the tart, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Arrange the tomato slices on top and sprinkle with flaky sea salt and pepper. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and garnish with basil leaves. Cut into squares and serve.

2 thoughts on “Giant Summer Tomato Tart”

  • Hi Monty – I have 2 questions – can you substitute anything for the mayo & I was surprised it was not baked after the tomatoes are put on – can you pop it in the oven to heat the tomatoes?

    • Hi Mary. I don’t think you need the mayo–it really just makes it easier to spread the cheese over the top of the pastry. So if you’d like, you might want to substitute Greek yoghurt. This is really a room temperature dish. I really don’t know what would happen if you reheated it at that point. Wish I could be more help. Love to Esther Lee and of course, to your good self.

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