Food & Drink

Tomato-Basil Tart from "Cooking My Way Back Home"

Town Hall's Mitch Rosenthal Comes Over

mitch rosenthal's recipe!

We all know home is where the heart is.

So when we heard one of our favorite toques (Mitch Rosenthal, chef and co-owner of Town Hall, Salt House, and Anchor & Hope) had transformed knockouts from his 35-year career into recipes ideal for the home cook in Cooking My Way Back Home (released today), we got the warm-and-fuzzies.

Nest with Rosenthal’s tomato-basil tart, made with Northern Californian St. George cheese. As it turns out, home is also where the tart is.

Slow-Roasted Tomato-Basil Tart with St. George Cheddar
Serves eight


For the slow-roasted tomatoes
2 lb. plum tomatoes, sliced in half crosswise
¼ c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the dough
1 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
¼ tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
5 tbsp. ice-cold water

For the tart
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 lg. yellow onion, thinly sliced
½ lb. St. George or medium-aged white cheddar cheese, shredded
½ c. fresh basil, chiffonade cut (long, narrow strips)
2 tbsp. creme fraiche
1 lg. egg mixed with 1 tbsp. whole milk, for wash
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. To prepare the tomatoes, preheat the oven to 225°.

2. On a sheet pan, arrange tomatoes cut side up. Drizzle evenly with oil, then sprinkle with rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Place tomatoes in oven and roast for 4 hours or until the moisture is gone. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

4. To prepare the dough, in a bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Scatter butter over the mixture and, using your fingers, gently press ingredients together until they resemble a coarse meal.

5. Drizzle water over top and, using a fork, gently stir and toss just until the dough comes together.

6. Gather the dough into a ball and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Flatten dough into a thick disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

7. To finish the tart, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375°.

8. In a saute pan, heat oil over low heat and stir in onion. Cover and sweat for 10-15 minutes or until onion is soft and translucent. Do not allow it to color. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and let cool completely.

9. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

10. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough into a round about 12 inches in diameter. Carefully transfer the round to prepared sheet pan.

11. Layer half the cheese on the round, leaving a 1-inch border uncovered.

12. In a small bowl, combine cooled onion, basil, and creme fraiche and mix well.

13. Spread onion mixture evenly over cheese layer. Top with roasted tomatoes, then cover with remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper; top with a drizzle of oil.

14. Lift the uncovered edge of the tart, folding it onto itself to form uniformly spaced pleats every few inches around the perimeter. Brush the upturned edge with the egg wash.

15. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool. Slice and serve.

Cooking My Way Back Home is available online at amazon.com, $22.

Photo: Paige Green / Courtesy of Cooking My Way Back Home