by Cathy Walthers, Private Chef and Cookbook Author

Mermaid Farm Tomatoes


Makes 6 to 8 servings


For black pepper parmesan pastry

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water

For Filling

  • 3/4 pound fresh mozzarella, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/2 –inch thick

To Make Pastry:

  1. Blend together the flour, butter, parmesan, pepper and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size lumps. Drizzle 2 tablespoons ice water over and gently stir with a fork (or pulse in a food processor) until incorporated.
  2. Gently squeeze a small handful: If it doesn’t hold together without falling apart, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring or pulsing after each addition until incorporated. Do not overwork dough, or it will become tough.
  3. Pat into a disk and chill, wrapped in plastic, until firm, about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 375. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch round and fit into a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable rim.
  5. Roll rolling pin over top of pan to trim dough flush with rim. Lightly prick tart shell all over with a fork. Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights or rice.
  6. Bake in the middle of oven for 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights and bake until golden, about 15 minutes more. Cool in pan on a rack.

Fill Tart Shell:

Remove the side of pan and slide shell onto a platter. Arrange one third of mozzarella in bottom of shell and drizzle with one third of the pesto. Arrange one-third of the tomato slices, overlapping, on top of cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat layering twice.