This savory Tomato Mustard Tart is a classic Summer recipe that French home cooks love to make every year when tomatoes are in season. It features a buttery puff pastry, with in-season ripe tomatoes, a sprinkle of grated cheese and a heavy smear of Dijon Mustard at the bottom. There are a number of variations to this classic Summer dish, including some with ham, anchovies, olives, etc… But if you ask me, this basic one is simply wonderful as is.
With just a few ingredients (puff pastry crust, tomatoes, Dijon mustard, cheese and tomatoes) there is nothing complicated to this tart recipe, except a few tips to know regarding the preparation of the tomatoes (read my tips below).
You can opt for a store-bought pastry crust for simplicity (like I often do), or make your own if you wish. For the cheese, the French will classically opt for Gruyère or Comté. But in North America, you can opt for white cheddar or mozzarella as more affordable options.
For a Southern French touch, I love to add some Herbes de Provence. Herbes de Provence mix can be found online, in specialty stores or bulk stores (ie. Bulkbarn in Canada). And if you can’t find Herbes de Provence, you can simply use thyme and/or rosemary – which are two very accessible herbs.
Cooking Tips for the tomatoes:
- Choose ripe tomatoes, although they shouldn’t be too soft to the touch. Round, large, heirloom or even cherry tomatoes (sliced in half) all work well. However, I don’t recommend plum tomatoes as they have too much juice.
- With two or three layers of sliced tomatoes, this tart can end up very watery once baked as the tomatoes will release their juices. To avoid this issue, slice the tomatoes, sprinkle them generously with salt on both sides and lay them in a single layer on a cooling rack for 2 hours so they release most of their excess juices.
- Likewise, another tip is to sprinkle 2 or 3 tablespoons of bread crumb at the bottom of the crust (on top of the mustard and cheese). The breadcrumbs will absorb the juices from the tomatoes and prevent the crust from getting soggy.
- Finally, make sure your oven is well preheated to 425F (220C) and pop the tart in the oven as soon as you are done placing the tomato slices on the crust. This “shock” of temperature will make the crust bake quickly before it has time to absorb the juice of the tomatoes.
I hope you’ll love this Classic French Tomato Mustard Tart recipe as much as I do!
You may also like:
- Cod Provençal with Tomatoes, Capers & Olives
- Sweet Pea and Ham Quiche
- Simple Chicken Marengo with Mushrooms
- Braised Chicken Thighs with Garlic and Onion
2lbs (900g) ripe tomatoes
2 tsp salt
1 (370g) ready-rolled puff pastry
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 cups (200g) grated cheese (ie. Gruyère or Comté)
Optional: 2 tbsp bread crumbs
2 tbsp Herbs de Provence
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Make sure you read my cooking tips before you start.
Step 1 - Two hours before, slice the tomatoes and lay the slices on a cutting board. Salt them on both sides and lay them flat on a cooling rack. They will loose some of their juice so the crust doesn’t get too soggy when baking.
Pre-heat your oven to 425F (220C) with a rack in the middle. Butter and flour a 9 or 10 inch tart pan/pie dish. Unroll the puff pastry sheet and fit it into a pan. If needed, cut the excess that hangs from the edges. Poke the dough all over with a fork.
Step 2 -Evenly spread the Dijon Mustard over the bottom. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cup (150g) of grated cheese on top. Optional: Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs – they will absorb the juice from the tomatoes.
Step 3 - Arrange the tomato slices in the pastry crust in an overlapping pattern and in an even layer. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and Herbs de Provence. Repeat the process until no tomato slices remain; you should be able to have three layers of tomato slices. Sprinkle again with a pinch of salt, black pepper, Herbs de Provence and the remaining 1/2 cup (50g) of grated cheese.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the crust looks crisp and golden. Enjoy warm or cool.
Did you make this recipe?
I’d love to know how it turned out! Please let me know by leaving a comment below, rate the recipe and/or share a photo on Instagram: tag @pardonyourfrench and hashtag it #pardonyourfrench. Bon Appetit!