Margherita Tart

So the first question you may be asking yourself is “how is this not a pizza?” And the answer is “it is essentially a pizza.”

But it’s a tart! It has a tart crust! Which I blind-baked, which I have never done successfully (I’ve done it unsuccessfully!) until now. And the tart crust has basil and garlic in it, which rules. Unfortunately the basil had to be the dried kind, because EVERY SINGLE PACKAGE of fresh basil at the store was moldy. Can you believe that? Way to go, Stop & Shop. It was still pretty good even with the dried basil, but I bet it would’ve been better with fresh. The recipe is from Made in Melissa’s Kitchen, and the basil situation was the only real change I made.

Margherita Tart


for the crust
2 tbsp dried basil, or 1/3 cup fresh and chopped basil
1 clove garlic
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut up and kept in the fridge until needed
4 – 5 tbsp cold water

for the topping
8oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
1/2 a container (maybe a little more) cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
a handful of parmesan
basil to sprinkle over the top


for the crust
Give the basil and garlic a quick whirl in a food processor.
Add in the flour and salt and process some more to distribute the basil and garlic among the flour.
Process in the butter until you get pea-sized chunks.
With the machine still running, drizzle in 3 tbsp of the water.
When it’s incorporated, add the 4th tbsp of water and see if a ball forms – if it doesn’t, add more water until it does.
Wrap the dough-ball in plastic wrap and press into a disk.
Chuck the dough-disk into the fridge for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 425.
When it’s time, take the dough out of the fridge and, on a floured surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll it out to be a circle about 12″ in diameter.
Press it into a tart pan, trimming off any excess and using it to shore up any thin or imperfect parts.
Cover with tinfoil, so that the government can’t read its thoughts.
Fill in the center with dried beans or pie weights or something. I used lentils. They may not have been heavy enough, or maybe I should have poked the dough with a fork first, because it did puff up a little.
Bake for 10 – 12 minutes.
Take the foil off and continue baking another 5 minutes.
Take the crust out of the oven.
Turn the oven down to 375.
Layer the crust with the slices of mozzarella.
Cover the cheese with the halved cherry tomatoes. I put them cut side down, but I don’t know if it makes a difference other than they roll around less that way.
Drizzle the olive oil over the whole thing.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, parmesan, and basil.
Pop back into the oven for 15 minutes.
Rotate 180 degrees and bake another 15 minutes.
Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

See, it’s margherita because it’s cheese, tomato, and basil, just like the pizza. Of course, you can call it by its original name too, which is more exact and descriptive. When Matt asked me what I was making, that’s what I told him – “mozzarella and tomato tart with a basil-garlic crust.” “Sounds fancy,” he said. When it came out of the oven, he said “Looks fancy.” Yep. I’m a fancy lady who makes fancy pizza. I also had flour all over my black shirt and it was only by some miracle that my pants escaped the floursplosion. Aprons? What are those?

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