Monday, April 26, 2010

Italian Tomato Tart

I've had so many people ask me for this recipe since I posted a picture of the completed tart on Facebook that I had to make it again just to stop the emails :) Having said that it is a) wonderful to know people are interested in what I am cooking, b) I like making and eating this tart and c) It's actually really healthy!


1 (10 ounce) package frozen long-grain brown rice (I use Birds Eye Steam fresh, but see note below)
2 tablespoons pesto
1 tablespoon fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
cooking spray


1/2 cup low fat milk (fat free or 1%)
1/2 cup egg substitute (see note)
1/4 teaspoon salt (see note)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
dash of ground red pepper
1 large egg
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part skimmed mozzarella cheese (see note)
1 ounce prosciutto cut into thin strips (see note)
4 small plum/Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh basil

Notes on ingredients and how I modify the recipe
  • I was actually surprised to be able to find the frozen long-grain brown rice in the freezer section of my grocery store, and even more surprised that it tastes quite good. Here's a pic to help you locate it. If you don't like using frozen rice - and I must admit I was skeptical, just cook too much rice next time you make some and save 10 ounces for this.
  • The first time I made this I didn't use any egg substitute, I just used 1/2 cup of freshly beaten eggs instead. I couldn't notice any taste difference this time when I used the substitute, plus it lowered the cholesterol level of the tart - bonus :)
  • I omitted the salt, mainly because I increased the amount of prosciutto quite considerably and that is already salty. If you don't increase the prosciutto then I would add the salt in.
  • I also didn't measure the mozzarella, I just eyeballed it until I had thrown in enough to cover the bottom of the pie dish. I also didn't measure the 1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper or the dash of red pepper, that's right folks, I'm a cooking Maverick!
  • My local store sells thin slices of Prosciutto in 3oz packages. I just slice up the lot and put it in the tart. I know that this increases the sodium level which is why I omit the salt. It makes the tart taste so good with the extra amount of meaty goodness though.

So here is how to make this yummy goodness.

1. Preheat the oven to 350F

2. To prepare the crust, cook the brown rice according to the package directions. Combine cooked rice, pesto, Parmesan cheese, and 1 egg; firmly press into the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate coated with cooking spray.

To be honest this is the only slightly frustrating step. To help make it not so messy I would suggest pushing it into the plate using a rubber spatula. The first time I baked this I used my hands and although I'm all for tactile cookery this was a little bit too messy for me. The rice seemed to stick to my skin in a way that it didn't to my trusty red spatula :) As you can see from the picture, it's practically impossible to get this totally even, there will be holes! But don't worry, they cover up and the filling helps hold the crust together beautifully.

Bake the crust at 350F for 15 minutes and then remove the dish from the oven.

Increase the oven temperature to 400F

To prepare the filling, whisk together the milk, egg substitute (or egg), salt, pepper, red pepper and large egg in a bowl.

Sprinkle half the mozzarella and half the prosciutto into the bottom of the prepared crust. Top with half the tomato slices. Repeat procedure with the remaining mozzarella, prosciutto and tomatoes.

You should get something like the pic above. Next pour the milk mixture over the tomatoes.

Bake at 400F for 10 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 325F (do not remove tart from oven) and bake an additional 35 minutes until set.

Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with fresh basil and cut into wedges.

That's it. Be careful not to overcook this. I found the 35 minutes plenty as the filling will firm up in the 10 minute wait once it's out of the oven.

I normally serve it with some steamed vegetables, and this evening I also sauteed some mushrooms I had in the fridge and wilted some spinach as well.

Healthy and delicious!

I'm sure there are lots of other variants you could put in this brown rice crust, it's so much easier and quicker than making a pastry quiche case. Just throw in your favorite fillings and cook a slice of happiness.

1 comment:

alayna said...

Yum yum yum! That looks so delicious! Thanks for posting the recipe, and I can't wait to try it out - thanks for making the same recipe twice - I know that must've been hard for you!