HEIRLOOM TOMATO TART

Flaky tart crust. Caramelized shallots. Pesto. Fresh mozzarella. Sliced heirloom tomatoes. Sea salt. The possibility of peace. Layered in that order. Spread the word.

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HEIRLOOM TOMATO TART with MOZZARELLA, PESTO, AND CARAMELIZED SHALLOTS 

for the tart dough, recipe by Alice Waters:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
6 tablespoons ice water
one 11 inch tart pan with removable bottom

for the pesto, recipe by Mario Batali:
2 cups fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup grated pecorino or parmigiano
10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of sea salt

for assembly:
6-8 heirloom tomatoes, different colors and sizes, sliced 1/3 inch thick
2-3 fresh mozzarella, fist-sized, sliced 1/3 inch thick
1 1/2 cups shallots, peeled and diced
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For the tart dough, stir the flour and salt in a bowl. Work the butter into the flour with a fork or your fingertips until it resembles a coarse meal with bits of cold butter intact. Sprinkle in the ice water while mixing with the fork until the dough comes together. Add more ice water if necessary. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and chill for an hour.

Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the pesto in a blender or food processor and pulse until incorporated. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a nonstick skillet on medium-low flame. Add the shallots and saute until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Set the shallots aside.

Heat the oven to 375. Butter and flour an 11-inch tart pan. Roll out the tart dough to about 1/4 inch thickness and lay it over the tart pan. Press the dough into the bottom of the tart pan, then use  your fingers to press the dough into the sides, removing excess dough as you go. Patch the dough as necessary. Place the tart pan onto a baking sheet, cover the dough with foil and pie weights (or beans), and bake for 15-20 minutes until the crust is nicely golden brown (remove the foil and weights around 10 minutes in).

When the tart crust is cooled, spread the shallots over the bottom of the tart, followed by a layer of pesto and sliced mozzarella. Carefully arrange the sliced tomatoes over the mozzarella, color by color. Finish with sea salt. The tart is best served immediately, when the crust is warm but the tomatoes are chilled.

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