Tomato Tart with Basil and Paneer

Some weekend starts on a very lazy note with a cup of hot ginger tea at ten in the morning followed by zero plans to implement. It doesn’t happen often but whenever it does, Arvind takes every opportunity to make the day as unproductive as he can and at times, I tag along with the flow. We order takeout, be a couch potato and watch movies back to back while sipping some wine or beer in between.

Then there are weekends when the poor guy gets so busy with his work that we hate to even call it a weekend. So, while he spends time with his laptop, I try to get busy doing what I love doing. Like, bake a tart, make it look pretty, take out my props and do some photo shoot.

If summer is all about sorbet, ice cream, smoothie, stone fruits and berries. Then summer is also about tomatoes. It’s the best season for juicier, rich in color, plump tomatoes. I haven’t got a chance to try lot different varieties of this very famous fruit, but this summer I was really glad to get my hands on some exquisite kumato tomato, for the first time.

Kumato tomatoes are sweeter than other variety and also considered as gourmet.

If you haven’t seen these before, your initial reaction might not be surprising. It may look rotten to you because of the brown color but touch it to feel the firmness and then give a big bite to enjoy the sweet taste. Like we did.

Tart was on my mind as soon I bought these tomatoes, and to obviously pairs it with basil pesto. After all, isn’t basil and tomato like a marriage made in heaven. Then I decided to make it more filling for lunch and in went some grated paneer. Paneer, also known as Indian Cottage cheese is easily available in any Indian store. If however, you don’t have access to any, you can always replace it with ricotta cheese or even mascarpone.

The outcome of the tart was wonderful. The crust was flaky, the filling was creamy and every bite was delightful.

Tart Crust

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: makes a 9 inch crust


  • 1 ½ cup all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon herb provence
  • 5 tablespoon butter, cold and cut in cubes
  • ¼ cup ice water


  • In a bowl, whisk flour, herb provence and salt and keep it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  • Cut in the butter cubes to the flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (If you are using a food processor, just pulse it for about 5 t0 6 times or until the crumbs looks like size of tiny peas. You can also do the same using a fork or your fingertips).
  • Pour ice water to the flour mixture.
  • Again, using a fork or your fingertips, mix it properly but do not knead it. It will be sticky.
  • Do not over-mix the dough. Just pat the lumps into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Pre heat the oven to 350F
  • After an hour, take the dough out. Dust little flour on it and using a rolling pin, roll it to a 9/12 inch round.You might need to add little flour in between as you roll it.
  • Transfer it in to the tart pan and cut off the extra dough.
  • Poke the crust using a fork and bake it at 350F for about 35 minutes.


  • While making the crust dough you have to work very quick so that the butter doesn't melt from the warmt of your hand.
  • Do not knead the dough or try to mix too much.
  • The dough can be made in advance, and kept in the refrigerator covered tightly with a plastic wrap.
  • herb provence is an Italian mixed dried herb. It can also be replaced with any dried herb of your choice.

Tomato Tart

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: a 9 inch tart


  • A nice inch baked pie crust ( recipe above)
  • 1 cup pesto (You can refer to this recipe to make the pesto with basil)
  • 1 cup grated paneer
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tablespoon chili flakes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 kumato tomato thinly sliced.


  • Whisk egg in a bowl.
  • Add, rest of the ingredients except sliced tomatoes and give it a mix
  • Pour the pesto cheese mixture on the baked crust and spread it evenly.
  • Layer the sliced tomatoes on top
  • Bake it at 350F for about 20 minutes.


  • paneer is easily available in Indian stores which can however be replaced with ricotta or mascarpone cheese
  • The baking time will differ from oven to oven. So, keep an eye!


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rebecca says:

wow what a beautiful tart first class and amazing pictures, you have talent girlie

I love tomatoes, what an exceptional way to use them! I’ve never tried Kumato tomatoes but now I’ll have to track some down.

Vimitha says:

The tart looks so delicious and so beautiful… Spot on…

Rekha says:

I am sooo going to make it today …We do not get Kumato tomatoes here but still I will make best use of whats available in India.

Simone says:

That looks Gorgeous! I van sometimes find kumato tomatoes an dreally like them. Your tart looks entirely beautiful and it uses paneer! Now I just have to go and make paneer too!

Rosa says:

A fabulous tart! I really love the ingredients you used.

I really have to make paneer soon…



I have never seen these tomatoes before.
I love making tarts and a tomato tart is the perfect summer dish

Nandita says:

Delightful tart Kankana!!Loved the addition of paneer in it. The presentation and photography is fabulous as always 🙂

Arch says:

That is such a pretty tart, Kankana..I tried making a tart once and it was such a disaster – I will try and be brave again and give this a shot

i love this set up and gorgeous shots! the ice creams and this tart. simple flavors and delicious!

This’s awesome! I’m so in love with your photos and recipes Kankana, you rock!

YUM YUM YUM. I love paneer, would have never thought of using it for anything else other than a curry. The photos are beautiful. xx

Mallika says:

Your tart rocks ! I dislike eggs in any savoury dishes, I presume it has to do with my mindset. I would love to create ur tart in my kitchen replacing that egg for more paneer. Shouldn’t that work? Your photo shots are splendid!!!

Kankana says:

Thanks Mallika for dropping by 🙂 Egg helps binding the paneer and pesto together. I am not sure how it would work out without egg, but you can give it a try.

Lovely tart! I have been enjoying some green tomatoes this week and I love how versatile tomatoes are!

Yes, these tomatoes do look unusual, but love the color of it. Lovely clicks, Kankana.

Vishakha says:

Kumato tomatoes…hmm! Never had it before! Thanks for the warning on the look coz I am sure if I’d seen them without this background, I’d think the tomatoes are indeed rotten ;-))
Paneer, Basil and Tomatoes — perfect combo! Your weekend sounds like the kinda weekend I wish for;-) Now it revolves around V 🙂

Erin Hess says:

This looks fresh and fabulous for the summer. Can the dough be made the day before or is it best the same day. Or, will the crust be ok if made the night before and filled and baked the next day?

Kankana says:

Thanks Erin 🙂 You can definitely make the crust in advance. You can keep it in the refrigerator tightly wrapped with a clear-wrap and it would stay fine for couple of days. But, if you want to keep it for a longer period, you should freeze it and when you ready to bake the crust, let it thaw in the refrigerator for few hours before you start rolling it out. Hope this helps!

dassana says:

the tomatoes have a lovely color. in fact we only get here one type of tomatoes :-)… the indian tomatoes….

as always great clicks kankana…

Pesto and Paneer? Who’d’a thought – but it does make perfect sense! What stunning photography (my 1.4 is in the shop) and what a beautiful tart! I have not tried that specific variety of tomatoes, but grow so many kinds and this is the colour that has the most flavour to me… I have love the Purple Cherokee and Krim and the Black Cherry.

I just love what you’ve done with the tomatoes here and I can’t get over how pretty the pictures are. I want to just linger and forget that I’m at the office and should be working. Would have loved this for lunch. 🙂

You know I crave for weekends that are filled with insane laziness…
This tart looks gorgeous!!
How beautiful… I can eat it and forget my crazy busy madness of every day..
Kankana… I am loving the pics; all of them!! Really beautiful!!

Aunt Clara says:

Beautiful pictures. They are making me drool, I am already planning to make this in the weekend. I will have to use some other type of tomatoes because I don’t have those. 🙁

Monet says:

Oh tomatoes! They truly are the jewel of summer. And these look just lovely in this tart. I am always up for a summer tart. I would love to have this for dinner tomorrow night. Thank you for sharing! Now off to dream delicious dreams!

mjskit says:

I’m like you – when Bobby is working on the weekend, I’m cooking. The smells drive him nuts. 🙂 Your tart and the crust look delicious! Those tomatoes are perfect and I bet they really made a sweet and wonderful tart with a smell that drove Arvind crazy! Summer is definitely about fresh tomatoes!

OMG! Amazing photographs of an amazing Tart… could almost smell and taste the filling inside. I want the background! If you ever find a similar bg you’ll know where my inspiration came from!

Could you share the lens specification. I love the blurry depth of your photographs.

Kankana says:

Thanks dear for your lovely words 🙂 I had to bring down the f to 1.8 to get that blurry background!

Is that why the foreground is also a bit blurry?

Tes says:

Wow, what a gorgeous tart! I will try this recipe as soon as I got my oven fix 🙂

I was looking for a perfect tart crust recipe from many days , thank you so much….ur post landed my mailbox at a right time Kankana :). I am going to try this soon! Loved the clicks…

I had great plans for a tart with home grown tomatoes this summer when I planted my first tomato plants. Naturally i was thinking blog post, after all everything is about blog posts. The sight of what the plants produced makes me hysterical. Same with my basil plants.
This beautiful tart is a perfect subject for a photo shoot.

Maureen says:

That tart looks divine! I could look at those pictures for ages without getting bored. 🙂

BongMom says:

Gorgeous pics and I so envy your first kind of weekend 😀 and hey, even the second kind is not bad if the result is such.

This tart looks fantastic! Such a great combination of flavors!

Such a good idea!and your weekend sound exactly like ours too.You deal with the latter type much better than me though!

Jessie says:

Gorgeous photos! Beautiful post.

Asmita says:

Hi Kankana,
This tart looks gorgeous! The pastry is perfectly done and I love the flavors in this. Very beautiful photographs, like always.

Jacqueline says:

My oh my that tart is exquisite. Beautiful consistency – I could grab a piece off that right off the screen. Wonderful idea to pair it with pesto. I don’t recognise the name kumato but I do recognise their appearance. Delicious 🙂

Marta says:

Your pictures are amazing. So professional. And tart with tomatoes is always a good idea 🙂

So pretty..the tomatoes and the tart! Makes me want to run to the kitchen and bake it pronto.

Kankana, that tart looks heavenly. And yes I agree basil and tomatoes are made for each other. Paneer is such a cool addition. Must try!
By the way do you ever get dry farmed early girls at your market. They don’t look especially interesting, but they are by far my favorite tomatoes out there. The sweetness!
Have a great weekend,

Apu says:

Looks wonderful, Kankana!

pavithra says:

Awesomeness……….and full of flavors.Yumm and stunning pictures Kankana.

sulagna says:

Kankana absolutely brilliant pictures and the burst of flavors is so tempting…for a zero level cook like me ektu difficult but i so want to make this

Such a pretty post and a delicious tart Kankana. Sometimes it is best to just kick back. J too so busy at work, travels so much I feel awful that even has to mow the lawn when he is back! 🙂

Oh wow, that tart looks absolutely amazing Kankana!! It looks almost too pretty to eat. Basil and tomatoes really are a match made in heaven.

Looks and sounds delicious!

Alana says:

Your photography and styling is so beautiful! This tart looks so rustic and inviting, I’m absolutely smitten.

First time here – I think am in love with your space – I cant say much after so much eye candy and awesome recipes am on a high and speechless. U r doing an awesome job, love the tart !! Might do a pizza version of it !!

How lovely and perfectly summery. I can taste all of the fresh flavors now! The photography is absolutely stunning, too.

The basil pesto sounds so good in your tart! And, I love kumatos. Great-looking tart!

Wizzy says:

The trt looks delicious and of course I am in awe of your beautiful food styling and photography

Kiran says:

Gorgeous styling and a creative recipe! So yum 🙂

nipponnin says:

I’ve tried Kumato tomatoes before and liked it. I didn’t think of using tomatoes and basil pest in tart but I think it’s a great idea. Love the awesome organic look pictures!

I have bought kumato tomatoes from Costco this summer a few times and I really love them. The dark mysterious tomato color is beautiful. Whatever you cook – Western or Indian, your food is always gorgeous and I always leave here hungry or with a new craving!

I think baking and photographing is a lovely way to spend a weekend!

This looks absolutely gorgeous, Kankana! Our tomatoes and basil at the garden are ready for some good use. And this tart of yours is calling out to me. Basil pesto and paneer make a good twist to a regular one. Love this!

Ansh says:

Gorgeous photographs as usual. Love the tart. I grew Kumato this year. Mine did not grow to be as big… but loved them all the same.