This is a fabulous easy summer light dinner. This recipe is loosely adapted from an early 2000’s issue of Gourmet. Times like this I miss Gourmet mag. The idea here is that you prebake the crust and then fill it with layers of a caprese salad. Use the best fresh mozzarella you can find. Make your own basil pesto. And, of course, only perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes just off the vine. Add a green salad and perhaps a bottle of well-chilled Albarino or Sauv Blanc and enjoy the food and company…
Black Pepper Parmesan Pastry
1 C all-purpose flour
6 TBS unsalted butter, well chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 TBS freshly grated parmesan
1 tsp. black pepper
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
1 TBS Dry sherry
Put the flour in the bowl of a food processor. Distribute the butter and parmesan over the flour. Grind fresh black pepper over the butter. Pulse until you have a coarse meal texture. Drizzle in the icewater and sherry and puls until the mixture holds together. Form into a disk and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out tothe a thickness of one quarter inch. Butter a tart pan and dust with flour. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put the crust into the tart pan and trim the edges. Using a fork prick holes all over the crust. Put the crust in the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Some people like to put pie weights in the tart pan to keep the crust from separating and forming air pockets. I’ve had pretty good luck just pricking the raw crust with a fork. You can bake the crust a day in advance. Keep it in the tart pan until you have assembled the filling.
Filling: 2 lb Favorite heirloom tomatoes, perfectly ripe, sliced 3/4 inch thick 3/4 lb fresh mozzarella (not unsalted), very thinly sliced 1/2 cup pesto Layer the tomato slices over the bottom of the prebaked piecrust. Arrange a layer of mozzarella slices and cover with a layer of pesto. Repeat until the piecrust is filled. Chill until ready to serve.