Growing up in the South, most of us have tried a tomato pie at some point. There are a few different ways it can be made, but the one I have had most often involved tomatoes, a mayonaisse and cheese mixture and a flaky pie crust. For me, nothing challenges my creativity more as a chef and someone who loves wellness than to take classics that may not be the healthiest and figure out how to create a healthier version that still honors the original.
For this version, I used a 10.5 inch tart pan and created a crust with almond meal and olive oil. You could also use refined coconut oil to avoid having the flavors of coconut oil. I added garlic and herbs to give the crust some flavor and it turned out so nice and flaky, very similar to the original version. The filling is a combination of blanched cashews, lemon juice, basil, garlic, Vegenaise for added richness and a dash of cayenne for a little kick
Tomato Basil Tart with Basil Garlic Cashew Cream
makes one 10.5 inch tart
4 cups almond meal
2/3 cups olive oil
2 large cloves or garlic or 4 small, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
5-6 small organic tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick or slightly less. Place on a paper towel, season with salt and allow to sit for 20 minutes. Remove any excess seeds (it is ok to leave some)
2 cups blanched and soaked cashews (bring water to a boil, add cashews, remove pot from stove, cover and allow to soak for one hour. can be done in advance and stored in refrigerator)
2 lemons juiced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup Vegenaise
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
Preheat oven to 400. Brush tart dish with olive oil.
In a large mixing bowl, add all the crust ingredients but water and stir to combine. Gradually add water until the mixture begins to thicken and resemble a mealy dough (cook's note: it will be very crumbly. I added about 3 tablespoons of water).
Transfer the dough to the tart pan and press into the pan, forming a crust. Bake on a sheet pan for 20-25 minutes or until crust is just beginning to turn golden. (cook's note: I baked mine 20 minutes.). Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, combine all ingredients for the cashew cream and 1/4 cup water in a blender and blend until smooth. Add additional water if necessary to get desired consistency. (cook's note: I used 1/2 cup of water.)
Once the tart has cooled. Add the cashew cream, spreading evenly throughout the tart. Add the tomatoes, arranging them in a circle. Repeat, overlapping some layers until the cart has been covered.
Return the tart on a baking sheet to the oven and bake from 40-45 minutes until crust is golden brown and the tomatoes have begun to shrivel.
Drizzle with olive oil, season with Maldon and garnish with chopped basil. Serve hot.
(cook's note: can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated)