This is my argument for how pretty food wins.salt and pepper heirloom tart with whipped feta I

I broke my peppermint pattie meal streak to eat some of this tomato and feta tart, which has me sold that summer should last forever. At least until I start adoring fall. I don’t know what’s up with the peppermint pattie thing right now, I’m just soooo into them.

And it’s official: I can’t get enough of all the tomatoes this summer. While this recipe is super simple, it takes those summer beauties and repurposes them from my all too familiar caprese salad and tastes so.freaking.good.

salt and pepper heirloom tart with whipped feta I


I have no idea what’s up with me and crust lately – three years ago I couldn’t be paid to make a pie crust of any kind. Unless we are talking about the one that starts with p and ends with izza. But now! I cannot get enough.

Heirlooms are ridiculously appealing to me because – hello – they are gorgeous. It’s like a vanity tomato.  The rest of the regular old local red tomatoes taste just as fabulous right now, if not even better. I want the heirlooms though. I want to stare at their stunning array of colors and slice them open just to get the perfect instagram photo. Covering them with salt and pepper so they’re ready to go down the hatch is just a bonus.

salt and pepper heirloom tart with whipped feta I

We’ve been eating SO many though – I was dying to switch it up. In a way that was easy but different. Nothing complicated but just as delicious as this panzanella. Every year I crave something easy but slightly creative. Like this not-so-boring toast. So I got over the crust angst and made the crust… AGAIN. I had to use my springform pan because, um, I thought it would be a great idea to make this tart a few days before moving when every single thing I own – the most being dishes and kitchen toys – were in boxes.

Here is a surefire way to gain recipe inspiration: pack away EVERYTHING you own in your kitchen, like straight up wrap it tightly as if it’s the most fragile slice of glass ever, throw it in a box then stack those boxes high and finally transport them across town where you have no access to such kitchen toys.

Bingo! I have ten thousand recipe ideas that can’t get out of my brain soon enough.

So the springform pan worked. Not that my pretty tart pan would have made a difference – while I’m into the pastry crust at the moment I still don’t posses any ounce of patience to make a beautiful, perfect crust. Problems.

salt and pepper heirloom tart with whipped feta I

Inside of that crust I spread the thickest layer ever of whipped feta. Just because. Just because it’s so insanely good. Easily one of my favorite things, and while it certainly can be made all year round I adore it the most with seasonal summer produce. Like corn and tomatoes (swap the goat cheese!). And everything else in between. Hint hint: you can add things to this whipped feta! Like maybe pesto? Roasted garlic? Do what you want.

After that though, it’s embarrassingly easy peasy: just some sliced tomatoes showered in salt and pepper and thrown on top. Lots of layers. Pile ‘em high. Then you can add some basil leaves and if you’d like, some balsamic glaze.

Because I need all things to have that hint of sweetness.

salt and pepper heirloom tart with whipped feta I

Ugh. It’s just as fantastic as it is pretty. I didn’t even want to eat it, but I also couldn’t wait to seriously faceplant into the center. It’s perfect for guests but even better for just you. Pillow of tomatoes, coming right up. salt and pepper heirloom tart with whipped feta I


Salt and Pepper Heirloom Tart with Whipped Feta

Yield: serves 4 to 6

Total Time: 1.5 hours


2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 cup ice cold water
3/4 cups cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces (1 1/2 sticks or 12 tablespoons)
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled and at room temperature
3 ounces whipped cream cheese, at room temperature
4 to 6 large heirloom tomatoes (or more or less, depending on your preference!), sliced
a handful of fresh basil leaves
balsamic glaze, for drizzling


Add the flour, sugar and salt to a food processor and pulse just until combined. In a small bowl, whisk mix together the egg, vinegar and water. Add the cold butter pieces into the food processor and pulse until small coarse crumbs remain. Sprinkle the water/egg mixture over the flour and pulse again until the dough comes together. Remove the dough with your hands and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll the dough out until it fits your tart pan (mine was a 10-inch springform pan) and press it into the pan. Poke holes in the crust with a fork. Bake the crust until golden and set, about 20 to 25 minutes. Allow the crust to cool to room temperature.

To make the feta, add crumbled feta to a food processor and pulse until small crumbs remain. Add in cream cheese and puree for 4-5 minutes, scraping down the sides when necessary, until feta is super creamy. Spread the feta inside of the crust. Top the feta with the sliced tomatoes, lots of salt and pepper and few fresh basil leaves. Cut into slices and serve immediately. You can refrigerate this overnight, but it's definitely best served fresh. If you want to make it ahead, I suggest making the crust ahead, keeping the whipped feta in a bowl, and assembling right before serving.

salt and pepper heirloom tart with whipped feta I

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46 Responses to “Salt and Pepper Heirloom Tart with Whipped Feta.”

  1. #
    Bri | Bites of Bri — August 14, 2014 @ 7:15 am

    I’m drooling and wishing this would magically appear through the computer screen! Simple, classic, and delicious with heirlooms right now. yummy!


  2. #
    Tracy | PeanutButter and Onion — August 14, 2014 @ 7:21 am

    it totally looks like summer… I’m in.


  3. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — August 14, 2014 @ 7:21 am

    SO beautiful! I’m one of those people that hated raw tomatoes for the longest time because of the crunchy on the outside, mushy on the inside thing, but I love them now and want to eat this whole tart myself (especially if there’s roasted garlic or pesto involved in that bottom layer. I’ve never venture into pie crust making but if I do, I doubt mine will be perfect either!


  4. #
    Belinda@themoonblushbaker — August 14, 2014 @ 7:24 am

    I would think a spring form pan is EASIER than a pie dish! I fear my pie always end up with ugly sides from sticking.
    SO pretty! Thanks for the drool worthy tarts


  5. #
    bridget {bake at 350} — August 14, 2014 @ 7:36 am



  6. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — August 14, 2014 @ 7:46 am

    I love tomatoes, eat at least one a day! And balsamic, the basil, whipped feta, this looks fab! pinned


  7. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — August 14, 2014 @ 7:47 am

    Keep the pie crust recipes coming!! Tarts and pies and all things crusty are my fav. This recipe looks perfect. I love the picture with all the coloured tomatoes!


  8. #
    Caitlin — August 14, 2014 @ 7:56 am

    Those tomatoes are way to pretty. This whole concoction looks divine! I listened to your chat with Jess Lively yesterday! I love that you talk just the way you write, and have a great laugh!


  9. #
    Katie Levans (honeystuck) — August 14, 2014 @ 8:03 am

    This is lovely.


  10. #
    shelly (cookies and cups) — August 14, 2014 @ 8:22 am

    I need to get my butt over to the veggie stand get get me some tomatoes. This is not debatable.


  11. #
    Baby June — August 14, 2014 @ 8:24 am

    Wow, now that is one awesome use for heirloom tomatoes! Love it!


  12. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — August 14, 2014 @ 8:32 am

    Yeah…I could definitely eat this whole thing.


  13. #
    Michelle Hill — August 14, 2014 @ 8:50 am

    whoa, momma!! I’m drooling over here. Nice done. I so want to make this soon!! Heirloom tomatoes are the prettiest fruit in my opinion ;)


  14. #
    Molly @ Yes to Yolks — August 14, 2014 @ 8:58 am

    SO GORGEOUS. I have been obsessed with whipped feta ever since you introduced it on the blog. I add garlic and thyme to mine. I cannot even express how happy I was when I found out that I was indeed allowed to continue eating certain feta during pregnancy. One of my first thoughts when i found out I was knocked up was “oh no! what about the whipped feta?!” Haha. Priorities. Needless to say, I want a tomato and feta pillow, please.


  15. #
    molly yeh — August 14, 2014 @ 9:04 am

    you had me at salt…. and then at WHIPPED FETA!!! i love it.


  16. #
    lclikessnacks — August 14, 2014 @ 9:10 am

    i just broke my computer screen because i smashed my face into it.


  17. #
    Cate — August 14, 2014 @ 9:19 am

    I need that in my life!


  18. #
    Jen — August 14, 2014 @ 9:31 am

    This looks so delicious! Do you have a weight measurement for the flour? I don’t know what I do, but I always have too little or too much of an ingredient when measurements are by volume.


  19. #
    collette — August 14, 2014 @ 9:46 am

    looks yummy!! love your whipped feta, and I think your pie crust looks better than mine do! :)


  20. #
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health — August 14, 2014 @ 10:32 am

    this is just beautiful!!!


  21. #
    Michelle @ Healthy Recipe Ecstasy — August 14, 2014 @ 11:09 am

    Pretty food is the best and that is some gosh darn pretty food!


  22. #
    allie@sweetpotatobites — August 14, 2014 @ 11:16 am

    Whipped feta and tomatoes? Yes, yes, yes!


  23. #
    Sues — August 14, 2014 @ 11:27 am

    Those tomatoes are GORG!! So is the whipped feta.


  24. #
    Kim in MD — August 14, 2014 @ 11:39 am

    That is one stunning tart! Love everything about it and I will be making it soon!


  25. #
    Hayley — August 14, 2014 @ 1:07 pm

    I’m basically crying at my desk because I can’t go make/eat this right this freaking second. Ohmygah.


  26. #
    Liz @ Floating Kitchen — August 14, 2014 @ 2:07 pm

    I’ll take two pillows of tomatoes please!


  27. #
    Rachael | Spache the Spatula — August 14, 2014 @ 2:12 pm

    Okay, it’s a known fact that there is nothing better than perfectly ripe Summer tomatoes, and this looks like THE perfect way to use them!

    Gah I want to be eating this right now! :P


  28. #
    Larry — August 14, 2014 @ 2:45 pm

    omg WTF srsly?! THIS. LOOKS. AMAZING.


  29. #
    ami@naivecookcooks — August 14, 2014 @ 3:18 pm

    One beautiful looking tomato tart!!


  30. #
    Ellen — August 14, 2014 @ 4:14 pm

    Just spend $12 on heirloom tomatoes at the farmer’s market thanks to you.


  31. #
    Megan — August 14, 2014 @ 4:55 pm

    This looks insanely good! I made an amazing heirloom tomato tart with goat cheese that gets baked, but I love how the tomatoes are left raw here. And whipped feta sounds awesome!


  32. #
    Danielle — August 14, 2014 @ 5:29 pm

    Looks gorgeous & the whipped feta has my mouth watering! Gotta try this. Thanks for sharing :)


  33. #
    Millie l Add A Little — August 14, 2014 @ 6:27 pm

    This is so gorgeous!! I really need to get my hands on beautiful heirloom tomatoes while I still can!


  34. #
    Riley Wofford — August 14, 2014 @ 8:59 pm

    This is absolutely stunning! I love a little whipped feta surprise!


  35. #
    joelle (on a pink typewriter) — August 14, 2014 @ 9:29 pm

    This is genius. And so gorgeous I almost don’t want to it, except I’d def still eat it. Like now, for dinner.


  36. #
    Heather — August 15, 2014 @ 8:57 am

    I loved making this dish! The whipped feta was genius! I am putting it on everything now! & stuffing fresh, organic tomatoes into my mouth, made for a great dinner! Thanks for sharing!


  37. #
    Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog — August 15, 2014 @ 9:42 am

    This looks SO good!! My tomatoes have been going insane in my garden lately so I definitely have the ingredients for this bad boy! Looks fantastic!


  38. #
    Carrie — August 15, 2014 @ 11:58 am

    This tart just screams Summer! I really want this now…like for breakfast.



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