tomato, corn, and vidalia onion tart

I’ve been thinking about making a tomato tart for some time now, but the fact that I live with a husband and two kids who belong to the Anti-Tomato League has kept me from following through. If I cook with tomatoes, the tomato pieces must be mushed down to unrecognizable red bits or else the children get suspicious that they might still be raw. My husband is just as bad. And I’m certain the kids are tomato-averse only because they are influenced by their beloved father – the man who feeds them jelly beans and lollipops at the drop of a hat.

I have one little cherry tomato plant in my garden. It’s a rather sad tomato plant, really. It stands alone, leaning to one side, surrounded by thriving basil and sage and mint. My harvest is pitiful, but each little sweet cherry tomato I pluck off the vine and pop in my mouth gives me at least thirty seconds of joy. My children look at me in disgust when they see me eating tomatoes right out of the garden. I feel so sad for them, these poor children who don’t appreciate the sweet juiciness of a fresh tomato, and I tell them that. They ignore me.

Over the weekend, as we were planning the July 4th meal with our parents, I knew the tomato-eaters would outnumber the three in my family who don’t eat tomatoes. I seized the opportunity to showcase the tomato in a summer tart. Capitalizing on the other fresh vegetables available to us in the markets right now, I added in fresh summer corn and Vidalia onions, those large sweet onions that come from southern Georgia. I held a small sliver of hope that the corn and onions that served as the base of this tart would draw my husband in for a taste.

No such luck. Completely his loss.

As a side note, I wrote about the beloved tomato in this article, published today in the Florida Times Union. My husband swears that he’ll read it, even if he doesn’t agree with the premise.

Tomato, Corn, and Vidalia Onion Tart

This is a great way to use fresh summer produce for a light summer meal or a savory side dish. I use a 12-inch nonstick tart pan with a removable bottom. This tart doesn’t keep well for a long period of time – the tart gets soggy if left at room temperature for more than an hour.

A note about the crust: You can either use refrigerated prepared pie crust dough; or you can use a recipe such as this one, but be sure to omit the sugar.


Pastry dough for single-crust tart
2 Vidalia onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), sliced thin
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears corn)
6 ounces grated Fontina cheese
1 pound heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper


1. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry dough into a 14-inch round. Transfer to 12-inch tart pan, easing the dough into the pan carefully. Press into the bottom and sides of pan and trim overhanging edges. Prick the bottom of tart with the tines of a fork. Let tart shell chill in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

3. In a large skillet on medium heat, covered and stirring occasionally, cook onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook until onions are soft and golden, about 20 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook until remaining liquid has evaporated. Salt to taste. Remove from skillet from heat and let cool slightly.

4. In a second skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and cook minced garlic until it is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add corn kernels and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

5. Remove tart pan from refrigerator and assemble tart by layering first the cooked onions, followed by the grated Fontina, the corn kernels, and finally the sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle top with a pinch or two of salt and fresh ground black pepper. Bake for 1 hour or until tart crust is golden. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Inspired by and adapted from this recipe from Gourmet 1995.

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13 Responses to “roasted tomato soup and the critic”

  1. 1
    tami — September 27, 2011 @ 8:10 pm

    i made tomato soup yesterday (and today) and it has such strong memories for me. i cannot WAIT to hear about your CIA experience and trip to NYC. safe travels. xoxox

  2. 2
    Paula — September 27, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

    Your soup recipe looks wonderful (even without Oliver’s rice LOL). Great before and after photos of the tomatoes too by the way.
    Enjoy your few days at the Culinary Institute! I went and visited your new blog. I think the idea is fantastic (!!!) I know that you will reach so many people that need so very much to read what you will post. You are wonderful for having created Eating Despite Cancer.

  3. 3
    Mauna — September 27, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

    My mom always put corn cornels in my tomato soup. Now it just doesn’t taste right without the corn.

  4. 4
    Liren — September 28, 2011 @ 1:43 am

    What?! Wow! I am so excited that Oliver has developed a liking for tomatoes, though the addition of rice on the bottom is a little interesting.

    I am so glad to see your new blog, MJ. I know that you will have a real impact in that space – food and cancer is another battle in and of itself. I remember too well from my parents’ fights how terrible the illness can be, especially to those who love food. Especially to those who need the nourishment. I’m looking forward to following you there as well.

    Have fun at CIA! So excited for you 🙂

  5. 5
    Gail — September 28, 2011 @ 6:21 am

    Nothing, but nothing is better than tomato soup. With or without rice.
    But always with grilled cheese!

  6. 6
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — September 28, 2011 @ 7:58 am

    There are few things more comforting than a bowl of tomato soup… and, as Gail said, grilled cheese. 🙂

  7. 7
    Avatar — September 28, 2011 @ 8:00 am

    I’m with Gail – grilled cheese and tomato soup – I could live off of that!!!
    Enjoy NYC and the CIA, I am green with envy…
    And go you with the new site. You’re an inspiration.

  8. 8
    Erin @ A Nesting Experience — September 28, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

    I love roasted tomato soup. This looks so delicious. Perfect for cool fall days!

  9. 9
    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — September 28, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

    Ha, I had Campbell’s tomato soup today. I jazzed it up a bit with milk, spinach and crumbled tortilla chips, but your version looks way, way, way, WAY better 🙂

  10. 10
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — September 29, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

    This soup looks lovely! Tomato soup is one of my favorites, and roasting the flavors adds so much great flavor!

  11. 11
    Karriann Graf — September 30, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

    I love tomato soup in the winter time…..especially when we make our famous grill cheese! The grill cheese is perfect for dipping.

    “Spice it Up”

  12. 12
    Russell at Chasing Delicious — October 9, 2011 @ 5:26 pm

    Yum! This recipe sounds scrumptious. I love tomato soup – the kind without rice too ; ). It takes me right back to being a kid!

  13. 13
    charlotte — October 12, 2011 @ 8:58 am

    Made it yesterday – with yellow tomatoes. Delicious and beautiful. Thanks!

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