Tomato Basil Phyllo Tart {Keeping it simple}

Tomato Basil Tart

I’m really an introvert. No one believes me when I say that, but it’s true. Large gatherings make me nervous, I’m terrible at small talk, and given the choice of going to a big party {especially a costume party} or putting on my elastic pants and watching a movie at home, I’ll choose the latter.

“But wait, you’re in radio!” some will protest. True, but remember, that’s just me in a studio imagining that I’m talking to a single listener. I have no idea if there’s just one person listening {thanks Mom} or ten thousand.

Entertaining is different though. I love inviting people to our home — even people I don’t know really well. I enjoy all the planning, shopping and cooking that goes with hosting. I don’t mind long ingredient lists or a recipe with several steps. And while the “experts” advise against it, there will usually be at least one “experiment” dish that I’ve never made before. Sit down dinner for six? Office party for 30? Bring it on!

But sometimes I like to keep it simple.

Last week, I was having a bunch of girlfriends over. I wanted something easy and light that I’d be able to make ahead, so I could just relax and enjoy the evening.  This Tomato Basil Phyllo Tart was exactly what I wanted. I assembled it in the morning, and popped it in the oven for about 20 minutes before serving.

It’s great warm or at room temperature, and a recipe that you can easily adapt to your own tastes. You might prefer feta over mozzarella. Or try using red, yellow and green peppers instead of tomatoes. Just keep the topping layer relatively thin, so it doesn’t weigh down the crispy crust.

tomato basil phyllo tart

I served it as an apped’ouevre, but it would make a nice light lunch entreé, served along a salad.

Keep this recipe handy for when you’re entertaining and want to just keep it simple. Then go ahead and pour a glass of something and mingle!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Tomato Basil Phyllo Tart
  • 10 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
  • ½ cup olive oil, or olive oil cooking spray
  • ⅓ cup panko crumbs
  • ⅓ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbs prepared pesto
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 large roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 10 yellow cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbs chopped fresh basil leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay one sheet of phyllo on the prepared pan. Keep the remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap or wax paper and a damp kitchen towel.
  2. Lightly coat the phyllo surface with oil using a pastry brush or the cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon each breadcrumbs and parmesan. Repeat this step, layering the remaining phyllo on top. Spread pesto evenly on the surface of the tart. Sprinkle about half of the crumbled mozzarella over the pesto layer. Arrange tomato slices over the pesto layer; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
  3. Bake the tart until the crust turns brown and crispy, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  4. To serve, lift the parchment paper and slide the tart onto a cutting board or large platter. Scatter chopped basil on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Assemble tart up to 8 hours before. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until baking.



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5 Responses to Tomato Basil Phyllo Tart {Keeping it simple}

  1. Amanda Paa September 30, 2015 at 8:12 am #

    i wouldn’t guess you are an introvert, so humble and welcoming. i need a little of your entertaining spunk, as I haven’t really done much of that – mostly because our house isn’t well suited for it, yet. but we are in a redesign! so hopefully that will change. and then i can serve beautiful tarts like this. :)

  2. Chuck September 30, 2015 at 8:35 am #

    That looks AMAZING!

  3. Coco in the Kitchen September 30, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

    Delicious. I’ve been craving that crispy, flaky phyllo the last couple of days and this is so much better for me than syrupy baklava!

  4. Cameron September 30, 2015 at 9:48 pm #

    I might attempt this on Saturday night. Would I be doing it a huge injustice if I replaced the peppers amd tomatoes with sausage, ham, and pepperonis?

  5. Elaine Haydock October 1, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

    For those of us who are ‘local’ readers (and love your food AND you), it’s only fair that you consider a ‘food delivery service’. I may have to launch a grass-roots movement (or would that be a lemongrass roots movement?)
    This dish sounds delicious!!

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