Recipes from Raine’s Roost: Herb and heirloom tomato tart

This post first appeared on USA Today Happy Ever After Blog on September 8th. Click here to see the original post.

caught-boxed-setRaine: Hey, welcome back for my last summer recipe of the season. OK, I know you can make a tart any time of the year, but to get the best heirloom tomatoes, you need to make it now.

If you missed last month’s post, live from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County, Calif., you need to check it out here. Then you’ll understand why I’ve been obsessed with heirloom tomatoes. I’ve always been a big fan, but even more now.

Just a reminder that the purpose of my posts is to provide easy, “go-to” recipes that anyone can make to come out looking like a rock star in the kitchen. That, and keeping your significant other from living on yogurt and ice cream. Trust me, this one will help.


Here in north Jersey, we’re already feeling a few notes of fall. Here’s hoping we have another mild September. Jillian and I made the most out of our summer this year outside of work. That meant a ton of entertaining, beach time and just enough travel to keep us satisfied. I’ll admit, I’m rocking a pretty decent tan right now, and I’d rather be manning the grill than the stove as we enjoy the last days of summer.

I’m not sure about you, but the heat steals my appetite. This summer we changed our meal pattern on the weekends from three meals a day to two: late morning and late afternoon with a snack at night if we’re hungry. With that in mind, having something substantial with protein to start the day makes it work. One solution? Tarts, as long as you’re not lactose intolerant. They don’t take long, especially if you get uncooked pie shells and pre-grated fresh cheese. Prep time is 10-15 minutes. You can also make them the night before. Just pop it in the oven and watch a movie while it cooks.

Here we go, time to get busy …

Raine's herb and heirloom tomato tart.

Raine’s herb and heirloom tomato tart.

Herb and heirloom tomato tart

9-inch unbaked tart shell, chilled (I use Oronoque Orchards)

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 heaping teaspoon each of fresh herbs: chives, thyme, parsley and basil

6-8 heirloom cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters

2 eggs and 2 egg yolks

2 cups heavy cream or 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk (I like to cut the fat, so I use the milk combo)

1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated

Salt, pepper, nutmeg — to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Heat butter in a skillet, add herbs and tomato quarters, and stir briefly about a minute.

In a large bowl, whip eggs, yolks, cream or cream/milk combo.

Season egg mixture with salt and pepper, then add a hint of ground nutmeg.

Stir the herb/tomato mixture into the egg mixture.

Pour into tart shell.

Cook on middle rack on a tray

Cook 45-55 minutes (milk mixture takes on the longer side)

Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Serves 6.


I’m in love with these micro greens. Any salad with a vinaigrette will do, but these cutie pies are a favorite with a white balsamic dressing I get from the local gourmet shop downtown.

So, as sad as I am to say goodbye to summer, there are a couple of things I like about fall. English Premiership soccer. Go ManU. I’m looking forward to seeing what Jose Moreno has in store as their new coach. Besides that, cider doughnuts from Wightman’s Farm in Morristown.

What’s your favorite recipe? Drop me a line @Raines_Roost if you want to share … maybe I’ll try it out for one of my upcoming posts. Also, in case you’re interested in my story with Jillian, check out

See you next month. Peace.


Find out more about author LG O’Connor and her books

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