Italian Tomato-Basil Tart

Easy and flavorful, this dish was a total hit among my bookclub ladies! I had several requests for the recipe, which is  adapted from a  Cooking Light reader-submitted recipe. My version is slightly less healthy, and quicker to make.

– 1 10.5 oz package precooked brown rice (I used Trader Joe’s)
– 2 TBS commercial pesto
– 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– 1 egg
– Cooking spray

– 1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
– 3 eggs
– 1/4 tsp. salt
– 1/4 tsp. black pepper
– 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
– 1 cup mozzarella cheese
– 1 link Italian chicken sausage, sliced into thin strips. I used Al Fresco‘s, but you could also try 1 ounce prosciutto, or 1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon – or go meat free!
– 4 small, flavorful tomatoes, thinly sliced. The original recipe called for plum tomatoes but I used Kumato brown tomatoes because they are just darn good!
– 2 TBS chopped fresh basil, or a 4 inch ribbon of basil in a tube (the grocery store was out of fresh, I’m not just lazy)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.

2. In a bowl, combine packaged rice, Parmesan, 1 egg, and pesto. Press the mixture into the sprayed pie plate, firmly smooshing it into the bottom and up the sides of the dish. It will be a bit crumbly. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then remove from oven.

3. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.

Kumato Brown Tomatoes

4. Combine milk, 3 eggs, salt, peppers and basil in a bowl. Whisk it together.

5. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella and half of the chicken sausage into the bottom of the prepared crust. Top with half of the tomato slices. Repeat another layer with remaining mozzarella, sausage and yummy tomatoes. Pour the milk/egg mixture over the contents in the pan.

6. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees while leaving the tart in the oven. Bake an additional 35 minutes or until set. Enjoy hot or cold!

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