Chef Talk: Sono Baking Co's Tomato Tarts

Stephanie Webster

John Barricelli, owner and chef at Sono Baking Company, takes his tarts seriously. If you visit his storefront, you will see them perfectly crisped, savory, and seemingly impossible to make at home. 

A few months ago, we went "behind the scenes @ Sono Baking Co." and watched John cooking up these tasty morsels, and decided this was one recipe we had to have. Fortunately his new cookbook came out last month and now every home cook can enjoy these divine Tomato Tarts without having to drive to Norwalk. 





Tomato Tart

Serves 8

1 head garlic

3 T olive oil

½ recipe Pâte Brisée (or "Pie Dough" recipe follows)

all-purpose flour, for dusting

2 oz Italian fontina cheese, grated (about ½ C)

1 ½ lb firm, ripe tomatoes (4 medium), cored and sliced ¼-inch thick coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Place garlic on a piece of parchment paper-lined aluminum foil.  Drizzle with 1 T oil.  Wrap to enclose garlic in foil and place on a small baking sheet.  Bake until soft and golden brown and the tip of a knife easily pierces the flesh, about 45 minutes.  Remove from oven; set aside.  Increase oven temperature to 450°F.  When garlic is cool enough to handle, using either your hands or the dull end of a large knife, squeeze the cloves out of their skins and into a small bowl; set aside.  Discard the papery skins.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 1/8-inch thick circle, about 12 inches in diameter.  With a dry pastry brush, brush off the excess flour; roll the dough around the rolling pin, and lift it over a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Line the pan with the dough, pressing it into the corners.  Trim the dough so that it is flush to the edges; transfer to the refrigerator to chill, about 30 minutes.

Spread roasted garlic evenly into the chilled crust.  Sprinkle with half of the cheese.  Arrange the tomatoes on top of the cheese, in an overlapping circular pattern.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Transfer to oven.  Reduce temperature to 400° and bake until crust is golden and tomatoes are soft, but still retain their shape, 45 to 55 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes, serve warm.


Pâte Brisée (Pie Dough)

Makes 1 double-crust or 2 single-crust 9-10-inch pies

2 ½ C all-purpose flour

1 ½ t  salt

1 ½ t  sugar

1 C  unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

¼ - ½ C  ice water

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar.  Add butter, and process until the mixture looks like coarse meal, 8-10 seconds.  With the machine still running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream.  Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky.  Be careful not to process more than 30 seconds.  If it is still crumbly, add more ice water, 1 T at a time.

Divide dough into two equal balls.  Flatten each ball into a disk, and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  Dough may be stored in the freezer up to one month.