For me, this tart is like eating summer, and one of the best things to do with fresh tomatoes at their peak. If you have been looking for a reason to grow tomatoes, look no further. The combination of mustard and cheese with the tomatoes is hard to beat, although people are often not able to detect what that interesting extra flavour is. They just know it tastes delicious. I make this tart so often in the summer that I like to think I’ve perfected the recipe. The extra few minutes in the oven without the pan makes all the difference, and, like all tarts, it benefits from having a little time to rest and settle before being eaten.



  • 350g Plain flour plus extra for dusting
  • 175g Butter cold and diced
  • 1 Egg
  • 3tbsp Cold water
  • Pinch of salt


  • 4tbsp Wholegrain mustard
  • 8 Large tomatoes about 850g in total
  • 2tbsp Gruyère cheese grated
  • 2tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil or butter for greasing



  • STEP 1

    Put the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the egg and, using a knife, stir in just enough cold water to bind the dough together.

  • STEP 2

    Tip the dough on to a lightly floured work surface and shape into a ball. Cover with cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes, or ideally 1-3 hours, before using.

Tomato tart

  • STEP 1

    Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4, placing an oven rack in the lower part of it. Grease a 30cm loose-bottom tart pan.

  • STEP 2

    Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface until it is large enough to line your tart pan.

  • STEP 3

    Spread the mustard on the bottom of the pastry case. Place some sliced tomatoes around the edge of the case, making sure they overlap, then fill in the middle. Sprinkle the cheese over the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with the oil.

  • STEP 4

    Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake on a low oven rack for 40 minutes. Take the tart out of the oven and carefully slip off the outer ring, leaving the tart sitting on the base. Return to the oven on the baking sheet for another 5–10 minutes so that the sides get really crisp.

This recipe is taken from The Great Dixter Cookbook: Recipes from an English Garden by Aaron Bertelsen (Phaidon, 2017).


Having studied at Kew Gardens and spent two years at Jerusalem Botanical Gardens in Israel, Aaron Bertelsen is now vegetable gardener and cook at Great Dixter. His book, The Great Dixter Cookbook was published in March 2017.