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Barefoot Contessa star Ina Garten has an array of summer recipes on her website and cookbooks. However, she says that one dish is a fan favorite amongst the Food Network star’s Sunday lunch attendees. Here’s how to make one of Garten’s most famous tarts.

Ina Garten smiles as she cooks on the Today show
Ina Garten | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Why ‘Barefoot Contessa’ star Ina Garten loves to host lunch on Sundays 

Before she became a TV star through her show, Barefoot Contessa, Garten had many jobs. The businesswoman worked in the White House as a budget analyst during the Ford and Carter administration. In 1978, she decided to take a chance on her dream and bought a specialty food store in Hamptons, New York called Barefoot Contessa. Although she wasn’t sure if the store would succeed, it landed Garten her Food Network show plus several bestselling cookbooks. 

Through Barefoot Contessa, Garten also learned which day she mostly prefers to host parties at her home. In an interview with Epicurious, the 73-year-old cook said Sundays are the best time for her to have guests over. 

“Sunday afternoon—Sunday lunch—is the best time to entertain,” Garten explained. “Everybody’s done all their chores, they’re relaxed, nobody’s falling asleep or looking at their watch, saying, ‘Can I go home and go to bed?’And the food is easy.” 

Ina Garten calls her ‘Anna’s Tomato Tart’ one of ‘my favorite summer lunches’ 


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Since Barefoot Contessa first aired on Food Network in 2002, Garten shared countless recipes for events with her audience. On the show, she’s made several dishes and cocktails for the summer season. 

According to the Barefoot Contessa website, one of Garten’s favorite things to make during the warmer months is “Anna’s Tomato Tart.” The appetizer is simple to prepare and is perfect for guests who want to “relax and have some fun” before the weekend is over. 

“One of my favorite summer lunches is Anna’s Tomato Tart,” Garten declared in 2019. “The whole thing is prepared before anyone arrives, and I can have a great afternoon with my friends.  And boy, will they be impressed by this stunning tart!!”

How to make Garten’s Tomato Tart

If you’re interested in making Garten’s “Anna’s Tomato Tart” dish for your next gathering, here’s what you’ll need: 

For the crust

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, ½-inch-diced
  • 2 cold extra-large egg yolks
  • ½ cup ice water
  • 2½ pounds dried beans for baking the crust (optional)

For the filling

  • 2½ pounds firm medium (2½-inch) tomatoes, cored and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 cup whole fresh parsley leaves, lightly packed
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup good olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¾ pound grated Gruyère cheese (1 pound with rind)
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese

Garten suggests preheating the oven 400 degrees while prepping the tart. Once all the ingredients are combined, bake for 30 minutes. Afterward, the Food Network star recommends to cool the pies slightly, cut into squares, and serve warm or at room temperature.