Summer Tomato Ricotta Tart is a wonderful summer dish. Sweet tomatoes compliment the flaky, buttery crust and pop with flavorful juices.
I’m feeling it all right now: nervousness, excitement, anticipation. In two days, what has long been nothing more than a vision will become my reality. In two days, I will be donning my chef whites and stepping into the kitchens of culinary school! To celebrate I thought I’d do some cooking! Why not!
A crisp, buttery crust, a melt-in-your-mouth rich filling, and bursting, sweet summer tomatoes — does it get any better than that? This tart would be delicious served with eggs for brunch, with lightly dressed greens for dinner, or even packed up for a picnic lunch.
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg, separated
- 1 teaspoon roughly chopped fresh oregano leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound tomatoes, sliced into ¼-inch-thick pieces [I used cherry tomatoes, but any tomato would do well here]
- splash of milk
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt.
- Add the butter, and using your hands, work it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal [the butter pieces should be about the size of large peas].
- Add the water and mix until the dough just comes together.
- Flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using.
- After the dough has chilled for at least an hour, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into an 11-inch x 15-inch rectangle (approximately). Roll the dough around the rolling pin and unroll onto a baker's quarter sheet pan (9-inch x 13-inch) so that the dough is falling over the edges on all sides. If you don't have a quarter sheet pan, you can use a half sheet and use a folded up piece of aluminum foil to create a false side in the middle of the long edge so that the pan measures 9-inches x 13-inches. Trim the overhanging excess dough, so that the crust reaches just to the top of the edges of the pan [see note below for a fun use for the excess dough]. Cover the pan lightly in plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill.
- While the dough chills, prepare the ricotta mixture: in a medium bowl add the ricotta, egg white [reserve the yolk for the egg wash later on], oregano, thyme, garlic, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Mix to thoroughly combine.
- Remove the chilled prepared dough from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Spoon the ricotta mixture into the middle of the tart and use a spatula to spread it evenly over the bottom. Arrange the tomato slices over top of the ricotta and garnish the tart with more oregano leaves and flaked or coarse salt.
- In a ramekin or small bowl, beat together the reserved egg yolk and splash of milk. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over the exposed parts of the crust.
- Transfer the tart to the preheated oven and bake for 45 - 50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting into squares to serve. [The tart is delicious served either warm or at room temperature, garnished with more fresh oregano and thyme leaves].