In this simple recipe, flaky puff pastry replaces pizza dough for a light, Italian-inspired tart that’s perfect for a late summer brunch or a pre-dinner nibble. Forming the tart by hand, instead of confining it to a tart pan, gives it a rustic look well suited to the colorful combination of creamy white ricotta, fragrant green basil and flavorful heirloom tomatoes. Seeding the tomatoes prevents the bottom of the tart from getting soggy.
Tomato Tart with Basil and Ricotta
- 1 1/4 lb. (625 g) purchased puff pastry, thawed
- All-purpose flour for rolling out the dough
- 1 1/4 cups (10 oz./315 g) ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 3 Tbs. minced fresh basil, plus chopped basil for garnish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 4 large tomatoes, preferably heirloom
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
1. Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a 16-by-11-inch (40-cm-by-28-cm) rimmed baking sheet. Turn the baking sheet over, and place the parchment on the underside.
2. On a floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry into a 16-by-11-inch (40-cm-by-28-cm) rectangle about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Transfer the dough to the parchment paper. Refrigerate the dough on the baking sheet for 15 minutes.
3. In a bowl, stir together the ricotta, Parmesan, 1 of the eggs, the 3 Tbs. minced basil, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and the nutmeg. Set aside.
4. Using a serrated knife, slice the tomatoes into rounds about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Shake out the majority of the seeds (don’t worry if a few seeds remain). Place on paper towels to drain briefly. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper.
5. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator. Using a pizza wheel, trim the rough edges from the pastry. Using the tip of a small sharp knife, score a 1-inch (2.5-cm) border inside the edges of the pastry, taking care not to cut through the pastry. Score the border with diagonal marks about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Pierce the pastry inside the border with a fork. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly inside the border, then top with the tomato slices. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and filling. In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg. Lightly brush the pastry border with some of the egg.
6. Bake until the pastry border has risen and is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 3 to 5 minutes. Cut the pastry into 8 equal pieces. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with chopped basil and serve warm.
Recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma Breakfast Comforts, by Rick Rodgers