Torte salate, or savory tarts, are enjoyed as an antipasto or sometimes as a quick lunch in Italy. They feature all kinds of vegetables—literally from artichokes to zucchini—but here, we use slow-roasted tomatoes that are punched up with pungent blue cheese for an especially flavorful tart.
Slow-Roasted Tomato and Gorgonzola Tarts
For the roasted tomatoes:
- 8 medium round tomatoes, about 1 lb. (500 g) total weight, halved lengthwise
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
For the pastry dough:
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- Fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) fresh ricotta cheese or small-curd cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) heavy cream
- 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- 3 oz. (90 g) Gorgonzola or other blue cheese, crumbled
- Freshly ground pepper
- Arugula for garnish
1. To make the tomatoes, preheat an oven to 300°F (150°C). Place the tomato halves, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over them and season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast until the tomatoes are partially collapsed and wrinkled but still juicy, about 3 hours. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, make the dough: In a food processor, combine the flour and 1/2 tsp. salt and pulse to mix. Scatter the cheese and butter around the bowl and pulse until the mixture begins to come together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
3. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, roll each piece out into a 6-inch (15-cm) circle. Press the circles into four 4 1/2-inch (11.5-cm) fluted tart pans with removable sides. Fold the overhang in, pressing it against the inside rim. Place the pans on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Increase the oven temperature to 425°F (220°C). Line the tart shells with parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove the parchment and pie weights and bake until the shells are set and only just beginning to turn pale gold, about 2 minutes longer. Remove from the oven but leave the tart shells on the baking sheet. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C).
5. If the bottoms of the shells have puffed up, poke them in a few places with a fork. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cream. Brush the bottoms of the shells with a thin coating of mustard. Arrange 3 to 4 tomato halves in each shell and sprinkle the cheese over them. Pour the egg-cream mixture into the shells (do not overfill). Season lightly with pepper. Bake until the tarts are puffed and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the sides from the pans and gently turn them over to remove the metal bottoms. Arrange the tarts on a serving platter, sprinkle with arugula and serve warm. Serves 4.
Find more recipes like this one in our enticing collection of authentic dishes made modern, Rustic Italian, by Domenica Marchetti.