Even though a giant tree crushed my Mom’s garden in an unnaturally wild thunderstorm a few weeks ago there were some survivors. Luckily the San Marzano plum tomato plants were left standing, the object of my current obsession.
It just so happened that Michael Symon was making this mouth-watering tomato tart on The Chew when I had everything to make it on hand including fresh ricotta cheese, plenty of basil from my herb garden and perfectly ripe tomatoes overflowing out of every corner and cranny of my kitchen. Call it fate.
Before assembling the tart the tomatoes need roasting and the tart crust blind baked. Although there are multiple steps to the recipe, they’re effortless and the payoff is worth every minute of your time. Like tradition, this is one of those things you have to make at least once during the summer.
Seek out fresh ricotta because there is a huge difference between it and the generic ricotta. Look for it by the deli of your local market in the specialty cheese section or the Italian section. Once you have fresh you will never be able to eat any other.
The acidic bite of the tomatoes is well-matched with the milky ricotta, the fresh pop of the sweet herbs and the flaky crust. Tastes and textures of summer to tantalize your taste buds.
They will thank-you.
An incredibly fresh and delicious tomato tart with fresh ricotta cheese and herbs!
- Dissolve salt in ice cold water.
- In a standing mixer, cut butter into flour with cold paddle, about 45 seconds. Add water all at once and run mixer at medium speed until dough comes together.
- Form dough into two discs and chill 1/2 hour.
- Remove dough from fridge and roll out 1/8" thick.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Press pastry dough into tart shell and use a fork to poke the bottom all over. Blind bake 15 minutes then cool.
- In a large bowl toss the tomatoes with all of the thyme (or half the basil), garlic, a few cracks of black pepper, and a large pinch of salt.
- Arrange the tomatoes on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Layer the tomatoes on the crust. Dollop with spoonfuls of ricotta, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle the top with fresh chopped basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from Michael Symon & Carla Hall
*Makes 2 crusts - freeze one for later use or use your own single pastry crust recipe.