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THE CONFIDENT COOK

Recipe: Top a ricotta-filled tart shell with tomato slices in all shapes, sizes, and colors

Tomato Ricotta TartKaroline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe

Makes one 9-inch tart

There are so many variations of the classic tomato tart, perfect for late summer. Here, you begin with a savory food-processor pie dough seasoned with Parmesan and fresh thyme. Roll out the dough, press it into a French tart pan with a removable bottom, and bake the pastry "blind," which means without the filling. That prevents the bottom from getting soggy when the filling goes in later. To do this, line the pastry with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the shell for 15 minutes, remove the weights, and "dock" the dough, or use a fork to make tiny holes all over for steam to escape. Continue baking the empty shell for 10 minutes. Cool it and fill the pastry with ricotta mixed with lemon rind, basil, parsley, and an egg to bind it. Top it with the prettiest tomato slices you can find, all sizes, colors, and varieties. A nice mix of shapes will yield the most eye-catching tart. Bake, cool, and slice.

PASTRY

1cup flour
Pinch of salt
¼teaspoon baking powder
1tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2tablespoons grated Parmesan
5tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2tablespoons ice water mixed with 3/4 teaspoon distilled white vinegar or cider vinegar
Extra flour (for sprinkling)

1. Have on hand a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, a large rimmed baking sheet, and pie weights or dried beans for baking.

2. In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, baking powder, thyme, and Parmesan. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

3. Add water and vinegar mixture. Pulse a few times. Do not let the mixture form a ball. Turn it out on a lightly floured counter. Knead just until the dough comes together. Shape into a flat disk. Wrap in foil; refrigerate for 20 minutes.

4. On a lightly floured counter, roll the dough to an 11-inch round. Lift it onto the rolling pin and ease it into the tart pan. Fold the overhang like a hem inside the pan. Press the hem into the edges of the pan. Freeze the pan for 20 minutes.

5. Set the oven at 375 degrees.

6. Place the tart pan on the rimmed baking sheet. Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights or dried beans, pressing them into the edges.

7. Bake for 15 minutes. Lift out the parchment and weights. With a fork, prick the bottom of the dough gently. Return the shell to the oven. Continue baking for 10 minutes, or until the pastry is lightly golden and no longer has a raw appearance. (Total baking time at this point is 25 minutes.) Cool on a wire rack.

FILLING

cups whole-milk ricotta
1 egg, lighten beaten
1clove garlic, grated
Grated rind of 1/2 lemon
½cup chopped fresh basil
¼cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
12ounces tomatoes (different sizes and colors), cored and thinly sliced
Extra fresh basil leaves (for garnish)
Olive oil (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 425 degrees.

2. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, garlic, lemon rind, chopped basil, parsley, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.

3. With a rubber spatula, mix the ingredients. Transfer to the cooled pastry shell, and smooth the top with the spatula. Set the sliced tomatoes decoratively on top of the ricotta.

4. Bake for 45 minutes or until the ricotta is completely set. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool.

5. Garnish with basil leaves and sprinkle with olive oil. Cut into wedges.

Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Makes one 9-inch tart

There are so many variations of the classic tomato tart, perfect for late summer. Here, you begin with a savory food-processor pie dough seasoned with Parmesan and fresh thyme. Roll out the dough, press it into a French tart pan with a removable bottom, and bake the pastry "blind," which means without the filling. That prevents the bottom from getting soggy when the filling goes in later. To do this, line the pastry with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the shell for 15 minutes, remove the weights, and "dock" the dough, or use a fork to make tiny holes all over for steam to escape. Continue baking the empty shell for 10 minutes. Cool it and fill the pastry with ricotta mixed with lemon rind, basil, parsley, and an egg to bind it. Top it with the prettiest tomato slices you can find, all sizes, colors, and varieties. A nice mix of shapes will yield the most eye-catching tart. Bake, cool, and slice.

PASTRY

1cup flour
Pinch of salt
¼teaspoon baking powder
1tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2tablespoons grated Parmesan
5tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2tablespoons ice water mixed with 3/4 teaspoon distilled white vinegar or cider vinegar
Extra flour (for sprinkling)

1. Have on hand a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, a large rimmed baking sheet, and pie weights or dried beans for baking.

2. In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, baking powder, thyme, and Parmesan. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

3. Add water and vinegar mixture. Pulse a few times. Do not let the mixture form a ball. Turn it out on a lightly floured counter. Knead just until the dough comes together. Shape into a flat disk. Wrap in foil; refrigerate for 20 minutes.

4. On a lightly floured counter, roll the dough to an 11-inch round. Lift it onto the rolling pin and ease it into the tart pan. Fold the overhang like a hem inside the pan. Press the hem into the edges of the pan. Freeze the pan for 20 minutes.

5. Set the oven at 375 degrees.

6. Place the tart pan on the rimmed baking sheet. Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights or dried beans, pressing them into the edges.

7. Bake for 15 minutes. Lift out the parchment and weights. With a fork, prick the bottom of the dough gently. Return the shell to the oven. Continue baking for 10 minutes, or until the pastry is lightly golden and no longer has a raw appearance. (Total baking time at this point is 25 minutes.) Cool on a wire rack.

FILLING

cups whole-milk ricotta
1 egg, lighten beaten
1clove garlic, grated
Grated rind of 1/2 lemon
½cup chopped fresh basil
¼cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
12ounces tomatoes (different sizes and colors), cored and thinly sliced
Extra fresh basil leaves (for garnish)
Olive oil (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 425 degrees.

2. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, garlic, lemon rind, chopped basil, parsley, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.

3. With a rubber spatula, mix the ingredients. Transfer to the cooled pastry shell, and smooth the top with the spatula. Set the sliced tomatoes decoratively on top of the ricotta.

4. Bake for 45 minutes or until the ricotta is completely set. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool.

5. Garnish with basil leaves and sprinkle with olive oil. Cut into wedges.Karoline Boehm Goodnick