I keep a never-ending list of my favourite recipes that I want to share here when I get time. Unfortunately I am adding to the list more than I am working through the list, so it is always quite satisfying to finally be able to delete recipes. At the moment the list includes our family’s favourite Greek Chicken Bake, a Zucchini & Feta Tart, a Lemon Pasta and my favourite French Toast recipe, just to name a few. But one recipe that has been there for the longest time is this one – Ricotta and Tomato Tart. And today, finally, I am sharing it!
This is a recipe that I think just must be made in Summer when tomatoes are plump and juicy and basil is prolific. So with only less than a week of Summer left here in the Southern Hemisphere I thought I better get busy and share this recipe before another Summer slips away.
This tart is so easy to make, yet it looks impressive and tastes even better. It could be whipped up for a quick mid-week meal but I think it best savoured over a chilled glass of Rosé for a weekend Summer lunch. I have only ever made this tart for weekend lunches because it just seems right.
I pay a pretty penny and get myself some good puff pastry and it is worth it. My kids aren’t huge puff pasty fans. It is always a bit hit and miss with them which I just can’t understand. I trust they will grow out of this phase and grow up to enjoy the flaky, buttery layers in moderation.
The recipe has evolved from one that was in a Delicious magazine years and years ago. All it requires is to bake the sheet of puff pastry and then top it with the ricotta, halved tomatoes, pesto and bake again. Then top with some very lightly dressed greens. I serve it on a big board and slice it at the table. You could make individual tarts for a smarter affair but one big tart has a beautiful rustic feel. It is full of flavour but not overly filling so there should be room for a beautiful Summer dessert.
ricotta and tomato tart
375g block frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup of pesto
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 big handfuls of baby rocket and spinach
a few basil leaves, roughly torn
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Line a large baking tray.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to form a 30cm x 22 cm rectangle and place on the baking tray. Prick the base all over with a fork then brush with the lightly beaten egg. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffed, golden and cooked through. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
In a bowl mix together the ricotta, garlic and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Spread this over the cooked pastry and then top with the halved tomatoes and dollop over the pesto. Season with salt and pepper then return to the oven for another 5 minutes or until the tomatoes have collapsed slightly. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a bowl whisk together the remaining lemon juice, olive oil and season to taste. Toss with the baby rocket, spinach and basil leaves and place on top of the tart just before serving.