Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Heirloom Tomato Tart with Fresh Basil, Ricotta, and Balsamic Fig Drizzle

It astounds me sometimes how beautiful food can be. Just a plain old tomato can come in so many different colors and provide unique flavors and textures depending on the variety. I think that's what originally attracted me to food, being an artist first and foremost, it seems natural that I was attracted to visually pleasing food...

With tomato season coming to an end, I had to grab these beautiful heirlooms before the fall season. I wanted to highlight the tomato first and foremost, so by combining it with some fresh herbs and creamy ricotta all held together by a vessel of flaky buttery goodness, it's the perfect summer dish.

There are multiple ways you can prepare this tart depending on your preferences. I personally like cooked tomatoes over raw so I baked the tart dough halfway, then spread the ricotta blend, followed by the tomatoes and topped with a little more parm cheese, balsamic, and salt and pepper, then baked it in the oven for about 6 min. OR you could fully bake the tart shell, wait for it to cool and then spread ingredients on top, it's up to you. I also want to give a shout out to Oli+Ve olive oil and vinegar store in Atlanta, GA this balsamic fig vinegar is amazing!

Heirloom Tomato Tart with Fresh Basil and Ricotta

serves 8-9

for the dough...

Makes one 9 inch pie crust

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, leveled
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

for the filling...

2 cups crumbled ricotta cheese
2 cups grated Parmesan
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 TBS freshly squeezed orange juice (optional)
1 1/2 lb. (750 g) heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick
aged balsamic vinegar for garnish

Directions:

1.To prepare crust mix salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Pour melted butter into bowl and mix. Slowly incorporate flour, adding a little at a time, then mixing just until combined. Spread over greased tart pan and press down, creating an even layer and going up the sides of the pan. Store in fridge for at least 20 min. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Before placing in oven, poke holes with a fork (to prevent the dough from rising in the oven) and bake for 10-15 min.

2.In a bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan and basil and season to taste with salt and pepper (I also added a squeeze of orange juice to bump up the flavor). Using a small offset spatula, spread the mixture into the cooled tart shell. Top with the tomato slices and sprinkle with salt, pepper, basil leaves and balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately.

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