Heirloom tomatoes are a gift of summer; their depth of flavour, piqued with just a touch of flaky sea salt, is so rich on its own, that it can be tempting to go no further in their preparation.
Roasting them in a tart intensifies the meaty texture of the tomatoes; the creamy counterpoint of ricotta cheese and herbs, over a crisp tart crust, is the last word in decadence.
Served warm or cold, it’s simply sublime.
For the dough
- 210 g or 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 115 g or 4 oz unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 6 tbsp ice water
For the tomato topping
- 680 g or 1 ½ lb fresh tomatoes (about 4 medium or 3 large)
- freshly grated black pepper
- 90 g or 1 c finely grated Gruyere cheese
For the filling
- 360 g or 1½ c fresh whole milk ricotta cheese
- 15 ml or 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp fresh mixed herbs (basil, Italian parsley, fresh thyme) plus additional herbs to scatter over the finished tart
- Freshly ground black pepper
Make the tart
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt. Scatter the cold butter pieces and pulse until they are the size of peas. Add the ice water and pulse until the dough comes together. Gather the dough, shape it into a disk, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Wash the bowl and blades of the food processor – you’ll need them again.
- Slice the tomatoes into ½“ slices and place them in a colander, sprinkling lightly with salt as you layer them. Let the tomatoes drain for about 30 minutes.
- Back to the food processor: blend the ricotta cheese, Dijon mustard, garlic, egg, salt and black pepper until smooth. Stir in the herbs by hand.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 14” circle, and place it into a 10” tart pan. Let the excess dough hang over the edge of the pan. Spread the filling evenly over the bottom of the dough.
- Line a large plate with several layers of paper towel. Working in batches, transfer the tomatoes from the colander to the paper towels to remove excess moisture. Arrange them in overlapping circles over the tart filling, finishing with a few grinds of pepper. Tuck the excess tart dough around the outside of the tart, shaping it evenly with your fingers as you go; the now double-layer crust edge will rise above the tart ring a bit. You may wish to place it on a baking sheet to catch any drips—bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the tart from the oven and sprinkle with the Gruyere cheese (including the crust). Bake until golden brown (30-40 minutes). Serve warm or at room temperature with a green salad, steamed green beans, or asparagus. Hint: it’s even better the next day, reheated just a touch.
This recipe is adapted from one by the wonderful and engaging David Leibovitz.