Shout out to tomatoes for being juicy, lush reminders of summer and happier times. Okay, I know summer is far gone and tomatoes are out of season, but can’t we reminisce, guys? I mean, shouldn’t we show gratitude for today’s modernity and the privilege of being able to acquire shipments of yummy foods from countries around the world that have better year-round weather than Canada does? I think so. Plus, Southern Ontario’s 2019 growing season was redonkulously short and I didn’t even grow enough tomatoes to give to my neighbours. BOO.
When I was a kid, I would (regularly) eat an entire tomato, one bite at a time, sprinkling on salt between mouthfuls. I knew what was up. My love for tomatoes hasn’t changed in the least. I honestly don’t even believe in sandwiches without them. That may be why I developed this fresh, juicy, delicious, tomato-forward tart that screams summer and brings me back to my childhood. Try it out if you were anything like me as a child (or adult).
Let’s start with the star of the show – Tomatoes. You really can use any kind for this recipe, however, I really love the colour variance that heirloom tomatoes provide…It makes the tart look stunning. I prefer to use a range of sizes as well…from the large, funny-shaped ones to the teeny, tiny, mini ones. If you make this tart in the summer, heirloom tomatoes are the way to go. If it is past their season though, it would be better to use your regular supermarket hybrid tomato, as heirlooms don’t travel well.
Secondly, pesto. Traditionally, a delicious mix of basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and parmesan cheese. I make a vegan-style pesto that I prefer to use with this recipe (click here for the recipe), but you can use your favourite one. Store bought is a good option throughout the winter.
The Puff – the base of this tart is made with puff pastry. This stuff is magic. A little heat and it rises up, turns golden brown and develops crispy edges that are drool-worthy. You can buy it in the freezer section of any grocery store. Just take one sheet out of the freezer about an hour before making this recipe to allow it to defrost.
Finally – ricotta. An italian triumph and a perfect pair for tomatoes. Spread over the tart at your own will. No one should limit your ricotta intake.
Let’s get to it!
Heirloom Tomato, Pesto and Ricotta Tart
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
- 1/2 cup ricotta
- 5-7 tbsp my Lemony Vegan Basil Pesto (or store-bought)
- tomatoes (3 large, 1 medium, 10-15 cherry tomatoes)
- flaky sea salt
- fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry out until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick and in a rectangular shape. Transfer dough to a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Spread the ricotta evenly over the pastry.
- Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of basil pesto over the ricotta layer.
- Begin placing your tomatoes, filling in the gaps with the smaller cherry tomatoes, and leaving a 1-inch border all the way around.
- Drizzle another 2-3 tablespoons of pesto overtop of the tomato layer.
- Fold the border of the pastry overtop of the tomatoes and pinch at the corners. Brush another tablespoon or two of pesto onto the edges of the puff pastry.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until pastry has puffed up and is golden brown in colour.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle some flaky sea salt over top.
- Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing with a pizza cutter. Top with fresh basil and a few more drizzles of pesto (optional).