Friday, October 25, 2013

Tomato Ricotta Tart

This is another recipe from visiting my sister and her husband. You might be wondering about the fact that I'm in another city, yet there are plenty of Pampered Chef products at my disposal. Well, I'm in my 13th year of business, and my sister has been my best customer. In short, cooking at her house is about like cooking in my own. All Pampered Chef all the time. So no, I didn't bring knives on the plane.

Betsy and I sat down and pulled several things we'd like to try from her stack of Cooking Light magazines, and this tart was something we had in mind for a casual sister brunch. That's a funny thought when there's a two-week-old in the house, but ignorance is bliss, right? Well, at least ignorance gets you to buy vine-ripe tomatoes and expensive cheese that you'd hate to see wasted. I had a lunch with a fellow consultant scheduled yesterday, and I didn't want to leave my sister alone without a treat. I was determined to get this cooked and the kitchen cleaned before I left, and I actually accomplished it! Read: This is my disclaimer for the lack of crust prettiness you'll see when you scroll down.
 Tomato Ricotta Tart
5.6 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons ice water

3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
1.5 ounces aged Gruyère cheese, shredded and divided (about 6 tablespoons)
1 pound heirloom tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Preheat oven to 450°.

To prepare crust, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a food processor; pulse 3 times or until combined. Combine oil and 3 tablespoons ice water in a small bowl. With processor on, slowly add oil mixture through food chute, and process until dough is crumbly. Sprinkle dough into a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate coated with cooking spray. Press dough into an even layer in bottom and up sides of dish. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

Combine ricotta, egg, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring with a whisk. Add 1/4 cup basil and 1/4 cup Gruyère cheese, stirring to combine. Spread ricotta mixture evenly over crust. Arrange tomato slices in a circular pattern over ricotta mixture, slightly overlapping. Sprinkle tomatoes with remaining 2 tablespoons Gruyère cheese. Bake at 450° for 25 minutes or until filling is set. Let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup basil.

Above, several ingredients are in the Deep Dish Pie Plate (This one is blue, but it comes in cranberry.), and I've got a Bar Board, a Cutting Mat, The Easy Read Measuring Cups, Measuring Cup Set, and a 4" Serrated Knife ready to go.  Oh, and salt is in a Pinch Bowl.

Have you ever used the Pampered Chef Garlic Press?  If not, let me just tell you it's amazing.  I've had mine since 2000, and it still works perfectly.  You don't have to peel the garlic!  See the garlic coming out of there?  See the picture below with the peel on my Bar Board?  Yep.  Anyway, this is going into the 2-Qt. Stainless Mixing Bowl for my filling mixture.  In the background, I've got the Measure-All Cup and a 1-Cup Prep Bowl.

The Measure-All Cup is one of those products the people who have it want to tell everyone about.  When you go from measuring peanut butter and other sticky ingredients in a standard cup to one that pops it out like a syringe, it's worth talking about.  Here, I've got my ricotta popped and ready to scrape right into my mixing bowl.

I'm just going to admit that Betsy had to help me with her food processor.  I measured out the crust ingredients, but she did the actual mixture for me.  To the right of the processor, I've got Pinch Bowls, Measuring Cups, the Easy Read Mini Measuring Cup, and a 2-Cup Prep Bowl on a Flexible Cutting Mat.  Do you see the nuts we used in the crust?  They're not pine nuts, but have you seen the price on those lately?  When deciding whether to purchase a small jar of pine nuts or twenty ounces of gold, Betsy and I quickly decided the walnuts she already had in her pantry surely couldn't ruin this crust.  You know what?  We were right.

The 4 1/2" Serrated Knife from the Forged Cutlery Collection is my favorite for slicing tomatoes.  The skins are no match for this blade, and the knife is really easy to handle.  I've got the Bar Board for the tomatoes and a Cutting Mat because I just didn't move it out of the way.

This crust could have been pretty, but I was in a rush.  Instead of trying to spread it evenly, I just decided to make sure it would hold filling.  That said, the crust was great!  It can definitely be used for other savory recipes like quiche and... quiche?

Hello, Gruyere!  Ok, so this was delicious!  However, if you already have sharp white cheddar or another cheese you want to try in this recipe, don't feel the need to buy anything else.  The recipe doesn't call for much, and other cheeses will substitute nicely.  I used the Rotary Grater to grate the cheese into an Easy Read Measuring cup.

Spread your filling, layer your tomatoes, grate a little more cheese over the top, and you're ready to bake!  This really was a great recipe, and I can see myself serving it for a fun brunch sometime.  This is woman food at its best!
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