What immediately comes to mind when you hear the word ‘tart’ mentioned? Do your thoughts hastily wander to a delightful sweet pastry? Or perhaps you associate it more with a feeling of sharpness and bitterness? Or maybe, just maybe, you go completely rogue and think of a wanton strumpet who strolls the streets at night in search of … well, I digress. Whatever mental image pops into your head, shake it off and, instead, think savory thoughts … sort of like with this week’s Meatless Monday recipe, Smoky Herbed Tomato Ricotta Tart.
Once again, I took my culinary cues from a) my palate and b) my creativity to come up with this savory, smoky tart. As a lover of Gruyère cheese, I am particularly smitten with Red Apple Cheese’s Apple Smoked Gruyère and tend to use it in a lot of recipes when I want to achieve a smoky essence. You’ll note that the recipe calls for 3 heirloom tomatoes; I actually only used 1 1/2, but in hindsight I felt I could have doubled that amount, hence, changing the measurement to 3 for the purposes of this recipe. Both my husband and stepson loved this first-time dish and went back for seconds. I hope you will enjoy it as well. Bon appetit!
Smoky Herbed Tomato Ricotta Tart
Smoky Herbed Tomato Ricotta Tart
For Tart Bottom Crust:
- 1 cup of bread crumbs, toasted
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon grated smoked Gruyère cheese
- 1 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (white parts only)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Spiced Mediterranean Sea Salt
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped, divided
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
- 3 cups ricotta cheese
- 4 ounces fresh grated smoked Gruyère cheese, plus more for topping
- 3 heirloom tomatoes, seeded and sliced (@ 1/4-inch-thick)
Preheat oven to 400°.
In a skillet over medium heat add bread crumbs. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and stir. As bread crumbs begin to brown, add melted butter and about 1 tablespoon Gruyère cheese. Continue toasting until golden brown. (If using whole wheat bread crumbs, which are already brown, toast for about 4-5 minutes). Coat the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with remaining olive oil. Add toasted bread crumbs and distribute evenly over entire pan bottom (shaking the pan works well or use a spatula).
In the same skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the scallions. Set aside.
In a large bowl beat eggs for about 1 minute or so until eggs are just beginning to froth. Next, add sea salt, minced garlic, heavy cream, fresh oregano and all except 1/4 cup of the fresh basil. Fold in ricotta and Gruyère and mix well. Spread ricotta mixture evenly over crust. Arrange tomato slices in a circular pattern over ricotta mixture, then sprinkle with more Gruyère cheese.
Bake for 45-50 minutes* or until filling is set. Remove from oven; sprinkle with remaining basil and, if desired, add a bit more grated Gruyère. Place in broiler for 1 minute to brown beautifully on top. Remove from oven; use a knife to gently score around the rim of the springform pan to separate the tart from the pan so that as it contracts it stays intact. Allow tart to rest for @15 minutes before removing from springform pan.
*Oven times vary. When done, tart should be firm and springy to the touch.
Your Smoky Herbed Tomato Ricotta Tart is ready to serve!