Tomato, Onion & Ricotta Tart

I tried making a tart for the first time and was certainly pleased with the result.

I almost had a heart-attack thinking about the amount of butter that goes into the dough. But later on while cooking when I divided the whole thing into three smaller tarts and landed up eating half of that tart  it didn’t feel that bad!

Its not one of the healthier recipes for sure, but once in a while when you want to eat a tart..its perfect (just eat it with some salad to feel better).

It requires a good amount of baking time.

Even though I caramelized the onions and semi cooked the tomatoes before baking, it took a good 30 minutes to get ready + the time it took to cook the tart before dressing it up.

I used dried basil to flavor the dough and fresh thyme to flavor the ricotta.

I just love how the ingredients are so simple and requires a minimum amount of prep work…I mean it can not get simpler than onions and tomatoes?!

Caramelizing onion gives it a sweet flavor which is complimented by the acidity from the tomatoes and the subtle flavor of the cheese brings it all together into a recipe with well balanced flavors.

You can use goat cheese instead of ricotta – it will add an extra tang to the tart!

Serving 3 medium size tarts

cooking time 30 minutes + baking time

Things you will need:

For the Tart Crust

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup butter, cold

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup ice cold water

In the bowl of a food processor, (or follow the same instructions if doing by hand), pulse together the flours, salt and dried basil till everything is mixed well. Cut the butter into very small cubes. Add the butter and pulse until the butter resembles small peas and is evenly incorporated. If making by hand, add the butter to the flour and using a knife cut into the butter and mix with the flour till butter resembles small peas. Then rub the flour between your hands till the butter is completely mixed with the flour and the mixture starts looking like bread crumbs. Gradually add cold water and knead to form a dough. Add 1 tbs water at a time to avoid the dough from getting too wet. Cover in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours before rolling it out.

Preheat the oven at 350F and position the rack in the center. Divide the pastry dough into 3 equal parts and on a large surface area, well floured, roll out the pastry dough to roughly 1/8-inch thick circles…or just big enough to cover the tart pan. Place in the tart pan, prick the bottom and cook in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

For the Filling

5 medium tomatoes, cut into rounds (try to get tomatoes that are hard and not very juicy)

1 to 2 large onion, cut into thin rounds

1 cup ricotta cheese

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp salt and some more to sprinkle on the tomatoes and onions while they are cooking

2 tbs fresh thyme, roughly chopped

black pepper, crushed

Caramelize onions on low heat in some olive oil. Place tomato rounds on some paper towel to absorb excess liquid. Cook the tomatoes with some salt and olive oil on medium high – 3 to 4 minutes each side, just so they get some color.

In a bowl add ricotta, olive oil, garlic, fresh thyme and some salt and mix well. Arrange the filling in the tart shell, a generous layer of the cheese mixture, a layer of onions and finally the tomatoes. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and bake in the oven at 350F for 20 to 30 minutes.