meatless monday: tomato ricotta tart
Once upon a time, I used to buy kitschy souvenirs that would eventually see only the inside of a box. Now, when I go on vacation or any trip for that matter, I love shopping for fun or quirky pieces for our kitchen or home. Something with everyday use that will remind me of that trip. Or Christmas ornaments. Every country I’ve visited is represented on our Christmas tree in some way, shape or form. It makes decorating our tree all the more fun when we pick up an ornament and say “Aw, Cambodia, remember when…”.
On my recent trip to Sydney, I was spoiled for choice and ended up getting some of my favorite pieces to date. A friend of mine brought me to Object, a craft and design center in Surry Hills. Its tiny store is filled to the brim with beautiful pieces that you desperately want to bring home. Convincing myself that most of these would inevitably become gifts for other people (doubtful), I brought home two beautiful white porcelain cups that now serve as bud vases and an oil pourer. That’s right an oil pourer. A squat, handmade, adorable oil pourer. It’s amazing how quickly I can convince myself that my life would be incomplete without it.
Later that day, we wandered into a kitchen shop that was almost the end of me and I left with a cookbook that has solidified my celebrity chef crush, Bill Granger’s Sydney Food. I was in a Sydney for crying out loud, of course I needed to buy it. It would be irresponsible not to buy it. I love the cookbook so much that I’ve already made three recipes from it. I love Bill’s cooking so much that I’ve decided I need to add a “bill” tag as you are going to see a lot of his recipes here. So, not surprisingly, this meatless monday is brought to you by none other than Mr. Bill Granger.
tomato ricotta tart
from Bill’s Sydney Food
- 2 medium ripe tomatoes, finely sliced
- 2 cups ricotta
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 egg yolk
- 50ml or 1/4 cup cream
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan
- 1 cup chopped arugula (or more, there’s always room for more greens)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- homemade or pre-made flaky crust (I cheated and used premade–it was a Monday, after all)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- Layout your pastry dough on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta, eggs, cream, parmasean and season with black pepper, salt and pinch of nutmeg.
- Fold in 1 cup of arugula. I ended up using a bit more as I wanted there to be a bit more veg. Feel free to also substitute for other things. Spinach would be lovely as would kale, I imagine.
- Once uniformly mixed, pour cream and cheese mixture into the middle of the dough. Make sure to leave about a 5cm or 2 inch border of dough around the filling.
- Once spread evenly, fold the dough up and over of the filling edge to create a crust. By doing it one bit at a time it creates nice, neat little folds in the dough.
- Now, layer the thinly sliced tomatoes over the cheese mixture. Since the tomatoes shrink up a bit in the oven, I recommend overlapping quite a bit so that you have good coverage.
- Using a pastry brush, brush egg yolk over the dough to make a nice glazed finish.
- Grate a little more Parmesan over the tart (for good luck).
- Finally, sprinkle on chopped parsley.
- Place in an oven pre-heated to 400°F/200°C for 35-40 minutes (or until crust is golden and middle is set).
- Allow to rest for about 15 minutes before chowing down.
This recipe is great warm and even better at room temperature. Makes for a perfect picnic food now that the weather is warming up. Also, allows for a whole lot of experimenting. Next time around, I may use spinach and gruyère in the middle and layer thinly sliced zucchini on top with a sprinkling of thyme or rosemary.