Fresh Tomato Tart for Brunch
Our San Marzano tomato plants are nearly finished bearing fruit, but we are still getting a steady supply of Brandywines and Beefsteaks. In Wednesday's Washington Post, there was a great article about tomatoes, which offered several helpful tips and "10 quick ideas for producing summer on a plate."
Along with the article, there was a recipe for a Fresh Tomato and Ricotta Tart. I knew immediately that it was something I wanted to try. It pairs garden-fresh tomatoes with ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, all on a bed of puff pastry. I love anything with puff pastry and we happened to have some on hand in the freezer, left over from another recipe we tried recently (Emeril's Quick -and-Easy Banana-Caramel Tart, which is delicious, by the way, although a bit rich).
The tomato tart is an entirely vegetarian recipe, but I decided to add a few bits of bacon in my version. I was making it around Sunday brunch time, and thought the bacon would give it more of a breakfast flavor.
Here is my adapted version of the recipe, which is my entry for this week's edition of Weekend Herb Blogging.
Fresh Tomato Tart with Bacon and Ricotta
One 9 x 10 inch piece of puff pastry
2 strips of bacon
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesano Reggiano cheese
1 egg, beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large, garden-ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Fry the bacon and set aside on a paper towel to drain. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the puff pastry on the baking sheet and, using a sharp knife, draw a one-inch frame around the edge of the pastry by cutting a row of diagonal lines. (Don't cut all the way through the pastry.) Also, use a fork to prick the inside of the frame in a few places. Set the pastry aside.
In a bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, Parmesan, pepper and nutmeg. Mix it up and spread half of the mixture on the puff pastry dough, inside of the "frame." Cover the ricotta mixture with slices of tomato and bits of crumbled bacon. Then repeat the layer, using the rest of the ricotta, tomatoes, and bacon bits. Top everything off with the remaining tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Bake it for about 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. Let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
The result? A fabulous and easy brunch dish, featuring tomatoes when they're at their best. The only thing I would change, or rather, add, would be salt and more pepper. The recipe didn't call for any salt, so we added some on our individual servings. Another suggestion would be to season the tomato slices with salt and pepper before layering them on the tart. Other than that, it was wonderful and I will add this to my recipe collection. It's an easy and delicious way to celebrate "summer on a plate."