There are still some late-season tomatoes out there and I’m trying to maximize the season! If you can still get your hands on some good heirloom tomatoes (or just any good summer tomatoes) this tomato tart must be on your cooking list!
Sometimes I’ll make a lunch out of the tomatoes with a sprinkle of salt and drizzle of olive oil. A few times a season, without fail, I’ll have more than I know what to do with. Not a bad problem to have!
If you’re going to cook tomatoes, this heirloom tomato and ricotta tart is about as good as it gets. It has just a few ingredients and nothing to mask the sweetness of the fresh tomatoes. The whole thing is wrapped in a flaky butter crust.
It has elements that reminded me of good, fresh pizza crossed with the best pie crust. So yea… a good use of tomatoes, for sure.
Enjoy the last gasps of tomato season, everybody!
What are heirloom tomatoes?
Heirloom tomato is a pretty broad term, honestly. But, if you read the summary of what can be classified as an heirloom tomato, it’s a pretty large list.
Heirloom tomatoes tend to be from seed lines that aren’t from large tomato producers and are harder to grow and less disease-resistant. This leads heirloom tomatoes to be different colors, wildly different sizes, and sometimes cracked and discolored.
Heirloom tomatoes are important to keep different strains of vegetables from aging out and help fight a mono-culture of tomatoes.
While more expensive, heirloom tomatoes are sweet, juicy, colorful, and very delicious! If you can find them, it’s worth it for special occasions.
What tomatoes can work for this tomato tart?
While I used heirloom tomatoes for this tart, it isn’t essential. You can use almost any ripe and fresh tomato for this tart.
I would try to use vine-ripened tomatoes at a minimum as they tend to be juicier and riper than beefsteak tomatoes.
If you want to try the recipe with grape tomatoes, it can definitely work. I would roast the grape tomatoes, halved, for 20 minutes prior to adding them to the tart to help cook off some of the liquid in the tomatoes. Otherwise your tart might get runny.
Making the crust for this tart
The nice thing about this recipe is it doesn’t have many ingredients. The focus is on the quality of each of the ingredients. Buy good tomatoes, and good whole milk ricotta cheese.
Also, take the time to make the crust from scratch. It really only takes a few minutes and makes a big difference.
Because we will salt the tomatoes later for the filling, it’s important to use unsalted butter for the crust.
Start the crust by stirring together the all-purpose flour and salt and then cut in the cubed cold unsalted butter until it’s in pea-sized pieces.
After that, stir in the ice water by the tablespoon. The dough should be a bit shaggy. If you press it together it should stick, but just barely.
Scoop the dough out onto a clean surface and fold it over itself a few times to form a loose ball. Wrap it tightly and plastic and store it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
You know you did it right if you can see chunks of butter in the dough!
How to prep the tomatoes
Let’s talk beautiful tomatoes!
I like to use a variety of colors for my tart, but that’s not essential obviously. It’s more important to use the best tomatoes you can find.
The most important part of this recipe is to salt and drain the tomatoes. Tomatoes are basically water balloons and if you just slice them and stick them in the tart the filling will end up very watery.
So slice the tomatoes and line a colander with them. Then salt them with a sprinkle of kosher salt and let them rest for about 10-15 minutes. That will pull out a bunch of water.
Baking this heirloom tomato tart
When you’re ready to make the tart, roll your dough out into about a 14-inch round. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s kind of a freeform tart situation, after all.
Then drizzle the dough with olive oil and spread it with ricotta cheese. Leave about a 2 inch border around the edges so you can fold the dough over later.
Then add some slivered garlic to the cheese and top everything with tomatoes!
Carefully fold the dough edges over the top and sprinkle it with a little salt and black pepper.
This guy is ready for the oven!
Bake the tart at 400 degrees F. for about 50 minutes. Rotate it once halfway through to make sure it’s cooking evenly.
After it comes out of the oven let the tart rest for about 10 minutes. It’s really important that the filling has a chance to set up a bit after it comes out of the oven so don’t just cut into it!
Garnish the finished heirloom tomato tart with a big handful of fresh chives and you’re ready to eat!
You could also garnish this tomato tart with any fresh herb like fresh basil, fresh parsley, or fresh oregano. You could also add some freshly grated parmesan cheese to the tart!
What to serve with this tomato tart
This tomato tart makes for a really wonderful weekend lunch or I’ve been known to even sneak a slice for breakfast.
Leftover Tart and reheating
This tart will keep well in the fridge for a few days. The crust will start to get soggy though so the best way to to reheat it is in the oven for a few minutes at 350˚F so the crust gets some crunch back to it.
If you try to reheat this tart in the microwave you will end up with a big soggy mess on your hands so please don’t do that.
Heirloom Tomato Tart
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teas salt
- 1/2 cup butter, unsalted
- 1/4 cup ice water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pound heirloom tomatoes, sliced thin
- 1 pound whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 clove garlic, sliced thin
- Fresh chives, garnish
- Salt and Pepper
- For tart dough, stir together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cube cold unsalted Butter and cut into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or your clean hands. Mix until the butter is in pea-sized chunks. Then add water by the tablespoon until the dough is shaggy and just barely sticks together.
- Scoop dough out onto a clean surface and fold it over itself a few times until it forms a loose ball. If dough is very dry, add more ice water by the tablespoon until it forms a loose ball. Tightly wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or you can make the dough up to a day in advance.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice tomatoes into 1/2-inch slices and place them in a colander. Season with a sprinkle of kosher salt and let drain for 10 minutes.
- Remove dough from fridge and roll out into about a 14-inch round. It doesn’t have to be exact. Transfer dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle dough with olive oil.
- Spread ricotta cheese over dough. Leave about two inches of room around the outside so you can fold the dough over. Dot cheese with thinly sliced garlic and top the whole thing with sliced and salted tomatoes. The tomatoes should overlap heavily, but be in a single layer.
- Sprinkle tart with salt and pepper and bake for 50 minutes at 400 degrees F. Rotate tart once halfway through to ensure even cooking.
- Remove tart and let rest for 10 minutes. Then garnish with fresh chives, slice, and serve.