What to do with all that awesome homemade ricotta from last week (other than boasting about it incessantly)? Here’s a recipe I dreamed of, and the reason I made the ricotta in the first place — the ricotta’s raison d’etre, if you will.
I’ve been seeing ricotta-squash tart everywhere recently, by which I mean at both Buttermilk Channel and Vinegar Hill House, both in Brooklyn, both homey new American style restaurants with a farmhouse decor. Aww.
And both with food that — while delicious — I felt pretty confident that I could duplicate at home. Well, this isn’t either of their tarts exactly, but it was pretty good nonetheless. What did I learn? I learned that if you make a good enough tart crust, and have good enough ricotta for the filling, and have good quality toppings, you can make just about any kind of savory tart you want.
In retrospect, I wish I had made a custard to mix with the ricotta so that it would have poofed a bit and ended up a little more like a quiche. But, there is a place for this tart, too, showcasing your efforts at making ricotta in their purest, most basic extreme. And the snow-white ricotta is the perfect showcase for vibrant farmers’ market vegetables. So, go to your local farmers’ market, pick out a veggie, oven-dry it a bit (so it doesn’t make the tart all mushy), and go to it. Serve with pesto, or a likeminded delicious sauce.
Savory Ricotta Tart, with Whatever Vegetable You Want
– 1 tart crust (I used the one from the Greens cookbook)
– 1 1/2 cups ricotta (or more)
– vegetable (singular) or vegetables (plural) of your choice, sliced in 1/4-inch thick slices — squash and tomatoes are particularly good here, but you could also use eggplant, peppers, corn, leeks/onions, peas…endless options.
1. Dry out your vegetable: Not all vegetables will need to be dried, but squash and tomatoes definitely do. Peppers and eggplants are questionable. Peas or corn do not need drying. To dry, cut the vegetable in 1/4-inch slices and lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt and roast in a pre-heated 400-degree (or so) oven for 20-30 minutes, checking occasionally.
2. Pre-bake your tart crust: Freeze the assembled tart crust in pan for 20 minutes or so, then bake in a pre-heated 425-degree oven for about 10 minutes, until the crust is beginning to color.
3. Assemble tart and bake: Fill pre-baked crust with ricotta. Top with vegetables. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until ricotta is warmed through. Serve with sauce, and squash blossoms.