I had the most relaxing, rejuvenating weekend. And it was in Vegas of all places!
My Vegas trips aren’t like most people’s Vegas trips. I usually only go in June, unless for some reason my work flies me out, and it’s only because my fiance is busy working there the entire month.
He doesn’t even stay on the strip, it’s in North Las Vegas, at a more low-key, family friendly spot. And while there’s no fountains synchronized to music or Eiffel Towers, it has everything I need for a weekend visit.
My days consisted of lounging at the pool, sipping on coconut-y drinks, ordering room service and dozing till well past 10 each morning. I even took off Friday just to extend my Mini-Vegas-Cation.
So I could think of no better thing to post after my summer-fun trip than this seasonal heirloom tomato tart.
I have been totally binging on heirloom tomatoes this year. I keep buying the little heirloom cherry tomato pints and snacking on them all week long. I cut them in half during the week, sometimes with an avocado and add a little drizzle of olive oil with salt and pepper, and that’s my lunch.
So I jazzed up my weekday lunch with this tart, that starts with a flakey crust, which is filled with a creamy ricotta and Parmesan cheese mixture, and is topped to the brim with sliced heirloom tomatoes. I used the large heirloom tomatoes for the tart and filled in some of the small spaces with cherry tomatoes. The finish, a few beautifully placed basil leaves adorn the top.
I could think of a no better thing to serve at a weekend brunch or family breakfast, but this could easily act as a BBQ appetizer or compliment a girls day on the patio with a sparkling wine.
Seriously, I am embracing summer with all my heart this year! And if you want to follow all my summery updates, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And I’m always pinning like crazy on Pinterest.
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 20 tablespoons (2½ cups) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½" pieces
- 3-4 tablespoons chilled water, plus more as needed
- 15 ounces (1 container) whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese + more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
- 1½ pounds heirloom tomatoes, sliced about ¼" thick
- 4-8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- small basil leaves for finishing
- salt and pepper, to taste
- To make the dough, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and salt and pulse 2-3 times.
- Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, pulsing 3-4 times after each addition. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If needed, add more water one teaspoon at a time.
- Turn the dough onto a work surface and shape into a 5" disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 60 minutes or up to overnight.
- Position rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to ⅛" thick to fit 101/4" round tart pan
- Press the dough into the pan and trim, leaving ½" overhand around the rim.
- Fold in the excess dough and press into the sides so that they are thicker than the bottom. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
- Place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Place parchment on top of the dough and fill the pan with pie weights. Bake for 12 minutes and remove from the oven. Allow to cool completely.
- While the pie crust is baking, combine ricotta, Parmesan and chopped basil and mix well.
- Using a small offset spatula, spread the cheese mixture into the cooled tart shell.
- Top with the tomato slices and fill in any gaps with the cherry tomatoes.
- Drizzle with olive oil and return to the oven.
- Bake 15-20 minutes or until tomatoes start to soften.
- In the last few minutes, sprinkle with some additional Parmesan cheese. If the top is not beginning to brown, you can out it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, but check every 30-45 seconds so it does not burn.
- Remove from oven, top with basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
- Allow to cool about 5 minutes, and then slice and serve.