It’s tomato season here again—and you know that means that I’ve got heirloom tomato rainbows coming out my ears and am looking for alllllll sorts of ways to enjoy them. I’ve been making tomato sauce, ketchup, salsa, tomato paste, tomato chips…well, you get the idea. So when my friend Sasha of Tending the Table came over the other day for a fun collaborative afternoon of cooking + shooting together, I DEFINITELY knew what main ingredient we could use.
We decided to make a savory heirloom tomato tart with a balsamic caramelized onion and ricotta filling and some fresh basil leaves on top. Sasha had recently made some CRAZY tasty cashew ricotta, which you can find the recipe for in her post here, or you can feel free to use normal dairy-based ricotta, too, if that’s more your jam. I caramezlied some onions and stirred them up with some of my special balsamic vinegar that I’d brought back with me from Italy, and then we mixed the balsamic caramelized onion mixture into the ricotta for an extra-tasty filling.
Sasha made a ghee crust and we spread the ricotta inside, then topped it with thin slices of the beautiful rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, coming in all shapes and sizes from the garden. The tart then got popped in the oven, cooked until the tomatoes were just wrinkly enough to concentrate down their flavor but not loose all their juices, and then we took it out, garnished it with fresh basil and flake sea salt, and dove in. It is hands-down the best tomato tart I’ve ever had, and it was so simple and easy to make, too. I’m sure you guys will love it as much as I did! Hope you’re all having a wonderful summer and enjoying this last bit of sun before the fall.
Heirloom Tomato Tart
This simple and summery heirloom tomato tart combines the sweet tannic flavors of roasted fresh tomatoes, the brightness of fresh basil, the creaminess of ricotta, and the tangy sweetness of balsamic caramelized onions.
Heirloom Tomato, Balsamic Caramelized Onion, & Ricotta Filling
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon quality balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/3 cup ricotta or cashew ricotta (click for cashew ricotta recipe)
- 1 teaspoon flake kosher sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 egg whisked
- 3/4 pound to 1 pound heirloom tomatoes thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon zaatar seasoning
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
- 2 cups sifted spelt flour
- 1/2 teaspoon flake kosher sea salt
- 2/3 cup ghee cold
- 1/2 cup ice water
Heat 1 tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and stir to coat in the oil. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking until the onions have softened and turn light gold in color, about 35 to 45 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the balsamic, and set aside to cool slightly.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg, salt, garlic powder, and caramelized onion mixture. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
For the crust, mix together the flour and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Cut the ghee into pea-sized pieces over the bowl, stirring every few minute to incorporate and coat the ghee pieces with the flour. Add the ice water in 4 increments, stirring after each addition. Pinch the dough to mix until it holds together when you squeeze it in your hand. Cover the dough and place it in the freezer for 15 minutes. Roll out the dough and transfer it to a 9-inch tart pan, pressing it into the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim the edges and discard the excess.
Pour the ricotta mixture into the pan, leaving about 1/4 inch of space between the top of the crust and the top of the ricotta mixture. Add the heirloom tomato slices to cover the top of the filling, then brush the exposed slices with the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with the zaatar seasoning, place the tart pan on a baking sheet, and place the baking sheet in the oven (that way any melted ghee or tomato juice that might drip out of the pan won't start burning the bottom of your oven). Bake until the crust is completely cooked, and the tomato slices on top have wrinkled slightly, about 45 to 50 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Garnish with the fresh basil and a pinch of flake sea salt and serve.