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Dorothy Dean presents: Heirloom tomato and ricotta tart is perfect for summertime

UPDATED: Tue., Aug. 18, 2020

By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

The bounties of the season are best enjoyed fresh. Featuring them in recipes that are simple, yet vibrant and light, are perfect for summertime dining and entertaining.

With minimal ingredients, fresh herbs and pops of brightness, this heirloom tomato and ricotta tart is just that. It’s as stunning as it is delicious and couldn’t be easier to make.

Using my favorite store-bought dough, the puff pastry creates a flaky and golden base for the tart. A creamy ricotta mixture made with basil, parsley, lemon juice and zest is then slathered on the baked crust and topped with colorful slices of heirloom tomatoes.

More fresh herbs are added, then it’s finished with a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

You also can add the ricotta and toppings before baking the dough and bake it all together. I personally prefer it unbaked. It’s great as an appetizer or paired with a salad for a light dinner.

An assortment of shapes and sizes of heirloom tomatoes makes for a showstopper of a tart; however, regular tomatoes are fine to use, too.

And try it with additional toppings including feta, bacon, arugula, balsamic vinegar, spinach, prosciutto or mushrooms.

Heirloom Tomato and Ricotta Tart

Adapted from goodhousekeeping.com.

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from 17.3-ounce package), thawed

1 large egg, beaten

1 cup ricotta cheese

Pinch of salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped (plus more whole leaves for garnish)

1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (plus more whole leaves for garnish)

1 pound heirloom tomatoes (various colors and sizes), sliced or halved

Olive oil

Flaky sea salt or kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Unfold the puff pastry onto a piece of parchment paper and roll ½-inch bigger on all sides.

Slide the parchment (and pastry) onto a baking sheet.

With a knife, score a ½-inch border all the way around the pastry. Using a fork, poke all over the middle. Lightly brush the border with a beaten egg, and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, pinch of salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in the lemon zest and juice, then fold in the chopped basil and parsley. Spread the mixture onto the middle of the cooled pastry.

Arrange the basil and parsley leaves, along with the tomatoes, on the tart. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

Audrey Alfaro can be reached at spoonandswallow@yahoo.com.

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