Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Toh-mah-toh Toh-may-toh

This afternoon, I tried my hand at baking a savoury tart. Having espied this particular recipe for Ricotta and Tomato Tart from Bill Granger's Sydney Food and being particularly enamoured by the photo of red tomato slices atop the tart, I proceeded to 'finger-tip-rubbed' flour and pieces of chilled unsalted butter until mixture resembled breadcrumbs - the first step towards a 'rough puff pastry' according to Granger's recipe.
Tomato Ricotta Tart
Unfortunately, I didn't end up with puff pastry. As picture indicates, mine turned out more like meltingly buttery shortcrust pastry (still delicious but NOT puff pastry). Looks like I will be embarking on a journey to find that perfect puff pastry recipe.

The filling for this tomato tart is both creamy, savoury and slightly peppery, with the use of ricotta cheese and shredded arugula (rocket leaves). Being a 'meat' person, I included chopped ham into the ricotta/arugula mixture to increase the savoury factor. The addition of the layer of sweet ripe tomatoes baked on top of the filling, provided a dash of sweetness.
Tomato Ricotta Tart Slice

Recipe adapted from Granger's Sydney Food:
  • place sliced tomatoes (sliced from 2 whole tomatoes) in a colander sprinkled with salt and put aside (the excess liquid will drain through)
  • mix 1 cup of ricotta (original recipe calls for 2 cups, but that would probably have been too cheesy for my taste), 2 lightly beaten eggs, 1/4 cup cream, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, pinch of nutmeg, salt and black pepper in a bowl
  • to this mixture, I added a cup of finely shredded arugula leaves and about 3/4 cup of diced honey-baked ham
  • roll out puff pastry to a circle of about 12-inch in diameter and a quarter inch thick
  • place the ricotta mixture in the center of the pastry and spread over the same leaving more than an inch or more in border, fold in border of pastry onto the filling to recreate a 'wall enclosure'
  • arrange tomato slices on top of filling
  • brush pastry with beaten egg yolk (to produce that lovely yellow baked-in color)
  • bake in preheated oven at 200C for 35 to 40 minutes until golden
  • finally, sprinkle with chopped parsley and ground black pepper just before serving
I love the way this particular tart photographs, it looks absolutely inviting with its splashes of red (from the tomatoes) and golden yellow (from the pastry) and hints of green (from the parsley), all of which are great food colors (in fact the majority of food items fall into at least one of these three colors).

Addendum: Notwithstanding the great looker that this tart is, hubby is still not convinced that ricotta cheese is edible cheese (which in his books, comprises only Kraft's processed cheddar slices). Very, very sad!


Blogger Clare Eats said...

Oh that is sad!
I think you need to start slowly at the bottom of the cheese food chain and take him slowly up.

Do you have the sliced cheddar in a packet at the supermarket? I think they are next up?

That is a beautiful tart, and I agree about it being the perfect food colours! YUM!

11/02/2005 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

Yes, we have slabs of cheddar (not Kraft's) but not sliced and individually wrapped per slice (like in Kraft's) - will slowly try to 'wean' him off Kraft's! Thanks for the big YUM!

11/02/2005 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger slurp! said...

Great colour combo!!! And it looks so yummyt too!

Perhaps you should start "training" him from slices of mozzarella, tomato, basil leaves interweaving each other :P

11/02/2005 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger boo_licious said...

It is very yum, Cath and yes, you probably need to slowly introduce him to all the cheeses. Luckily bf eats all kinds of cheese or else I will be in trouble also.

11/03/2005 03:14:00 AM  
Blogger J said...

puff or short or otherwise, that looks like a slice of pure heaven!

11/03/2005 04:35:00 AM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

thanks, slurp and boo, for the advice - looks like I've a long road ahead of me!

dear J, coming from you, I can only *blush* :)

11/03/2005 11:18:00 PM  
Anonymous keiko said...

Hi eatzycath, this looks absolutely delicious! (and you must have a really sharp knife to be able to cut tomatoes that thin!)

11/08/2005 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

thanks keiko - you're sharp too, to have noticed that is - tomatoes were cut with my fav Global knife!

11/08/2005 11:15:00 PM  

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