because what is life without good food?

Tomato Eggplant Ricotta Tart

Tomato Eggplant Ricotta Tart

I dreamed of this tart for days but I was too busy to make it … I could picture it in my mind: a lovely summer tart filled with garlic and herb-infused Ricotta and Asiago cheeses, topped with rows of beautifully overlapping garden fresh tomato and tender little purple eggplant slices. Finally I could not stand it any longer. I had to make it. It was nearing twilight, so I rushed to finish it in time to have enough light to photograph it. I was using these lovely little purple eggplant from mom’s garden and some of those little tomatoes that pretty perfectly matched the diameter of the eggplant.

Purple eggplant for the Tomato Eggplant Ricotta Tart

It turned out beautiful …  but the cornmeal crust I had thought would be so good was just awful (re-confirming my irrational fear of pie crust). It looked perfectly lovely … I tried eating it, but ended up eating the topping and leaving the crust … I stuck the tart in the fridge overnight while I considered what to do … the next night I went and bought some puff pastry at the store, scraped the topping off the old crust, roasted some more eggplant and re-made the tart, again rushing to beat the impending darkness. This time, it turned out MUCH better, taste-wise, but not quite as pretty. I had used up all the tomatoes that matched the size of the eggplant so I couldn’t get that perfect layered effect. I used one of the darker Japanese eggplant in hopes that it would match the size of the larger tomatoes, but it didn’t at all. And this tart was square, not round. I don’t think I allowed the puff pastry enough time to thaw because the crust really wasn’t as puffy as it should have been. But despite all that, it tasted oh so wonderful. Almost as good as my dream tart.

Tomato Eggplant Ricotta Tart

Tomato Eggplant Ricotta Tart

Crust:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (or a pie crust would work if you are not afraid of such things like me)

Topping:

  • About 2 small, tender eggplant
  • Several small tomatoes (with a diameter that roughly matches the eggplant)

Filling:

  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese + a few extra tablespoons for the top
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Several sprigs of fresh tarragon and basil, chopped

Directions:

  1. Thaw your puff pastry or prepare the pie crust.
  2. Slice the eggplant thinly (about 1/8 inch thick) and place on a baking sheet, spray with cooking spray and dust with Red Robin Seasoning or your favorite seasoned salt. Bake eggplant at 350 for about 10 minutes or until the eggplant slices are tender. (These little tender eggplant don’t require any peeling or salting.)
  3. While the eggplant is cooking, slice the tomatoes thinly and set them aside.
  4. Mix the ricotta, asiago, garlic and about half of the chopped herbs.
  5. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and lay out the puff pastry (or place the pie crust in your tart pan). Spread the ricotta filling almost to the edge of the crust, then arrange alternating layers of the eggplant and tomato slices on top. If you are using puff pastry, roll up the edge of the pastry just a bit and pinch the corners. Sprinkle with a little asiago cheese and bake at 400 for 20 minutes or so or until the pastry has browned on the edges and the cheese is all melted.
  6. Sprinkle with the rest of the fresh herbs. Slice and serve immediately.

Tomato Eggplant Ricotta Tart

This recipe was shared with Weekend PotluckScrumptious Sunday, Manic MondayTotally Tasty Tuesday, and Cast Party Wednesday.

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9 responses

  1. Oh YES PLEASE! This looks right up my alley :)

    August 26, 2012 at 10:38 am

    • Ann

      This really does sound like a Lauren thing. You gotta make it! It’s so simple and yummy :)

      August 26, 2012 at 10:39 am

  2. This looks gorgeous and delicious! Similar ingredients to my upcoming pasta post. Your mother’s eggplants are stunning, the one at the top of the pic looks like a baby bird!

    August 26, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    • Ann

      I thought it looked like a sleeping animal, but I hadn’t figured out what … you’re right! It does look like a bird! Can’t wait to see your pasta post :)

      August 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm

  3. I guess that is what our TEST kitchens are all about. Testing and trying new things and making adjustments. This tart looks so beautiful and I think the phyllo idea is a good one.

    August 26, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    • Ann

      Yes, you’re right! The phyllo makes it super-fast and easy too …

      August 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm

  4. Lovely. Can’t wait to try this one. I’m pinning the recipe.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm

  5. Ann your food always looks soooo good!! I wish I could find the little eggplants here :( Thanks for sharing this on Manic Monday!!

    September 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    • Ann

      You can always make it with bigger eggplants! You might have to peel them, but just use the same size tomato slices and you’re set :)

      September 3, 2012 at 9:58 pm

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