Wednesday, 18 June 2014

A Small Work of Tart!

Torta Salata di Pomodorini, Menta, Basilico & Ricotta Salata
Cherry Tomato, Mint, Basil & Salted Ricotta Tart

Yes, this is another of those things that I dream-up when I want to clear out my fridge before going away... And I know it is only going to be for 3 days... But still! I wouldn't want anything to go "off" or go to waste! That would be so "not me!", lol!

So, with a roll of puff pastry in the fridge (as is always the case... For "emergencies" like this), some cherry tomatoes, salted ricotta and fresh herbs, I concocted this little beauty in just over half an hour... Pretty good, eh? Yeah... I thought so too! 

This was so perfect, because it was so simple... The flavored work well together, there is nothing that can particularly "go wrong" here... So it was hardly surprising that the result turned out "just right!" ...and how!

15-16 cherry tomatoes, a Spring onion, about 2 tablespoons of grated, salted ricotta cheese, 2 circles of store-bought puff pastry and a good handful each of fresh mint and basil... That is all you will need to make this!

There was no added fat to this other than the pastry itself, the salted ricotta has such a small amount of fat that it doesn't even melt... Something that you will probably know by now is just fine by me as I am not a fan of squidgy, stretchy, melted cheese... This was a nice, flavorful and refreshing dish that was perfect for a Summer evening 

The preparation was nominal... The tomatoes and onion were thinly sliced, the herbs chopped very finely and the ricotta grated and ready to go! Quick and easy!

I tossed the tomatoes together with the onion, with a good sprinkle of black pepper, until they began to change color a little and began to cook-through a little... Just enough that the onion slices were not completely raw and that the tomatoes had begun the cooking process.

I then removed the pan from the heat and added the finely chopped mint and basil.

I stirred everything together and set it to one side to cool, whilst I quickly rinsed out the pan and got it clean and ready for Round 2...

Whilst the tomatoes were cooling off, I cut 2 circles from the puff pastry and lay one out in my frying pan to act as the base of the tart and added a good sprinkle of ricotta.

I then added the now cool tomatoes, making sure to drain off any excess liquid, so that it didn't seep out and ruin the pastry.

Using a sharp knife, I cut a cross into the second circle of dough, which was to serve as the lid of the tart and would allow for any excess moisture to evaporate away and not be trapped.

Set the lid on top and press down, all the way around, using a finger or thumb, to seal the 2 sheets of pastry together.

Start cooking on top of the stove whilst the oven heats up to 250*c and let it begin to "bake" from below for 3-4 minutes before transferring it to the oven to finish baking for a further 10 15 minutes.

And this is what it will look like after around 15 minutes of baking... Pretty easy stuff, what?

The great thing is that this is a nice, tidy and firm pie, perfect to serve with a simple, fresh, green salad and a nice change to those rich eggy and cheesy French tarts... This was just a little bit lighter and still plenty of fun to do!

You know you want a slice of this... Admit it! I know that you do, too! 

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