Tomato Tart with Ricotta and Pesto

4.67 from 9 votes
2 hours
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This Tomato Tart with Ricotta and Pesto is a savory and delicious way to enjoy those tantalizing summer tomatoes and fresh basil. Make this elegant recipe the centerpiece at your next brunch or luncheon for a dish that’s sure to impress!

Tomato Tart with Ricotta and Cheese sliced into wedges and garnished with fresh basil leaves.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

This Italian-inspired Tomato Tart with creamy ricotta cheese and basil pesto is perfect for brunch, lunch, or as a light supper with a salad or soup.

Fresh-cut tomatoes decorate the top of this visually stunning tart, making this the perfect recipe to show off the ones you’ve been growing this summer! Slightly sweet notes from the basil and ricotta balance out the savouriness of the Asiago cheese to make this tomato tart truly one-of-a-kind.

The base for this tomato tart recipe is called pâte brisée. It’s a classic French pastry that works wonderfully for sweet and savory tarts, quiches, and pies. This flaky and buttery crust makes it the perfect accompaniment to the creamy ricotta, tomatoes, and pesto.  Pâte brisée can even be pulled together in a food processor, which makes for a simple and mess-free way to create this elegant pastry.

The flavor of homemade pesto is superior to store-bought, and it’s an excellent way to use up your garden-fresh basil for a taste of summer all year long. To make your own, my Pesto Genovese is the classic way to make pesto. Whether using a homemade pesto or one you purchased, this Tomato Tart with Ricotta is guaranteed to showcase the flavors of the season. 

This tomato tart recipe is:

  • Flavorful! Herby pesto brings freshness and flavor to this Tomato Ricotta Tart.
  • Beautiful! It’s the perfect recipe to show off fresh tomatoes this summer!
  • Made healthier with modifications. Cut the carbs by eliminating the crust. Although I prefer to use whole-milk ricotta in this tomato tart for richness, you can substitute a lighter or lower-fat ricotta cheese.
  • Vegetarian!
Tomato Tart with Ricotta and Cheese garnished with fresh basil leaves cut into wedges with pie server picking up a piece.

How to Make Tomato Tart with Ricotta and Pesto:

Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this tomato tart recipe, along with how to prep the ingredients. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • All-Purpose Flour: Use bleached or unbleached all-purpose.  I prefer unbleached all-purpose flour because it doesn’t have trace chemicals or preservatives from the bleaching process.
  • Unsalted Butter: I always use unsalted butter in cooking so I can adjust the salt level in whatever I’m making.
  • Pesto: DeLallo makes a good prepared pesto. It’s what I use in a pinch because it tastes the most like summer-fresh basil pesto. If going the homemade route, try this Pesto Genovese; it’s as classic as it gets!
  • Tomatoes: This recipe is ideal for showcasing your homegrown summer tomatoes. Use large, round tomatoes, but Romas or plum tomatoes will also work. However, you’ll need more of them. If you’re making this tart with tomatoes that are not in season, opt for Romas or plums. They tend to have better flavor in the off-season. The tomatoes must be “drained” for this tart recipe to remove excess moisture so it isn’t watery. For more information, see Step-By-Step Instructions.
  • Ricotta Cheese: Use the highest quality ricotta cheese you can find or make your own.
  • Asiago Cheese: This recipe calls for freshly grated Asiago cheese which is slightly more buttery, creamy, and nutty than Parmesan. You can substitute the Asiago with Parmesan or Romano (or a combination of the two).

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Gather and prep all the ingredients.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Combine the flour, butter, sugar, and salt in a food processor.
  • Pulse to combine until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  • Add the ice water to the flour mixture by tablespoon, pulsing after each addition. After 4 tablespoons, test the mixture to see if it comes together in your hand. If not, add 1 to 2 teaspoons more water.
Butter cubes, flour, salt and pepper in bowl of food processor with ice water added demonstrating how it holds together.
  • Empty the crust mixture into an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
  • Pull the dough together to form a ball, then press it back into the tart pan and up the sides.
  • Dock the crust with a fork, then place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  • Place the crust on a baking sheet.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper over the crust.
  • Fill with pie weights, dried beans, lentils, or rice.
  • Bake the crust for 18 to 22 minutes or until light gold in color. Let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
  • Drain the tomatoes while the crust is chilling and then baking and cooling.
  • Generously salt both sides of the tomato slices and place them on paper towels or a clean kitchen towel in a single layer.
  • After 20 minutes, flip the tomatoes onto a dry area of the towel(s) and drain again. Pat dry.
Sliced tomatoes draining on paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  • Whisk together ricotta, Asiago, Parmesan or Romano cheese, eggs, garlic and salt and black pepper. Pour this mixture into the prepared crust.
Ricotta custard in glass bowl.
  • Spread pesto over the crust.
  • Carefully spread the cheese and egg combination over the pesto.
  • Arrange the tomatoes over the top of the cheese and egg combination in a pinwheel fashion (or get creative!).
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until ricotta custard is set and tomatoes appear “dry.” (They won’t be.)
Whole Tomato Tart with Ricotta and Cheese on cooling rack garnished with fresh basil leaves.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature with additional pesto. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
Tomato Tart with Ricotta and Cheese sliced into wedges and garnished with fresh basil leaves.

Chef Tips and Tricks:

  • When pressing the dough into the tart pan, use the heel of your hand as much as possible. The heel of your hand is actually cooler than your fingertips.
  • When working with the pâte brisée, handle it as little as possible and keep it cold. A dough that is handled too much will become tough, and dough that gets warm will not be as flaky because the butter melts inside the dough.
  • Use a tart pan with a removable bottom. This allows you to easily remove the tart from the pan since this isn’t a tart you want to be tilting or flipping to remove. A tart pan also has the appropriate shallow depth for this tomato tart recipe’s cooking times.
Tomato Tart with Ricotta and Cheese garnished with fresh basil leaves cut into wedges with pie server picking up a piece.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is blind baking?

Blind baking is baking a tart or pie crust before filling it to prevent it from becoming soggy. Before blind baking, the pie crust is lined with parchment paper first, then filled with pie weights, uncooked beans, rice, or, as shown here, with lentils, and then baked. This prevents the crust from puffing up while it bakes and holds the crust in place up the sides of the pan so that the crust doesn’t shrink down. Parchment paper also helps prevent too much browning on the surface of the crust since the crust with the filling will be baked again.

Do I have to use a food processor to make the crust?

A food processor makes the pâte brisée come together quickly and with little mess. However, it is possible to make it by hand. If making the crust by hand, combine the butter and flour with a pastry cutter. The main thing is to keep the dough cool to ensure flakiness; mixing it too much with your hands could warm it up.

Why do I have to drain the tomatoes?

Draining the tomatoes removes some of their water so that it doesn’t end up in your tart. Excess moisture in the tomatoes will affect the flavor and consistency of the tart filling.

Tomato Tart with Ricotta and Cheese garnished with fresh basil leaves cut into wedges with pie server picking up a piece.

Storage:

  • Store any leftovers in the refrigerator and consume within five days.
  • Reheat individual wedges in the oven or toaster oven at 350 degrees until heated through.
  • This tomato tart can also be frozen. Wrap securely and freeze for up to two months. Thaw in the refrigerator.

Serve with:

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Tomato Tart with Ricotta and Cheese sliced into wedges and garnished with fresh basil leaves.

Tomato Tart with Ricotta and Pesto

4.67 from 9 votes

Click to Rate!

By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
This Tomato Tart with Ricotta and Pesto is a savory and delicious way to enjoy those tantalizing summer tomatoes and fresh basil. Make this elegant recipe the centerpiece at your next brunch or luncheon for a dish that’s sure to impress!
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Quiches and Tarts
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8
Calories 438 kcal

Ingredients
  

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter - 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-5 tablespoons ice water - as needed

Tart

  • 1 cup prepared basil pesto
  • 2 large tomatoes - sliced
  • Salt
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese - use the best ricotta you can find
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese - Parmesan or Romano cheese (or a combination)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

Crust

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Combine flour, butter, sugar and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  • Add the ice water to the flour mixture by tablespoon, pulsing after each addition. After 4 tablespoons, test the mixture to see if it comes together in your hand. If not, add 1 to 2 teaspoons more water.
  • Empty the crust mixture into an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Pull the dough together to form a ball, then press it back into the tart pan and up the sides.
  • Dock the crust with a fork. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  • Place on a baking sheet then place a piece of parchment paper over the crust, fill with pie weights, old dried beans, lentils or rice.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes or until light gold in color. Let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Tart

  • Drain the tomatoes while the crust is chilling and then baking and cooling. Salt both sides, then place on paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. After 20 minutes, flip the tomatoes onto a dry area of the towel(s) and drain again. Pat dry.
  • Whisk together ricotta, Asiago (or Parmesan or Romano cheese), eggs, garlic and salt and black pepper.
  • Spread pesto over the crust.
  • Carefully spread the cheese and egg combination over the pesto.
  • Arrange the tomatoes over the top of the cheese and egg combination in a pinwheel fashion (or get creative!).
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until ricotta custard is set and tomatoes appear "dry." (They won't be.)
  • Serve warm or at room temperature with additional pesto. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Notes

A prepared, purchased pie crust will be too small because they’re meant for a 9-inch pie/tart pan.  This recipe can be adapted to a 9-inch pie/tart pan.
TO REHEAT:  Reheat individual wedges in the oven or toaster oven at 350 degrees until heated through.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Wrap securely and freeze for up to two months. Thaw in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 438kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 695mg | Potassium: 197mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1696IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 210mg | Iron: 2mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    What a great recipe!! I especially love your helpful tips and tricks because tomato tart can be tricky. So thanks for taking the time to explain in everyday words. Love the step-by-step photos too! Love that about all of your recipes. Thanks for doing all you do!!

  2. I love making pies, tarts, galettes, crostate, both sweet and savory, but I can understand the time and mess factor involved in working in somebody else’s kitchen 😉 . This tomato tart looks beautiful and delicious! Love the addition of the basil pesto. Tomato tart and homemade pesto, two all time favorites of our kitchen.