Blog Roast Tomato & Ricotta Free-form Phyllo Tart

Roast Tomato & Ricotta Free-form Phyllo Tart

03 November 2017

Roast Tomato & Ricotta Free-form Phyllo Tart

Nothing shouts summer quite like plump ripe tomatoes bursting with juice and the flavours of sunshine. Large or small, postbox-red, orange, yellow or green, tomatoes are a fabulous summer staple not just raw, but cooked. While winter always sees me hankering after rich, soul-pleasing things like curries, stews and of course pies - come warmer weather I want my meals fresh and light.

This fortunately doesn’t mean no pie, it just means a different approach to pie making – like this free-form roast tomato and ricotta pie. Buttery-rich puff pastry makes way for healthier phyllo pastry. High-fat cheese gets nixed in favour of seriously low-cal ricotta, transformed from rather bland into quite fabulous with a generous sprinkling of Cape Herb & Spice Garlic & Herb Shaker Seasoning. And then there’s the pièce de résistance – ripe-red cherry tomatoes popped on top and roasted until they’re caramelised summery perfection.

-WHAT YOU NEED-

Large punnet (400g) of ripe cherry tomatoes

Store-bought phyllo pastry

Olive oil

200g soft fresh ricotta cheese

Cape Herb & Spice Garlic & Herb Shaker Seasoning

Fresh basil

Pine nuts, toasted in a clean pan or the oven until light gold

Edible flowers for garnish (optional)

-HOW ITS DONE-

Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, place in a colander and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Set aside for 30 minutes to drain then give them a good shake to get rid of excess moisture. Cut 6 layers of phyllo pastry to a 20cm x 15cm rectangle. Place a sheet of phyllo on a non-stick baking tray and lightly brush with olive oil before adding the next layer of phyllo. Repeat until you have 6 layers stuck together.

Add a teaspoon of Cape Herb & Spice Garlic & Herb Shaker Seasoning to the ricotta and mix through well with the back of a fork. Dot all over the phyllo rectangle and spread with the back of a spoon so it’s evenly covered, making sure to leave a 2cm clear edge all around.

Pack the ricotta-covered area with tomatoes, ensuring the cut sides face up. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and place in a preheated 200˚C oven for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden and the tomatoes are roasted. Scatter over toasted pine nuts and loads of fresh basil, give it a final dusting of seasoning and serve right away while it’s still warm.

Cook’s tips:

1) To get a slightly elevated border for your free-form pie, simply roll tinfoil into a sausage and place underneath the 2cm clear phyllo edge to prop it up a bit while it bakes. 

2) If the pastry edge is baked to perfection but you would prefer your tomatoes a bit more roasted, simply cover the pastry edge with tinfoil to protect it from browning further and give your tomatoes another 5 minutes.

Quick ideas for your Garlic & Herb Shaker Seasoning:

1) Stir it into cottage cheese or sour cream and use it to top baked jacket potatoes.

2) Make a super-quick garlic butter by mixing it with room temperature unsalted butter.

3) Make an easy vinaigrette by mixing it with two parts olive oil to one part white wine vinegar.

4) Slice day-old baguette or ciabatta, drizzle with olive oil on both sides and rub in some Garlic & Herb Shaker Seasoning, then place under your grill until toasted. Serve your crostini topped with tiny, diced tomatoes and finely shredded basil dressed simply with more extra virgin olive oil.

Recipe concept & photography by Lizet Hartley.

Lizet Hartley is a freelance stills and reel food stylist, food photographer and recipe developer. In her spare time she – rather predictably – cooks. Get more of her recipes on her blog at http://www.melkkos-merlot.co.za