With a super simple, press-in crust, a ricotta parmesan filling and a juicy tomato basil topping, this French Tomato Ricotta Tart will have everyone begging for more!
In the words of David Lebovitz, the popular Parisian food blogger, "In France, tarts are not considered “special occasion” fare, and if you’re invited to someone’s house for a meal, even the most inept home cook will make a quiche or tarte salée, which will surprise you when they present a stunning tart à table, looking just about as good as anything whipped up from the local bakery". This French Tomato Basil Ricotta Tart is a perfect example!
Of course in France, tarts generally have a pâte sucrée (a sweet dough crust) , a pâte sablée (sweet shortbread crust) or a pâte brisée (a classic French pastry dough used for both sweet and savory tart crusts). All of these doughs mentioned need to be chilled, rolled out and carefully fitted into the pan.
For our French Tomato Basil Ricotta Tart, we employ our Ridiculously Easy Press-In Tart Crust recipe. The results are a crisp, buttery tart crust with WAY less work.
I love that the tart shell (crust) can be made a day or two in advance. You can even make the crust, partially bake it, then pop it in the freezer for an easy meal on busy days. Just pull the tart shell out in the morning then fill and bake just in time for dinner.
The filling and topping for this French Tomato Basil Ricotta Tart come together quickly. The ingredient list for the filling is short; ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, eggs and salt. But, in this recipe, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts as the ingredients blend to create a creamy delicious filling.
The beautiful, roasted tomato basil topping is definitely the crowning glory.
One French cookbook I read said that this French Tomato Basil Ricotta Tart was Provence's answer to Pizza Margharita. One bite and you'll understand why!
Do you have to roast the tomatoes in advance?
Nope! I prep the tomatoes by sprinkling them with salt and then allow them to sit in a strainer to drain off any excess liquid. After that, a simple toss with olive oil and dried herbs is all that's left before scattering the scarlet-hued jewels over the top of the tart. The tomatoes become caramelized and the flavor is intensified as they roast on top of the tart. A sprinkle of fresh basil before serving is the Crème de la crème!
An all-season tart
Although this French Tomato Basil Ricotta Tart can be made all year long, it's a perfect way to use an excess of summer tomatoes. It makes a lovely lunch and a fabulous casual dinner with a simple green salad and a loaf of crusty bread. It's also great as a side for any grilled or roasted entrée and could easily be served for breakfast with some smoky ham or breakfast sausage. Bon Appétit!
Café Tips for making this French Tomato Basil Ricotta Tart
- As mentioned above, the crust can be made early in the day or up to two days in advance. You can also make the crust and freeze it for up to a month before filling and baking. I suggest freezing it in the pan or on a flat plate for stability then wrapping it well with plastic wrap or storing it in a large ziplock bag. Allow the crust to thaw before filling.
- Cherry or grape tomatoes work well for this recipe. I used red tomatoes but a combination of colors would also be pretty.
- This recipe calls for Herbs de Provence which is a dry herb combination with flavors that are typical of the Provence region of southeastern France. Herbs de Provence can be found at most larger grocery stores in the spice section and online. If you don't want to buy Herbs de Provence just for this recipe, you can sub the same amount of Italian seasoning which will also be delicious.
- You'll need a 9 or 10-inch tart pan for this French Tomato Basil Ricotta Tart. If you don't have one of these versatile pans in your kitchen collection, you're going to love all the things you can do with it. It turns out beautiful quiches, tarts, crumbles, pies, etc. And they look so professional... like they came from a fine little French patisserie! You'll wonder how you lived without it!
Thought for the day:
You are a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know Your Name will trust in You,
for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoy this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
- 1 recipe savory shortbread crust (see previous post) baked according to instructions and cooled
- 1 ½ cups cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- ¾ cup grated parmesan
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning
- drained tomatoes from up above
- 2 tablespoons small fresh basil leaves or thinly sliced fresh basil or small basil leaves for topping.
Combine the halved tomatoes and the salt in a medium size sieve set over a bowl. Gently stir the tomatoes to distribute the salt. Allow the tomatoes to drain for 20 minutes (or longer) while you prepare the rest of the tart. Gently shake the strainer half way through the draining time to redistribute the tomatoes.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside
Whisk together the ricotta, parmesan, eggs and kosher salt in a medium size bowl until well combined.
Pour the ricotta mixture into the prepared, cooled tart shell.
Lay out several thicknesses of paper towel on a work surface and pour the drained tomatoes onto the paper towels. Roll the tomatoes in the paper towels and gently pat to remove any excess moisture.
Combine the olive oil, garlic and Herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning in a medium size bowl. Add the drained tomatoes and gently stir to coat.
Arrange to tomatoes on top of the ricotta, some faced up and some down. If the tomato skins are loose, you can pull the off and discard, if desired. Drizzle any remaining oil over the tomatoes.
Place the tart on the prepared sheet pan and baked for 30-40 minutes or until the center of the tart is no longer jiggly when you give the pan a gentle shake.
Let the tart cool in the pan on the sheet pan for 10 minutes then set the tart on a can or bowl that’s smaller than the opening on the bottom of the pan. The outer ring should slide right off. Transfer the tart to a serving plate and enjoy!
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.
If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn’t have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.
*Nutritional information does not include the crust. See that post for its info.