Squash And Ricotta Rustic Tart

squash tart

As soon as the weather starts to change into cooler days and nights, I’m in the stores buying squash. Squash of any kind is so versatile and you can create so many healthy and delicious meals with it.

Tarts are the perfect way to showcase winter squash, it can be served as a meatless main dish or a tasty appetizer or side, either way you can’t go wrong!

delicata squash

For this tart I paired creamy ricotta with delicata squash, delicata is easy to work with because the skin is nice and thin and totally edible, but you can certainly make this with butternut squash you just have to peel it first.

The crust is homemade ( which is a breeze to make in the food processor) and has the addition of polenta which gives it the ultimate crunch factor. As much as I like to buy pre-made crusts nothing compares to this one.

Topped with crispy sage and toasted pepitas, this tart screams FALL!

tart dough

I used two delicata squash, sliced them into half inch rounds then scooped out the seeds. Placed them onto a baking sheet and roasted them beforehand.

pre baked tart

Ready for the oven with a quick drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of parmesan before baking.

delicata tart

A crunchy crust with the creamy, cheesy filling of ricotta, topped with the sweet rich flavor of the delicata squash, it’s the ultimate combo!

If you want to try another version, here’s one I did a few years back, using different veggies with the same delicious crust.

squash tart

I hope you make this amazing tart and serve up a slice to your family and friends this fall season.

Squash And Ricotta Rustic Tart
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 delicata squash, cut into ½ inch rings with the seeds scooped out
  • FILLING
  • 1 cup ricotta, drained of moisture
  • 1 finely minced garlic clove
  • 2 eggs, 1 for the filling and 1 to brush on top
  • ½ cup of grated romano or parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • DOUGH
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour (unbleached)
  • ½ cup of instant polenta or fine cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ¼ to ½ cup of ice water
  • fresh sage leaves
  • pepitas (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F
  2. Place rings of delicata onto a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper, roast til lightly golden on each side, then remove and let them cool down.
  3. Prepare the dough in a food processor by pulsing the flour, polenta, salt and pepper together. Add the butter and process until combined. Then while the machine is running add the ice water down the tube a little at a time until the dough starts to come together in a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for ½ hour.
  4. Meanwhile mix up the ricotta in a bowl along with the grated cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and 1 egg.
  5. Remove the dough from the fridge, let it sit at room temp for 15 minutes the on parchment roll it out to about 12 inches in diameter. Take your time rolling then place the whole thing onto a baking sheet.
  6. Spread the ricotta mixture onto the dough leaving a 2 inch border all around. Place your roasted squash on top all around. Fold the edges up and pleat where needed to seal it in good.
  7. Brush the crust with the remaining egg, you won't use it all.
  8. Sprinkle the edge with grated cheese, black pepper .
  9. Drizzle the top with olive oil.
  10. Bake around 35 minutes at 400F or until crust is deep golden and ricotta is set.
  11. To garnish the top, drizzle a bit of olive oil in a small pan and crisp up the sage and toss in pepeitas to get golden and arrange all over the finished tart.
  12. Enjoy!

 

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Summer’s Last Hurrah With Fresh Figs

fig salad

Fresh figs are in peak season right now and if you’re a fig lover it’s time to take advantage of them as summer winds down. I’m sharing my two favorite ways to showcase them in a non-cook way with no recipe needed!

fig and burrata

Find yourself any variety of fresh figs that are available in your area, I used black mission here for this delicious salad of figs, prosciutto and burrata.

Grab a pretty platter and arrange prosciutto slices all around, next take a couple of balls of burrata cheese, gently break it open and dot it all around.

Place sliced figs, longwise on top of the prosciutto and burrata, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze and top with sliced almonds and fresh basil leaves.

A little salt and pepper and that’s it!

 

figs

I promise you that you and your guests will enjoy every last bite!

fig boardfig appetizer

For a fun and very easy appetizer you must make this version of stuffed figs with goat cheese and ribbons of prosciutto. It’s finished off with a sweet honey drizzle and topped with a walnut piece. It’s a dreamy one bite delight!

fig and prosciutto

Cut the figs cross-wise from the top, halfway down the fruit and gently open it up like a blossom. Place some softened goat cheese right into the center, I used a honey goat cheese but you can also use gorgonzola and even ricotta works well, then tuck a piece of torn prosciutto right on top.

Place them onto a platter with some scattered leaves of arugula, top each fig blossom with a walnut piece or any nut of your choice then give a good drizzle of honey all over each fig, oh my this is so good!

fig and honey

Figs are said to be the nectar of the gods, I believe they are, enjoy them while they’re still here!

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Summer Tomato Salad With Whipped Ricotta

whipped ricotta salad

It’s late August and summer tomatoes are in major abundance, all vine ripened and at the height of their flavor. Tomato salads have been a consent in my house, I’m either buying them or having them dropped off at my house by family or friends who have gardens of their own and their crop is overflowing. Believe me I’m not complaining, fall will be here before we know it!

There’s some salads that just stick out in your mind, I’ll be dreaming about this one in the dead of winter. What’s so special about this salad besides the vine ripened juicy heirlooms gracing the top, is that the base of this salad is a layer of whipped ricotta which has a hint of lemon zest and herbs folded into it.

tomatoes and ricotta

On top of the whipped ricotta there’s a salad layer of lemony arugula. One thing is certain, you must have crusty bread when you eat this! I’m telling you it’s a meal in itself!

whipping ricotta

You want to look for a dryer type ricotta, not one that has a lot of moisture, if that’s the only kind you can find then I would drain it for a couple of hours in a strainer.

Less than a minute in a food processor and the ricotta takes on a beautiful smooth consistency with a touch of olive oil drizzled in.

smooth ricotta

Parsley, basil and lemon zest was folded in for additional flavor.

tomatoes and whip ricotta

Slice up some colorful heirlooms and mix them in with other varieties and use the best extra virgin olive oil you have.

summer tomatoes and ricotta

I added some sliced red onion and olives to round it all out, it’s outrageous! Put this on a big platter and watch it disappear .

whipped ricotta

I hope you make this, but don’t forget the crusty bread please!

zucchini and whipped ricotta

If you find yourself with an abundance of zucchini, here’s another use for whipped ricotta, I did a post on this a while ago, zucchini ribbon salad with whipped ricotta.

Summer Tomato Salad With Whipped Ricotta
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • A variety of summer heirloom tomatoes, sliced. Enough to cover the ricotta. A variety of colors makes a nice presentation
  • 2 cups ricotta, on the dryer side, if too wet drain it for a couple of hours
  • Good olive oil for drizzling and to add to the ricotta
  • the juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups arugula, roughly
  • sliced red onion
  • olives for plating
  • parsley and basil a heaping tablespoon each, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a loaf of crusty bread
Instructions
  1. FOR THE WHIPPED RICOTTA
  2. Place ricotta into the bowl of a food processor and add in 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of olive oil, process for 30 seconds, or until smooth.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Scoop out into a bowl and fold in the zest and chopped herbs.
  5. Toss the arugula with lemon juice and olive oil.
  6. Spread whipped ricotta mixture onto a platter, drizzle top with olive oil, then topped with arugula salad, sliced tomatoes, sliced onions.
  7. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt, then a good drizzle of olive oil all over, place olives all around.
  8. Place slices of crusty bread all around the platter.

 

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