My mum has a friend who seemingly has the garden to end all gardens, because Mum always comes home with 'gifts' from her, like gorgeous little yellow tomatoes. I hadn't planned to make a tart of any description, never mind one that also ostentatiously included zucchini flowers, but when Mum showed them to me, I knew that I had to make something to do them justice, but mainly just to show them off.
The filling mixture borrows heavily from an eggplant involtini recipe that my Mum makes, using dill and basil as the herbs, rather than parsley. I used to be/still am obsessed with the combination of ricotta, parmesan, dill and basil, to the point where tasking me with rolling the involtini was a 'proceed at your own risk' type of affair. The inevitable oversupply of zucchini slices at the end was easily fixed however - I was/am happy to eat them too. And I wonder why my efforts at Pilates never seem to be getting me a summer bod.
Pls note that you don't need fancy tomatoes or even zucchini flowers for this really - they're just the icing on the very herby and entirely savoury cake. You could use anything - I've used some regular ol' cherry tomatoes to illustrate this point.
2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup tapioca flour
5og room temperature butter
2 teaspoons miso paste (I've gotten really into using this as seasoning, but totally not necessary if you don't have it, just add a teaspoon or so of water and then your salt instead)
2 cups (about 300g) ricotta (THE FIRM DELI VARIETY PLS)
6 zucchini flowers (roughly, depends on their size and the aesthetic you're going for ;))
1 bunch of basil
1 bunch of dill
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus a lil extra to sprinkle on top (I tried to underline fresh in addition to putting it in bold and italics but this unnecessarily long note will have to suffice)
1/2 cup mini tomatoes (or 1 cup if you're omitting the zucchini flowers)
1 cup of water or milk (I used water because I ran outta milk and it was perfectly fine)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. I don't even know why it's always 180, but it seems to be the norm so there you go.
2. Add your almond meal, tapioca flour, miso paste and butter to your food processor, and whiz up until a crumble has formed. Add the egg and continue to whiz until the dough forms a bumbly ball, rolling around your processor. Or you know, just until it's all combined.
3. Remove all the dough from the processor and take your (olive oil sprayed) tart tin, gently moulding the dough to the tin. This is one of my most irked jobs in cooking, so my heart goes out to you if you're currently on this step. Once you're finished, poke a bunch of holes in the bottom of the pastry with a fork, and put it in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
4. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta and milk or water, and stir or whisk up until the lumps are mostly gone. Add the eggs, grated parmesan, nutmeg, balsamic vinegar and seasoning and continue to mix well.
5. Chop your herbs reasonably well, and throw them into the mixture. Make sure the mixture is super well combined - it's very heavy on the herbs (I was going to say 'in a good way' but there isn't a bad way to be heavy on herbs rly) and make sure every herb is coated.
6. Pour the mixture into your tart base (which should be cooked and cooled by now) and spread it evenly, making sure all the herbs are under the ricotta mixture, otherwise they gon burn.
7. Top the tart with your tomatoes and zucchini flowers, or your tomatoes, or whatever you fancy really - and sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top. I sprayed my tart with a lil olive oil right before I put it in, unsure if it made any difference.
8. Cook the tart for 30 minutes, leaving it in for an extra 10 if the top appears a little wet or thoroughly unbrowned. I've made this four times now (for half recipe testing/half gluttony purposes) and all of mine took about 40-45 to get a lovely golden top. You can even flip to grill for a bit, but be very mindful.