Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Fresh Herb and Tomato Tart #recipe @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE: So just yesterday here in the Kitchen, we were talking about beating the heat with summer cooking. And just last week, when Krista posted a puff pastry gallette, we confirmed that using frozen puff pastry is not cheating. Well, okay, I decreed that, but I’m right, so it’s now settled law. :)

This tart recipe does require turning on the oven, but not for long, and it won’t heat up your kitchen too much. Everything else is fresh—no cooking required!

We were proud that the tomatoes and herbs all came from our garden. I didn’t plant onions this year, and ricotta just doesn’t grow well in my garden, darn it. You could use basil, or almost any herb, if you don’t have mint. (If you have mint, you’re desperately trying to find ways to use it.)

Last week, we attended the grand opening of the World Spice Merchants Outpost---their new shipping and blending facility—about 25 miles away. (The flagship remains firmly entrenched in Seattle’s Pike Place Market.) Our friend the owner gave us a tour and surprised Mr. Right by saying pepper is the world’s most popular spice. (You and I knew that, of course.) I’m guessing she doesn’t include salt, since it’s a mineral, not a spice. Now every time we cook, when he picks up the pepper, he says “the world’s most popular spice.”

This tart is fun and easy, and can easily be made with other ingredients—maybe halved Kalamata olives or chopped marinated artichokes (skip the oil drizzle for that one). For dinner or a Sunday lunch, serve with a green salad and a crisp white wine or a light red. It could also be cut into smaller pieces as an appetizer.

Fresh Herb and Tomato Tart

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (see note below)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup ricotta
Kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 pound small tomatoes (various colors and sizes), sliced or halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup small fresh mint leaves
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

Place frozen puff pastry on a sheet of parchment paper, unfolding it gently as it thaws. When thoroughly thawed (20-30 minutes), heat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll the pastry to smooth the fold lines, so it’s about 1/2 inch bigger on all sides. Slide pastry and parchment onto a baking sheet. With a paring knife, score a 1/2-inch border all the way around the pastry. Lightly brush the border with the egg. With a fork, poke holes all over the middle of pastry. Bake until lightly browned, 18-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine ricotta and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the lemon zest, 2 teaspoons of juice, onions, and parsley. Combine. When pastry is baked, spread the ricotta mixture onto the mid section with a knife or small spatula.

Lay the tomatoes on the mid section, placing some cut-side up and some cut-side down, arranging the colors, halves, and slices in a way that makes you smile. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with mint, flake sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.

Cut in sixths and serve. Enjoy!

"Budewitz's finely drawn characters, sharp ear for dialogue, and well-paced puzzle make Jewel Bay a destination for every cozy fan." --- Kirkus Reviews

From the cover of AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #5 (Midnight Ink, June 2018, available in trade paper, e-book, and audio):  

In Jewel Bay---Montana's Christmas Village---all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily’s turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.

When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. A past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. What a good recipe! I love not using the oven too much in summer! Love your books!

    1. Thanks, Deb! By the way, the pics are making me laugh -- it isn't necessary to be quite so neat and orderly with the tomatoes!

  2. This sounds wonderful!
    You may be "neat and orderly with the tomatoes", but you didn't follow your own suggestion of having some right side up and some upside down.

    1. No, I didn't! I was afraid they would make the tart too juicy and messy, but realized afterwards that that wouldn't have been a problem, so I added the suggestion of some sliced and some cut side up. Hey, we make the mistakes so you don't have to!

  3. Looks delicious and very do-able!

  4. I don't think using puff pastry is cheating, especially when you can use it to make this yummy looking tart.