Monday, September 13, 2010

Fresh Ricotta, Zucchini and Olive Tart

A few posts ago I made fresh ricotta cheese ravioli - so good! But once I had discovered how easy it was to make fresh ricotta I thought, this would be great on toast, on tarts, in salad, you name it. So here we go.

I had a couple of zucchini to cook up before leaving on a week of vacation - shout out to anyone on Block Island when you're reading this, just got back! Grating the zucchini and salting it to rid it of some of its excess moisture helps keep the tart from getting mushy. I then sprinkled the fresh ricotta and some crumbled blue cheese, and of course my eternal favorite, some black olives. It was great hot, warm and cold!

The fresh ricotta is as simple as combining two ingredients - whole milk and buttermilk - and heating it slowly and gently to create curds which you then skim out of the pot and allow to drain in several layers of fine cheesecloth. And presto! Fresh ricotta!  I followed this recipe at 101 Cookbooks and halved it

You'll want to buy the best milk you can afford, organic, pasture raised and raw if possible, but definitely whole milk. A half gallon of milk made almost 2 cups of ricotta.
Fresh Ricotta, Zucchini and Olive Tart

2 medium zucchinis, grated
2 cups flour
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ice water
1 cup homemade ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons blue cheese, crumbled
10 black olives, chopped

Grate zucchini on large holes and mix in 1 teaspoon of salt in mixing bowl. Allow to rest for 20-30 minutes. Squeeze or press out liquid released by salt and set aside. Make tart dough by cutting butter into flour until it is the consistency of coarse cornmeal; add ice water a teaspoon at a time until it just comes together and form it into a ball. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.Chill in the refrigerator for at leat 15 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and roll out or press flat on a large baking sheet, to about 1/3 inch thickness. Spread grated zucchini evenly on dough, leaving 1 inch border. Sprinkle ricotta and blue cheese evenly across zucchini and top with olives if desired. Salt and pepper tart and crimp edges to ensure ingredients stay on tart. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is browned. Serve hot, warm or chilled.


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Herbed Vinegars at Sidewalk Shoes
Trio of Bruschetta Toppings at Journey of an Italian Cook
BBT Risotto at Kitchen Illiterate


Faith said...

I would love to make fresh ricotta, I bet it's amazing! The tart is gorgeous too!

mangocheeks said...

I've come over via Nic of Nipitinthe Bud blog.

I am liking this tart very much, shame the zucchini aka courgette season has passed as I would have made it. Will have to wait until next year now.