Tomato Zucchini And Ricotta Tartlet

This recipe comes from "Cooking For Two" ~ from Cook's Illustrated, one of my FAVORITE cooking magazines... I never miss an issue! There is something quite charming about individual sized food and this mouthwatering dish makes 2 scrumptious tarts.

9 cherry tomatoes (I'll use grape and pear tomatoes)

salt and pepper

1/2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and and sliced 1/8 inch thick

2 TBS olive oil

1 garlic clove, pressed or finely minced

2 oz. whole milk ricotta

2 TBS mozzarella cheese

1 recipe All Butter Tart shells, recipe follows

1 TBS basil chiffonades

Adjust rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

Slice 7 tomatoes into 1/8 inch thick rounds, about 5 rounds per tomato. Quarter the final 2 tomatoes.

Toss tomatoes with 1/4 tsp salt and spread out on a double thickness of paper towels. Toss zucchini with 1/4 tps salt and spread zucchini out on a double thickness paper towel. Let veggies drain for 30 minutes. Gently blot veggies dry with a paper towel.

Meanwhile combine 1 TBS oil and garlic in a small bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix 1 TBS olive oil, ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spread ricotta mixture evenly in tartlet shells. Layer tomato and zucchini in a shingle circular pattern around the tartlet's outside edge.  Place quartered tomato in the center of the tartlet. Drizzle garlic and oil over the vegetables.

Bake tartlets on a rimmed baking sheet until cheese is bubbling and vegetables are slightly wilted, about 20-25 minutes. Let tartlets cool on baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Remove metal ring on each tartlet pan and remove the tartlet pan bottom from the tartlet.  Sprinkle with basil and enjoy!

Recipe: All Butter Tart Shells

cooking spray

1/2 cup + 2 TBS flour

1 1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

4 TBS unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces and chilled again

2 TBS ice water

Spray 2 tartlet pans with cooking spray.

In a bowl, mix flour, sugar and salt.  Add butter and cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry cutter until it resembles course meal.

Add 1 TBS ice water and using hands gently incorporate. Add the last 1 TBS of ice water and incorporate with your hands. Do not overwork dough.

Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Tear a walnut size clump from the dough and press into the tartlet pans. Smooth out any bumps and uneven areas by placing plastic wrap over the dough and using your hands to smooth it out.  Put tartlets on a large dish and freeze for 30 minutes (or up to 1 day).

Preheat oven to 350  degrees.  Gently press heavy duty aluminum foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray against the dough and over the edge of the tartlet pan.  Fill with pie weights ( I use dry beans and keep a jar just for blind baking pastry shells). Put tartlets on a large baking sheet.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until the edges of the tartlet just begins to turn brown. The dough might still be a little wet. Remove weights and foil and continue to bake until golden, about 5-10 minutes.  Let the tartlets cool on a wire rack.