With Christmas all about summer in Australia, it’s a great time to work with in-season produce to create simple but delicious recipes. This Tomato and ‘Ricotta’ tart is a great all-rounder when entertaining vegan guests and offers a hit of extra nutrients with our Essential greens in the pastry (the colour adds some Christmas cheer too). You can use this pastry recipe in a range of dishes so don’t be scared to change up the ingredients to suit what you have in the fridge. Hint: Christmas leftovers can make for delicious tart fillings!
Coconut Oil Pastry:
- 2 cups plain flour
- ½ cup softened Melrose Full Flavoured or Flavour Free Coconut Oil (see tips)
- 1 – 2 tablespoons Melrose Organic Essential Greens.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons ice cold water
Vegan Ricotta Filling:
- Semi firm tofu (Chinese tofu in brine)
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon salt flakes
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon Melrose Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
300g fresh cherry tomatoes, sliced in half or quarters
Handful of Basil leaves
To make the coconut oil pastry, place flour, Melrose Organic Coconut Oil and Melrose Organic Essential Greens into a food processor, add a few teaspoons of iced cold water and salt and pulse until the mixture comes together, add a few more teaspoons of water as needed until a dough has formed. Form a flat disc and wrap in cling wrap and place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to rest.
To make the vegan ricotta, place tofu in food processor or blender, add garlic and onion powders, nutritional yeast, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Remove from food processor and place in a bowl to set aside.
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface until a few mms thick. Cut out rounds slightly larger than the tart shells you are using. Carefully lift pasty using a spatula and place on top of lightly greased tart shell, press pastry gently around the sides and trim the top so the pastry is flush with the side of the tart shell. Place in fridge whilst repeating the process until all your tart shells have been lined with pastry. At this stage you an leave the tarts in the fridge until you are ready to bake and serve.
When ready to cook, preheat fan-forced oven to 170 degrees. Remove tarts from the fridge. Place a round of baking paper in each tart and fill with rice or baking beads and blind bake the tarts in the oven for about 10 minutes, then remove the baking paper and rice / beads and cook for a further 5 minutes until the base is slightly golden. Remove tarts from oven, fill each tart with the vegan ricotta then top with fresh tomatoes cut in half. Drizzle over a little Melrose Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sprinkle with salt before baking. Bake for a further 15 minutes, until the ricotta looks lightly golden and the tomatoes slightly cooked and tart shell dark golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes in the tart shell before removing. Allow to cool, serve warm or at room temperature.
Serving suggestion: This tart works wonderfully with a few dollops of Essential Greens Pesto and some fresh salad leaves drizzled in EVOO.
- It is best to work on a cool surface with cold hands when making and working with pastry. This pastry seems more crumbly to work with than regular butter pastry, but stick with it and use your rolling pin to bring the pastry together even when it looks a little crumbly at first.
- Ensure that the coconut oil is either a semi soft consistency, it should not be liquid, kind of like the consistency between firm or softened butter.
- If using silken tofu add a tablespoon of chickpea flour to the mixture as it will be too watery.