My father sometimes stops by on a summer afternoon with a big box of his colorful garden tomatoes, and often there is an eggplant or two tucked in as well. This tart is a wonderful way to showcase your late summer tomatoes, eggplant and fresh herbs. The Parmesan Herb Crust lends a slightly sharp and salty edge that pairs beautifully with the tomatoes. This tart is great for lunch or a light dinner.
2 1/4 cups Flour
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/2 teaspoon Salt
12 tablespoons Butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 Egg yolk
1 tablespoon Fresh basil, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Fresh oregano, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Fresh thyme, finely chopped
1/4-1/3 cups Ice cold water
4 Strips bacon
1/2 Small eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
Salt and pepper to taste
15 ounces Whole milk ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons Milk
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons Assorted fresh herbs, basil, oregano, thyme, finely chopped
2 Ripe tomatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
Step 1To make the Parmesan Herb Crust Tart Shell: In a food processor, blend together flour, grated cheese and salt. Add butter and pulse until butter pieces are very small. Add egg yolk and herbs and pulse until just combined. Slowly add the water and pulse until the mixture just begins to hold together.\r\n \r\nTurn the mixture out onto a clean counter, knead slightly and form into a disk. Cover completely in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use, at least 30 minutes.
Step 2Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. To pre-bake the tart, remove the dough from the fridge and divide the tart dough in half. Refrigerate or freeze other half for a later use. On a floured counter or board, roll out the tart dough and fit it into the tart pan, folding the edges down so they’re flush with the edge of the pan, making sure the dough is even in thickness.\r\n \r\nReduce the oven heat to 375 degrees. Bake the tart shell until it is lightly browned, about 8 minutes, then remove from heat and cool for about 10 minutes.
Step 3Preheat oven to 400 degrees\r\n \r\nIn a frying pan over medium heat, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to plate and reserve. Pour off most of the bacon grease and then return the pan to medium high heat. Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and pepper and add them to the pan. Brown on both sides and then reserve to a plate.
Step 4In a medium bowl, whisk the ricotta cheese, egg, milk, Parmesan cheese and herbs together until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.\r\n \r\nSpread the ricotta mixture in the bottom of the baked tart shell. Crumble bacon on top of the ricotta filling and then arrange tomatoes and eggplant on top, in overlapping concentric circles- or any other design that strikes your fancy. Be sure to cover most all of the ricotta filling.
Step 5Bake tart approximately 30-35 minutes, or until tomatoes and eggplant are golden and tart is bubbling slightly. Check occasionally, if the crust begins to brown too much, cover the edges with a pie ring or foil while the tart finishes baking.\r\n \r\nRemove from oven and cool slightly before cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature.