It's in full force up here in the midwest, which means BLT's, caprese salad, and ALL THE bruschetta.
I'm convinced there's nothing better than homemade bruschetta at the height of tomato season: garlic, basil, tomatoes, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar piled high on crusty, fresh bread. It's the best of summer all in one bite.
My one beef with bruschetta is how hard it is to eat. If ever you've tried to eat bruschetta at a party, I'm sure you can relate. Carrying on a conversation while taking a bite of something that is dropping tomato bombs all over your fancy clothes, thinking to yourself, "just act casual and AVOID EYE CONTACT" is probably nobody's favorite thing.
Not that it would stop anyone from eating delicious bruschetta.
My humble solution to this problem is this Bruschetta Tart. It's all the best bruschetta elements, with none of the eating embarrassment.
The tomatoes are "glued" to the crust with an herbed ricotta, and although they're baked, they still have that fresh-and-bursting quality that makes good tomatoes so stinkin' good.
I like to use a variety of tomatoes because they're just so pretty! Feel free to use whatever is available or looks good to you. Grape/cherry tomatoes get halved, larger tomatoes are sliced into 1/2 inch slices. The one trick I'd recommend with the tomatoes is to drain off excess liquid. This prevents any sogginess. To do this, place the sliced tomatoes in a colander (in your sink!) and sprinkle with a little salt. Drain for at least 10 minutes, tossing or adding more salt as necessary.
You can bake this tart well before you plan on serving it - it is perfect at room temperature. Before serving, pour the garlic oil all over the tart and sprinkle with the fresh basil.
Go forth and get your bruschetta fill with less uncomfortable moments.
An easy, make-ahead appetizer or light dinner that's perfect for the late summer tomato season
- 1 pound fresh tomatoes, halved if small, or sliced 1/2 inch thick if large
- 1 recipe pie crust
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- Pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Pinch of salt
- 8-10 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place sliced tomatoes in a colander with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside and allow to drain.
- Roll out pie dough to a 1/4” thick round. Transfer to baking sheet.
- Mix together the ricotta, oregano, parsley, garlic powder, basil, and pinch of salt. Spread mixture on pie crust, leaving about 1 inch uncovered around the diameter. Top tart with the drained tomatoes. Fold over excess crust to form a rim. Bake 22-25 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Remove and set aside to cool.
- In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and continue heating until garlic begins to brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to bowl. Add balsamic vinegar and salt. Stir to combine.
- When ready to serve, pour the oil mixture over the tart. Top with fresh basil.