Ricotta, Tomato, and Basil Tart

A regular rotation in my August/tomato menu, this savoury pastry is lovely alongside a simple soup and salad, making for a filling meal with little effort.

tart

Ricotta Tomato and Basil Tart

For the pastry:
1 1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup arrowroot flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup cold water

For the ricotta:
1 (350 g) package firm tofu, squeezed of excess moisture
Juice from half a lemon
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Fine sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

For the topping:
3 to 5 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon agave nectar
Fine sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 handful fresh basil, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and set aside. To begin with the crust, whisk together the sorghum flour, arrowroot flour, quinoa flour, xanthan gum, salt and Italian seasoning. Add the olive oil and stir to blend. Slowly add the cold water, mixing in just enough to create a soft dough.

Transfer dough to a floured work surface and knead about three times for it to come together. Do not overwork the dough — it will become tough. Roll dough into a circle two to three inches larger than your tart pan. Carefully fold the dough over your rolling pin and place it in the centre of your pan then use your fingers to gently press the dough into the crevasses and up the sides of your pan. Trim the edges and patch if necessary. Set aside.

For the filling, place the tofu, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning and garlic in the food processor, and pulse until crumbled. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and adjust seasonings if desired. Spread tofu filling into prepared tart pan, filling it about 2/3 of the way from the top. Depending on the size of your pan, you may have some left over.

Starting from the outer edges, lay the tomatoes on the ricotta filling, overlapping as you work your way around, until the top is covered. Tuck in the red onions randomly. In a small container, mix together the olive oil and agave nectar, and brush tomatoes with the mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the crust is browned and the tomatoes and onions are cooked through. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh basil. Serve at room temperature.

Tomato and Basil Tart with Sunflower Seed Cheese

An easy to put together tart highlighting juicy tomatoes and fresh basil. Feel free to add herbs, garlic, fresh ground pepper, and other ingredients to the basic “cheese” recipe to suit your favourite flavors. The sunflower seed cheese process needs to be started a day ahead with some soaking.

raw tomato sunflower tart

Raw Tomato and Basil Tart with Sunflower Seed Cheese

Almond Crust:
1 1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons water

Sunflower Seed Cheese:
1 cup hulled sunflower seeds, soaked 8 hours
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
6 large basil leaves
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Topping:
Mixture of colourful tomatoes, sliced 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick
Small handful fresh basil, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To make the crust, put the almonds, flaxseed, basil, and salt in a food processor. Process until the almonds are finely ground. Drizzle in the coconut oil. Pulse about 6 times to mix. Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing just until the mixture begins to stick together. Scrape the mixture into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, pressing firmly into the bottom and up the sides. Transfer to the refrigerator.

To make the sunflower seed cheese, drain the sunflower seeds and put them in the food processor with the remaining ingredients, scraping down the sides as necessary (add a few splashed of water, if needed). Test for seasonings, adding additional salt, pepper, or lemon zest if desired. Spread the mixture onto the crust. Top with the tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

raw tomato sunflower tart2

Vegan “Cheesy” Fondue with Roasted Vegetables

Choose any vegetables you love to dip, or use as a cheesy sauce. The cumin and peppers add a slightly Mexican flavour, making it top-notch for nachos, too.

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Vegan Cheesy Fondue with Roasted Vegetables

Vegetables, for roasting
Olive oil, for the vegetables
2 cups water
3/4 cup (36g) nutritional yeast flakes
1/3 cup cooked cannellini beans
1/3 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
4 teaspoons tapioca starch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Fine sea salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Cut the vegetables to a uniform size and toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tender. I recommend cauliflower (about 25 minutes), broccoli (about 20 minutes), and asparagus (about 10 minutes), all perfect for dipping.

Put the water, nutritional yeast, beans, roasted red peppers, tapioca starch, lemon juice, cumin, onion powder, and garlic powder in a blender. Blend until smooth. Sample for salt and pepper, adjusting to taste.

Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan. Cook on medium-high heat, whisking frequently, until thickened, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Serve with vegetables.