TART DOUGH :
2 1/2 cups flour (plus additional for dusting work surface)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter (cut into 1/4-inch cubes and chilled, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing tart pan)
3-5 tablespoons ice water
HERBED RICOTTA FILLING :
2 1/2 cups good quality ricotta cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 sprigs thyme (leaves only)
1 sprig oregano (leaves only, chopped)
TOMATO MIXTURE :
1 clove garlic (peeled)
2 Cherokee purple tomatoes (sliced into wedges)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup basil leaves (plus additional to garnish)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
For the Tart Dough: Add the flour and salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the chilled butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture just comes together.
Remove the dough to a piece of plastic wrap, flatten into a disk, wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease eight 4-inch tart pans with 1 tablespoon of butter.
Dust a work surface with flour and place the chilled dough on top. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until 1/4-inch thick. With a pairing knife, cut out eight 5-inch rounds. Lay a round of dough into tart pans and gently press into the pan. Cut any excess dough from the edges of the pan and poke a few holes in the dough using the prongs of a fork. Place a piece of parchment into the tart shells and pour dried beans or pie weights to cover the bottom.
Place the tarts onto a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the bottom crust is cooked through. Remove the parchment and baking beans. Bake an additional 5-7 minutes until bottom is golden.
For the Herbed Ricotta Filling: Add ricotta, black pepper, salt, lemon zest, thyme and oregano to a large bowl and mix to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Set aside.
For the Tomato Mixture: Rub the garlic clove all over the bottom of a large bowl. Add the tomatoes and their juices to the bowl, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss to combine and add the basil leaves just before assembly.
To Assemble: Divide the ricotta mixture between the tart shells and spread evenly to cover the bottom of each tart shell. Spread to evenly cover the bottom of the tart. Spoon the tomato mixture over the ricotta right before serving and garnish with additional basil.
Tip: Make a large tart instead of 8 small tarts. If you don’t want to make the large tart, cut the dough in half and freeze it.