Author Notes: This tart is the perfect warm-weather meal, and well worth turning on the oven to make even when the temperatures begin to climb. You can make it a few hours ahead, and serve at room temperature. The buttery whole wheat crust is a perfect canvas for the bright flavors of the season like summer squash and lemon thyme. I highly recommend making your own ricotta for this recipe too.
Recipe from Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie’s Kitchen (Running Press 2013). —Jennifer Perillo
Serves: 6 to 8
Whole Wheat Pastry Crust
cups (210 grams) whole wheat pastry flour, plus more for sprinkling
teaspoon (4 grams) fine sea salt
teaspoon (4 grams) granulated natural cane sugar
tablespoons (112 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
tablespoons (45 ml) ice cold water
ounces (140 grams) fresh ricotta cheese
Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon
1 large summer squash, sliced into 1/8-inch coins
sprigs fresh lemon thyme
Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 ml)
Pinch of smoked paprika
tablespoons (6 grams) grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC).
- To make the whole wheat pastry dough: add the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar to a deep bowl and whisk to combine. Scatter the butter over the dry ingredients and rub together quickly with your fingertips, until it forms a sandy-looking texture with some pebble-sized pieces. Sprinkle the cold water over the mixture and stir with a fork until the dough forms a rough ball. Press the dough into a 10-inch (25 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom.
- For the tart filling: stir the ricotta and lemon zest together in a small bowl. Spread the mixture into a thin layer on top of the dough. Arrange the squash slices on top of the ricotta in a circular pattern, overlapping the edges a bit. Drizzle a little olive oil over the squash.
- Strip the leaves off the stems of lemon thyme (imagine the motion of a firefighter sliding down a pole). Sprinkle the leaves over the squash, along with the paprika. Scatter the cheese on top of the tart and bake for 20 minutes, until the edges and top are golden.
Photo by Penny De Los Santos