The tomato was not widely accepted as a food until the 19th century; now 93 percent of American gardening households grow tomatoes.
This tart recipe will help you make up for any lost time. Tomatoes and creamy ricotta: good in pasta, great on pizza, but perfect in a tart.
(Serves 6 to 8)
All-purpose flour, for rolling the pastry
1 sheet (7 to 8 ounces) frozen all-butter puff pastry, thawed but still cold
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup whole-milk ricotta, drained 4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
2 large eggs
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
3/4 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound tomatoes, cored, halved, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the pastry out to a 10 x 15-inch rectangle and transfer it to the baking sheet.
3. With a paring knife, score a border 1 inch in from the edge all around the rectangle, cutting into, but not through, the dough. With a fork, prick the dough inside the border all over (this is so the border will rise higher than the center that's been pricked). Brush the center with 1 tablespoon of the oil.
4. In a large bowl, stir together the ricotta, goat cheese, eggs, basil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper. Spread the mixture over the center of the puff pastry sheet. Top with the tomaties, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil.
5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is set.
Adapted from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook