Cooking With Maddie Newsletter #50

Tomato-Ricotta Tart, Whipped Honey Ricotta with Roasted Garlic & Marinated Tomatoes

Hi friends!

It pains me to admit that summer is coming to a close. As I’ve repeatedly declared in this newsletter, summer is the superior season, and no one can convince me otherwise. Getting crispy at the pool, long summer nights on the rooftop, my company’s summer friday policy — I’m going to miss all these things. But what I’ll miss most is the summer produce.

I know I go on and on about how great summer veggies are, but it’s the damn truth! Soon, all we’ll have are carrots, potatoes and freakin’ kale. At least it’ll be soup season again — the only thing that truly gets me out of bed in the winter— but until then, we’re making the most of all the mouthwatering fruits and veggies that summer gifts us. I’m talking cherries, summer squash, corn, stone fruit, radishes, peppers, cucumbers, watermelon and, of course, tomatoes. 

Ah, tomatoes. Maybe my favorite food? I feel like this newsletter has just become a tomato fan page account. I’m pretty sure I’ve included tomatoes in almost every recipe I’ve shared this summer. Summer shrimp scamp. The perfect summer caprese salad. Black bean salsa. And who knows how many tomato toasts have been consumed… the limit does not exist. 

And because tomatoes are slowly going to disappear from the farmers market, I figured we’d make a few more recipes while they were still available, juicy and poifect.

The first recipe I have for you is a Tomato-Ricotta Tart.

Here’s what you’ll need— 

  • 1 puff pastry sheet — like these. If you want to be a superstar and make your own puff pastry, be my guest. I recommend this recipe from The Kitchn 

  • 8 oz whole milk ricotta — this is half of a normal container, so use the rest for the second recipe I have for you below 😉

  • Salt and pepper

  • Extra virgin olive oil 

  • 1 pound tomatoes, thinly sliced — we used a mix of heirloom, campari and cherry

  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 

  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced 

  • 3-4 thyme sprigs, leaves removed from the stem — this is the easiest way to do that

  • 1 large egg 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. 

On a clean, floured surface, use a rolling pin to gently roll out the puff pastry sheet. You’ll want to gently stretch the puff pastry, making it about 1 inch larger than it initially was. Transfer the puff pastry sheet to the parchment-lined baking sheet. 

Using an offset spatula, spread the ricotta in an even layer on the puff pastry, leaving about ½ inch from the edge of the pastry. Season ricotta with salt and pepper, and a splash of olive oil. 

Next, you’ll want to layer your thinly sliced tomatoes, garlic and red onion on top of the ricotta. To get your tomatoes thinly sliced, use a serrated knife, and to thinly slice the garlic and red onion, use a mandolin if you have one. If you use a mandolin, watch your fingees. 

Season tomatoes, garlic and red onion with olive oil, salt and pepper. Top everything with thyme leaves. Fold the edges of the pastry inward to enclose the filling. 

Next, we’ll want to make an egg wash to brush the edges of the pastry. In a small bowl, combine the 1 large egg with a splash of water. Mix to combine. Using a silicone pastry brush, brush the edges of the puff pastry. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. 

We ate that tart in less than 24 hours because YES, it was that good. And afterwards, we had a whole lotta tomatoes and ricotta leftover. What does one do in that situation? You make Whipped Honey Ricotta with Roasted Garlic and Marinated Tomatoes.  

Eat it with veggies. Celery. Broc. Radishes. Carrots. Cucumber. Smear the whipped ricotta on a cracker, toasted baguette or fried sourdough bread. Top it with a few marinated tomatoes. Eat the tomatoes on their own. Fuck it — eat the ricotta on its own. We won’t judge.

For the Whipped Honey Ricotta with Roasted Garlic, you’ll need— 

  • 1 whole head of garlic 

  • 8 oz whole milk ricotta

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 

  • 1 teaspoon honey 

  • 3-4 thyme sprigs, leaves removed from the stem 

  • Salt and pepper 

Let’s start by roasting the garlic. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the top off the whole head of garlic. Peel and discard some of the outer papery layers of the bulb. Wrap in a piece of aluminum foil, with the tops still exposed. Top with a little glug of olive oil. Wrap to completely seal the garlic in the foil. Place on a small baking sheet, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool. 

While your garlic is roasting, combine the ricotta with the olive oil, honey, thyme leaves, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until combined and smooth. 

When the garlic is cooled, squeeze — yes, you should be able to squeeze the garlic out of its skin— three cloves into the food processor. Pulse again until fluffy and smooth, about 2 minutes. 

And for the Marinated Tomatoes, the ingredients are— 

  • 1 pound tomatoes, cut in half or quarters — we used a mix of campari and cherry

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 

  • ½ cup chopped herbs like basil, parsley and chives 

  • Salt and pepper 

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes with grated garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Let tomatoes rest in the fridge for 2-3 hours to marinate. 

For what’s been giving me life this week, it’s being back in Denver after getting some much needed R&R in St. Louis. Of course, before leaving, I spent plenty of time doing crafts with Bryce, reading with Reed and trying some wild cocktails at Frazer’s with my family. The flower power is a MUST, but you also can’t sleep on the lake como, coughlin’s law or who goes there. Yes, those are all drinks. 

Before heading out, my mom and I also visited the spot where my dad’s ashes will be buried. I was anticipating the whole process to be painful and emotional, and while I did shed some tears, I was actually warmed by seeing the spot. The permanency of it all was conflicting, but at the same time, I was weirdly comforted knowing that he has a forever place on this earth. His spot is right by this big, gorgeous tree — something that brought me peace in the moment, but I’m positive will continue to comfort me and my family whenever we’re there in the future.

Being back in Denver, my attorney (and Caitlin’s mom) Cathi Grantham was in town, so we spent the weekend doing all of our favorite things — walking Wash Park, laying by Care’s pool, getting a Thai tea from the farmers market, sippin’ beers at Ratio and grabbing dinner at Ash’Kara. We also tried some new things — visited Honey Elixir in RiNo, shopped around at Modern Nomad, did the ice shot at Federales and played games at The Patio

And with it being a long holiday weekend next week, I’m skipping the newsletter so I can truly unwind. See you, my loves, in two weeks. 

Wish I was with you,