Summer heirloom tomato tart from scratch with a savory whole wheat crust, vegan ricotta, sweet caramelized onions and thin slices of colorful heirloom tomatoes. Finished with a fresh basil chiffonade or crispy fried sage leaves, it can be an appetizer or an entree alongside a simple arugula or baby kale salad. Simply divine!
Prepare the cashew ricotta - this is best done a day in advance so it can be completely chilled and thickened up. Alternatively you can use a store bought version or omit altogether.
Caramelize the Onions
Preheat an extra large skillet over medium low heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the sliced onions and a pinch of salt and cook down stirring often until caramelized, about 45 minutes. No need to add any sugar or more oil, if need be a little splash of water to create some steam and prevent burning is enough. Refrigerate until needed.
Make the Crust
Add the flour to a mixing bowl and grate the chilled butter over the flour. Use your hand and quickly work the butter into the flour until it resembles wet sand. Pour in the cold water and mix it in with a spoon until a dough is formed. Cut the dough in half and form two balls. Place each dough ball in between two pieces of parchment paper (aprox 16 inch square) and press it down into a disk. Use a rolling pin to go over the top and roll it out into 1/8 inch thick rounds. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes until it sets.
Assemble the Tart
Place the tart with the parchment paper on top of a baking sheet. Start by spreading 1/4 cup or so of cashew ricotta over the bottom of each crust leaving one inch of space at the edges. Top with half of the caramelized onions and finish with a layer of tomato slices (large slices on the bottom and small ones on top). Fold the edges over the pie patching it if it breaks.(Optional- brush the edges with some aquafaba or olive oil if desired). Sprinkle with a pinch of coarse sea salt and chili flakes.
Bake - Preheat your oven to 400"F and bake the tomato tarts for about 35 minutes or so until golden brown. Allow to cool off before slicing. Garnish with fresh basil or crispy fried sage leaves alongside a dark leafy green salad.
Make ahead - prepare the crust, cashew ricotta and caramelized onions a couple of days in advance and refrigerate until ready to bake. The pie crust can also be frozen and thawed out in the fridge the night before using it.
Storage - any leftovers can be refrigerated in lidded containers and enjoyed cold or reheated under the broiler or a toaster oven.
Topping ideas - grilled vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini rounds, basil pesto, vegan feta or mozzarella and fresh herbs. During fall and winter swap the tomatoes for roasted butternut squash alongside the caramelized onions and crispy sage.