Bell Pepper Ricotta Pesto Tart Recipe

Bell Pepper Ricotta Pesto Tart Recipe Recipe

This is the type of light meal I love for lunch. It's satisfying, filled with vegetables and it's a one-dish meal, which means less cleanup! The tart is flavored with red and yellow bell peppers combined with ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, onions, tomato paste, chili flakes and fresh oregano. To complete the dish, I topped the savory tart with mixed greens and flavorful dressing.

You can use the same bell pepper ricotta pesto to flavor your favorite pasta, grilled meats, risotto or sandwiches.


Yields: 4 servings

1 red bell pepper, roasted, stemmed and seeded
1 yellow bell pepper, roasted, stemmed and seeded
3 cups mixed greens, store-bought
2 tablespoons olive oil, as needed
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 yellow onion, cooked until golden
5 ounces ricotta cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon raw honey
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shaved
½ teaspoon black pepper
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons sea salt (or regular salt)
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold), diced
1 egg
¾ cup your favorite vinaigrette


For the greens: Dip ½ cup tightly packed greens for 10 seconds into boiling, salted water then transfer to an ice-cold bath. Drain the blanched greens, then add ½ cup ice water. Pulse in a mini-blender (if possible). Set aside.

Making bell pepper ricotta pesto:

Coarsely chop the roasted bell peppers. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the golden onions, pine nuts, parmesan, olive oil, 1 tablespoon oregano, red chili flakes, honey, salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth. Add a few tablespoons water, up to 3 tablespoons, for a smoother flow. Transfer to a bowl, then add the ricotta cheese. Mix well until combined. Adjust seasoning, if necessary.

For the crust:

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a mixing bowl, combine 1¼ cups flour and ¾ teaspoon sea salt in a small bowl and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Add the cold butter, puréed greens, 1 egg and 2-3 tablespoons ice water. Using a pastry dough blender, blend until the mixture becomes a thick dough. Add the fresh oregano, garlic and onion powders. Make sure not to over-mix it. 

Dust a flat surface with the remaining flour. Place the dough and roll it out into 7"-diameter disk. Transfer to a 7-inch pie pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20-23 minutes until lightly golden. 

Assembly time:

Place the bell pepper ricotta pesto on the center of the dough. Using a flat spatula, even out the mixture.

When you're ready to serve, cover the savory tart with the remaining greens. Serve with the vinaigrette on the side and drizzle right before eating.

Bon appétit!


Little reminder on how to roast a bell pepper: Wash the bell pepper and pat dry. Place it on the grill and char all the skin. Wrap in aluminum foil. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Wash under running water and the skin will come right off.  Seed and coarsely chop. If you want to store roasted bell peppers, drizzle with oil and season with salt; set aside in the refrigerator until needed.

You can use any other vegetables that are in season.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on August 14, 2013.


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