Tomato Tart With Whipped Ricotta

Top ultra-flaky puff pastry with whipped ricotta and fresh tomatoes for an easy summertime snack or appetizer.

Slices of tomato tart on a plate, set in front of a cutting board with the rest of the tomato tart
Debbie Wee

I look forward to tomato season every year, when ripe tomatoes in brilliant shades of red, green, orange, and yellow are seemingly everywhere. This tart, a play on Kenji's tomato, mayo, and toast, is just a way to showcase the quality of in-season tomatoes: a crisp puff pastry spread with herbed whipped ricotta and juicy, sweet tomatoes layered on top. 

It's also very quick to put together because of the frozen puff pastry, which arguably does its job just as well as homemade puff pastry. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that it's important to thaw frozen puff pastry until it's cool and pliable first, either by letting it sit in the refrigerator overnight or on the countertop at room temperature for a couple hours.

Because the toppings are uncooked, the pastry must be baked beforehand, and I use Sohla’s tips for blind-baking to produce an ultra-crispy crust: dock the pastry with a fork and weigh it down with a sheet pan to keep massive air pockets at bay as it bakes. 

As for the tomatoes, any variety of tomato or mix of varieties will work; you just want to be sure the tomatoes are firm and ripe. I salt and drain the tomatoes in advance to extract excess moisture, in order to prevent the tart from getting soggy, but it also helps if you’re planning to transport this tart or want it to last on the appetizer platter for longer than an hour or so.

Whipping the ricotta in a food processor smooths out any lumps and incorporates air, creating a light and fluffy texture. Once the components are ready and the puff pastry is completely cooled, assembly is a breeze. Simply slather the ricotta over the cool pastry (doing it while the pastry is warm will make a mess), layer the sliced tomatoes on top, and sprinkle them with sea salt, black pepper, balsamic vinegar, and basil leaves. The tart is best served at room temperature and complements almost everything, making it a wonderful appetizer or side dish for any gathering.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, place one sheet of puff pastry directly on top of the other. Using a rolling pin, roll pastry into a 11- by 15-inch rectangle. Transfer pastry to prepared baking sheet and, using a fork, poke pastry all over. Cover the pastry with a sheet of parchment and place another rimmed baking sheet on top. Bake until pastry is light golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Sheet of par-baked puff pastry set in rimmed baking sheet
Debbie Wee

Remove from oven, and remove the top baking sheet and parchment. Increase oven temperature to 450°F (230°C).  Return pastry to oven and continue to bake until crisp and deeply browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow pastry to cool completely on baking sheet, about 1 hour 30 minutes.

Fully baked puff pastry sheet set in rimmed baking sheet
Debbie Wee

Meanwhile, line a second rimmed baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Once pastry is nearly cool, arrange tomato slices in a single layer on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside for 15 minutes, then use additional paper towels or a second clean kitchen towel to blot excess liquid.

Sliced tomatoes in variety placed on a paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet
Debbie Wee

In the bowl of a food processor, combine ricotta and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt r and process until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add parsley and pulse to combine. Using an offset spatula, spread ricotta mixture evenly over puff pastry, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Arrange tomato slices evenly over ricotta mixture. Season with pepper and sea salt, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with basil. Cut into portions and serve.

Sliced tomato tart on a marble countertop
Debbie Wee

Special Equipment

Rolling pin, rimmed baking sheets, parchment paper, food processor, small offset spatula


Use the ripest tomatoes you can find. When tomatoes aren’t in season, use smaller plum, grape, or cherry tomatoes.

Make-Ahead and Storage

The tart is best eaten the same day.

The whipped ricotta can be made ahead of time. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

These Grilled Shrimp Rolls Slathered in Herby Mayo Are *The* Move Today

Juicy grilled shrimp tossed with an herby mayo and piled into toasted, buttered buns.

grilled shrimp rolls
Andrew Janjigian

Shrimp rolls don’t get enough credit; they’re versatile, flavorful, and easy to make on a weeknight. Since they're so simple to put together, my recipe focuses on getting the details right: hot, buttered buns loaded with perfectly grilled and perfectly seasoned bite-size bits of shrimp tossed in an herb-packed mayonnaise.

I start by making the herby mayonnaise, which is a simple mixture of mayonnaise, parsley, chives, lemon juice, mustard, sugar, and salt, and the seasoning blend for the shrimp, a mixture of chile powder, paprika, garlic and onion powder, and black pepper. If you’re short on time, you can easily use one tablespoon of your favorite seafood seasoning, like Old Bay, in place of the shrimp seasoning mix. 

For the shrimp, I used Kenji’s steps for making the best grilled shrimp, which makes them easier to grill, more appealing to look at, and keeps them plump and moist while maximizing char. However, I chose to skip the baking soda step, as I didn't think the shrimp needed to be any more snappy and plump. If you prefer shrimp to have that texture and choose to toss them with baking soda and salt to achieve it, just be sure to leave out the salt in the seasoning mix.

I love top-split hot dog buns for shrimp rolls—they're easier to eat and less messy overall—but I think they need to be liberally brushed with melted butter before you pop them on the grill, both to keep them from sticking and for a buttery boost of flavor. Keep in mind that butter has a lower smoke point than olive oil, so it won’t take long for grill marks to develop on the buns.  

Once the shrimp are cool and the buns are done, I coarsely chop the shrimp into bite-size pieces and toss them with the herby mayonnaise, line the (buttered! hot!) rolls with fresh, silky butter lettuce, load the shrimp up, sprinkle the tops with chives, and dig in!

For the Herby Mayonnaise: In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, parsley, chives, lemon juice, mustard, sugar, and salt. Cover and refrigerate.

herby mayonnaise
Andrew Janjigian

For the Grilled Shrimp and Buns: In a small bowl, combine chile powder, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper, and stir until well combined. Set aside.

seasoning blend for shrimp
Andrew Janjigian

Thread shrimp onto sets of 2 skewers, alternating heads to tails and pushing shrimp so that they are nestled snugly together; you should have 12 shrimp on each set of skewers. Lay skewers on top of a baking dish so that shrimp are suspended above bottom of dish. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour. When shrimp are ready to grill, brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with prepared spice blend.

threading shrimp onto skewers

Light 1/2 chimney of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals evenly over half of charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate.

Place shrimp directly over hot side of grill and cook until shrimp are lightly charred in spots on bottom side, about 2 minutes. Flip shrimp and continue to cook until just cooked through and lightly charred on second side, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer shrimp to a cutting board; set aside. Remove herby mayonnaise from refrigerator to temper slightly, and set aside.

grilled shrimp

Brush exterior of each hot dog bun with melted butter. Place buns over hot side of grill. Cook, flipping once halfway through, until buns are soft and lightly charred, about 30 seconds. Transfer buns to a plate or rimmed baking sheet; set aside.

grilling hot dog buns
Andrew Janjigian

Carefully remove skewers from shrimp and, using a sharp knife, cut shrimp into bite-size pieces. Transfer to bowl with herby mayonnaise and gently stir to evenly coat shrimp. 

chopping shrimp and mixing with mayo
Andrew Janjigian

Line inside of each toasted bun with lettuce leaves, divide shrimp evenly among buns, sprinkle with chives, and serve immediately.

finished grilled shrimp rolls
Andrew Janjigian

Special equipment

Gas or charcoal grill, 12-inch skewers


While developing this recipe, I used "chili powder seasoning" produced by McCormick's, which is a blend of ground spices that includes cayenne, cumin, and paprika. Similar seasoning mixes can be found from a number of brands, some simply labeled "chili powder." However, this recipe was also tested with different powdered chile peppers; most any fruity dried chile, like gochugaru, will work. If you cannot find a chili powder like the one I describe above and would like to approximate its flavor profile, I recommend substituting with 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper.

Make-ahead and Storage

The herby mayonnaise can be prepared in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

This Punchy Pesto Chicken Salad Will Brighten Up All Your Lunches

This tender chicken salad (coated in a tangy pesto dressing and with sun-dried tomatoes woven throughout) is perfect for sandwiches or simply on its own.

A bowl of pesto chicken salad with crackers on the side
Vicky Wasik

This chicken salad gets its vibrant flavor from bright basil pesto. Speckled with chopped sun-dried tomatoes, every bite is pleasantly tangy, and it makes for a great easy lunch or mid-afternoon snack.

For his Best Chicken Salad, Kenji cooked the chicken sous-vide. I wanted the same tender and juicy results, but without the special equipment, so I followed Daniel’s method for cold-start poaching, which only requires a saucepan and some patience. The method is simple: add chicken to a pot of cold water, bring the water up to 150°F (65°C) on the stovetop and then keep it at that temperature. The chicken gently cooks, and it’s ready once the internal temperature at the thickest point reaches 150 degrees as well. The only downside to this method is that it's quite slow, so to speed up the process I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of split bone-in breasts.

Once the chicken is cooked, I let it cool slightly before shredding it into pieces and tossing it with basil pesto, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. For the pesto, you can go all-out and make Daniel’s classic pesto alla Genovese, or just use store-bought. I also like to stir in chopped sun-dried tomatoes for extra flavor and texture. They’re sweet, tart, and chewy, and they complement the pungency of the pesto. Sharp and fresh, this pesto chicken salad goes great in a sandwich, on a salad, with crackers, or even straight from the fridge.

In a large saucepan, combine water and salt, and stir to dissolve salt. Add chicken and set over medium-high heat until water temperature registers between 150 and 160°F (65.5 to 71°C) on an instant-read thermometer; adjust heat to maintain water temperature in the 150–160°F range. (It's okay if the temperature bounces around a little, but try to keep it above 150 and below 170°F.) Cook until thickest part of chicken registers 150°F (65.5°C) on an instant-read thermometer, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove chicken and let rest until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes. Using two forks or clean hands, shred chicken into bite-size pieces and set aside.

Poaching chicken breasts and then shredding into bite-size pieces.
Vicky Wasik

In a large bowl, stir together mayonnaise, pesto, and lemon juice until well combined. Add reserved shredded chicken and sun-dried tomatoes and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.

Tossing shredded chicken with pesto dressing in a mixing bowl.
Vicky Wasik

Special Equipment

Large saucepan, instant-read thermometer.

Make-Ahead and Storage

If using homemade pesto, the pesto can be made in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days with a thin layer of extra-virgin olive oil on top to prevent pesto from oxidizing. The finished chicken salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.