Ricotta Black Garlic and Vegetable Tart

Ricotta Black Garlic and Vegetable Tart

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Easy-Peazy open tart with your favourite vegetables

A free-form open tart with a ricotta and black garlic base. Now add any of your favourite vegetable and you’ll have a healthy meal to be enjoyed by all. Vegetarians will love this, or a tasty meat free dinner for the family. Cream cheese pastry adds an unique twist enhancing the flavour and texture.

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Ricotta and black garlic form a great base

Ricotta is a soft, creamy Italian cheese made from whey. It has a slightly sweet and mild flavor, making it a versatile ingredient in both savory and sweet dishes. Ricotta adds creaminess and a smooth texture to the base of the open tart.

Black Garlic is regular garlic that has been fermented over a period of several weeks at a controlled temperature and humidity. This fermentation process turns the garlic cloves dark, soft, and sticky with a flavor profile that is less pungent and more sweet and savory.

Black garlic blended with ricotta adds a unique umami-rich taste to the pie base, providing depth and complexity to the overall flavour. The combination of these two ingredients creates a luscious and velvety texture to this ricotta, black garlic and vegetable tart leaving a lasting impression on all who savor its tasty flavours.

Ricotta black garlic and vegetable tart pre-cooked

Ricotta Black Garlic and Vegetable Tart

Free-form tart, pastry or is it an open pie?

A free-form tart, an open pie or a pastry are all simply types of tarts that lack a top crust, allowing the ingredients to be visible. Also called a Galette, which is a type of French pastry made with a single layer of pastry dough and folded or crimped around the edges to hold the filling.

The overall look is quite rustic, but that in turn, makes it very forgiving. Thus making them a popular choice for beginners and experienced bakers. The absence of a top crust means less precision is required, and imperfections can add to the appeal of the final dish. With no top crust to cover the ingredients, an free-for tart focuses solely on the delicious filling. This allows the flavours and textures of the filling to shine and be showcased.

Free-form tarts can be made with a wide range of fillings, both savoury and sweet. Try experimenting with a fruit-based dessert and finish with a drizzle of honey. The versatility of the filling options allows for endless creativity in the kitchen, so let your imagination run wild.

Ricotta Black Garlic and Vegetable Tart - pastry prep

Ricotta Black Garlic and Vegetable Tart – pastry

Advantages of baking with Cream Cheese Pastry

Cream cheese pastry enhances texture and flavour; it also retains moisture, stopping your pastry dish from drying out with the added advantage of being easy to handle.

  • Texture:  Adds a rich and creamy texture to the pastry, making it tender and slightly flaky. The higher fat content in cream cheese contributes to a delicious mouthfeel.
  • Flavour: Imparts a subtle tanginess to the pastry, complimenting various savoury and sweet fillings.
  • Moisture:  Retains moisture better than traditional pastry dough, resulting in a pastry that stays moist and fresh for longer. This is an advantage when preparing pastries in advance or storing leftovers.
  • Easy to Work With:  Easier to handle than some other types of pastry dough. It is more forgiving and less likely to become tough or overworked, allowing home cooks to achieve excellent results with less effort.
  • Appearance:  Often develops an attractive golden-brown colour when baked, adding to the visual appeal of your dish. Its smooth texture and flaky layers make for an eye-catching presentation.
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Ricotta Black Garlic and Vegetable Tart (free-form)

Ricotta Black Garlic and Vegetable Tart

Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
30 minutes
Course: dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Vegetarian
Keyword: black garlic, free-form tart, galette, pastry, pie, ricotta, vegetable
Servings: 6


  • saute pan
  • baking tray and baking paper
  • Rolling Pin
  • kitchen wizz or foood processor


Cream cheese pastry

  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspn salt
  • 125 gm block cold cream cheese original not light
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • egg or milk for glazing

Pie filling

  • 1/2 cup smooth ricotta
  • 1 tbspn black garlic puree
  • oil and butter for sauteing
  • 1 red onion cut into wedges
  • 2 sticks celery finely sliced
  • 1 red capscium diced
  • 1 small zucchini sliced and quartered
  • oregano
  • 200 gms button mushrooms sliced
  • 3 spring onions sliced
  • parlsey, and crumbled feta to garnish


  • remove cream cheese from the refrigerator, weigh and roughly chop
  • place all cream cheese pastry ingredients in food processor (except egg for glazing) and blend until clumps form
  • turn out onto floured surface and kneed together
  • wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for minimum 1/2 hour
  • gently sauté red onion and celery in oil with lid on (low heat) 10 mins or until translucent
  • remove lid add red capsicum, zucchini and oregano, continue to cook on low heat 5 mins, then transfer to a bowl
  • in same sauté pan melt butter and cook mushrooms and spring onions 5 mins
  • roll chilled pastry to a 30-35cm rough circle, transfer to a lined baking tray
  • mix ricotta and black garlic together and spread onto pastry leaving a 6 cm border
  • spread onion, celery, capsicum, zucchini etc on top
  • finish with mushrooms and spring onions
  • roughly fold edges of pastry up & over the edge of vegetables, pleating as you go
  • brush pastry edge with extra egg or milk and bake 30 mins 180C
  • garnish with crumbled feta and finely chopped parsley


Ricotta Black Garlic and Vegetable Tart


Top Tips:-
Cream cheese replaces butter in the pastry, but be sure to purchase a block of original (Philadelphia cream cheese). Over the years, I have noticed the texture of cream cheese has become softer. Hence the need to refrigerate before rolling out. Don’t be put off by this, as it really does come together easily. And the end result is truly delicious. Crispy and flaky with a hint of cheese…. yum!
The vegetable filling is only limited by your imagination, so experiment with all your favourite vegetables. However, I do like the visual effect of finishing off with mushrooms. Try using pre-roasted root vegetables.  Or an Italian theme: tomatoes, capsicum, olives, spinach and basil. 
PRO Tip:-  Don’t put the vegetable pan juices on the tart, as this may cause the bottom of the pastry to become soggy.
Ricotta Black Garlic and Vegetable Tart - prep

Ricotta Black Garlic and Vegetable Tart – prep

Ricotta Black Garlic and Vegetable Tart – step by step

Ricotta, Black Garlic and Vegetable Tart - preparing

Can you make a Galette the night before?

If it is baked & reheated the next day – yes you can. Adding a ricotta and black garlic layer on the bottom (Ricotta, Black Garlic and Vegetable tart) stops the pastry from becoming soggy overnight. Fruit galettes are trickier as they seep juices. Left overs reheat nicely in the oven. Assembling the tart and baking next day would not be successful.

Alternatively, make the pastry, wrap it and leave it in the fridge until needed. The vegetables can be precooked and stored in the fridge also. Then it is a 10-minute job to assemble and 30 mins to cook.

Ricotta, Black Garlic and Vegetable Tart - plating

Ricotta Black Garlic and Vegetable Tart

What are the different pastry for pies?

Flaky Pastry – made with a large amount of fat, usually butter or cream cheese. Ideal for pies, tarts and canapes.
Shortcrust: is a more robust pastry used for biscuits & sweet fruit tarts.

Puff – similar in texture to flaky pastry, but the butter is sandwiched between layers of pastry and rolled. The process, called lamination, is repeated many times to form layers. Ideal for pasties and as a top for pies.

Choux – has a hollow centre and crispy outer. It is made by bringing water, milk & butter to the boil, adding flour and eggs. Ideal for eclairs and profiteroles.

Filo – ultra-thin sheets of pasty. Several sheets are layered on each other, spreading melted butter or oil between each layer. Ideal for spring rolls & deep frying.

Empathy Black Garlic Healthy, Odourless & Delicious
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Ricotta, Black Garlic and Vegetable Tart

The rustic nature of this free-form tart is appealing and charming in its simplicity. No need for a pie dish, the imperfections are part of its charm. If you’ve previously found pastry a challenge to make, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how easily this comes together. Make it with the family’s favourite vegetables, and you’ll be pleased at how much it is enjoyed.

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