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Goat Cheese-Cilantro Pesto Tortilla Tart

Last week, despite the boiling temperatures, I found myself on the metro – with two changes to make, no less – because I decided that I could not live one more day without some proper, removable bottom tart pans. The tart obsession may have started with the crustless quiche, or maybe before that, even, but whatever it was, there was no stopping me once I found myself in front of the tart pan section at A. Simon, which is my favorite place to spend money that I don’t have on pans, and bowls, skillets and stuff like that.

I found a long and skinny tart pan and a not-so-big round one, too, and I got home and decided that I would make tarts out of corn tortilla dough, and do something fun and Tex-Mexy for the insides, too.

I made the dough, and I pressed it into the two pans. I cooked them up and they turned out just perfect. So easy!

Then I thought about what to put inside. I could treat this whole tart thing like a tortilla, which it really is, or try to do something fancy, or seemingly so.

In the end, I decided to do both – because after all, I did have two tart crusts to work with, right?

The first one that I made, the Cilantro Pesto-Goat Cheese Tart, was super-light. Elegant, you might even say. I topped it with sliced yellow squash, which looked really pretty, but I think that I’d add more squash next time so there would be more of the yellow squash taste coming through.

I loved the cilantro pesto and am already thinking of what else I can do with this – put it on pasta, on little bruschettas, over fish or grilled shrimp, or as a sandwich spread.

The goat-ricotta mixture could be used in a lasagna, too, whether Tex-Mexish or not.

Here’s the recipe for this little tart. The second one – which you’re really gonna love, too – will be my next post. Can you stand the suspense?

Tortilla Tart Dough

2 ½ cups masa
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 ¼ cups hot water

Mix all ingredients in food processor or mixer, finishing the last bit with your hands.

Dough should be firm; not dry, crumbly or sticky.

To test, roll small ball of dough in your hands and flatten it. if cracks form, add more warm water, if it’s too moist and sticks to your palms, add more masa.

Press dough into the tart pan, sides first, then fill out the bottom. Bake for 5 minutes with dried beans or pie weights at 350 degrees.

Goat Cheese-Cilantro Pesto Tortilla Tart

1 bunch cilantro
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
olive oil
1 lime, squeezed
sea salt
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup goat cheese
1 medium egg
tortilla tart shell
yellow squash, sliced

Preheat oven to 350.

1. Slice off cilantro leaves and put in small food processor with toasted pine nuts, a drizzle of olive oil, lime juice, and salt. Set aside.

2. Mix ricotta, goat cheese and egg in a medium bowl with a whisk until combined.

3. Spread even layer of cilantro on bottom of tart, then ricotta-goat mixture, and top with slices of yellow squash (zucchini would work nicely, too).

4. Cook for 20 minutes with foil loosely on top. Garnish with a sprinkle of cilantro.