Recipe: Tomato & Goat Cheese Tart

Ready for a little more Italian takeover?

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Tomato & Goat Cheese Tart
Cheesecloth or coffee filter
3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
Vegetable cooking spray
1 3/4 cups finely crushed buttery round crackers (about 42 crackers)
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (freshly grated is suggested, canned kind works beautifully too)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
3/4 pound assorted small tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon salt, divided
6 ounces goat cheese, softened
6 green onions, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons of thyme (or fresh thyme leaves-suggested in recipe)
2 teaspoons lemon zest

1. Line a fine wire-mesh strainer with 3 layers of cheesecloth or 1 coffee filter. Place strainer over a bowl. Spoon ricotta into strainer. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours; discard any accumulated liquid.
2. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 12- x 4-inch tart pan with cooking spray. Stir together crushed crackers, next 2 ingredients, and 1/2 tsp. pepper; press firmly on bottom and up sides of pan. Place on a baking sheet.
3. Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack 35 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, toss tomatoes with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and remaining 1/2 tsp. pepper in a bowl. Let stand 30 minutes.
5. Stir together goat cheese, next 3 ingredients, strained ricotta, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt in a bowl until smooth. Spoon gently into prepared crust, and spread to edges.
6. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
7. Spoon tomatoes over warm tart, using a slotted spoon. Serve immediately with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette.

Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette

1 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced

1.     Process basil leaves, olive oil, vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, and garlic in a blender or food processor 3 to 4 seconds or until smooth. Serve on the side : )

Recipe given by Aunt Ginny & found in Southern Living

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