The other day, I invited myself over to Miss R’s house for a swim in her pool. Feeling a bit guilty for inviting myself, I told her I’d bring lunch. Somehow this concoction popped into my head. I decided I wanted to make a tart base and fill it with some sort of salad and whipped ricotta, which seems to be so popular at the moment. Anyhow, it turned out rather nice so I thought I would share it with you all today.

1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 cup (120g) cold butter, cubed
1 tsp salt
1 egg + 1 lightly beaten egg

250g fresh ricotta
2 tbsp milk
1/2 cup (60g) currants
1/2 cup (125ml) rum
1/2 cup (30g) pine nuts
1 green zucchini, finely sliced
olive oil
150g baby spinach
handful fresh mint leaves
salt and pepper 

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. PASTRY: In a food processor, process flour, butter and salt until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the egg and process until it comes together in a ball. Transfer to a floured bench top and knead until it all holds together. Roll into a ball and cover in cling wrap. Refrigerate for half an hour while you make the filling.
  3. To make the filling, whip together the ricotta and milk until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Combine the currents and rum in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Gently simmer for 5 minutes and then remove from heat. Leave currents to cool in the rum.
  5. In a hot dry pan, dry roast pine nuts until golden, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
  6. Grill zucchini either side in a little olive oil, about 3-5 minutes until just soft. Leave to cool. In the same pan, wilt the baby spinach slightly, about 1 minute, and add to the zucchini. Leave to cool.
  7. When dough has rested, roll out onto a floured kitchen bench to form a rectangle 2-3 mm thick.
  8. Using the rolling pin, roll dough up and then gentle unroll onto a rectangular tart tin about 30cm x 12cm. Press down into tin and trim off edges.
  9. Line shell with baking paper and fill with pie weights or raw rice. Bake in a moderate oven for 15 minutes until beginning to brown. Remove weights and brush with a little of the remaining lightly beaten egg. Place the tart shell back in the oven for a further 5-10 minutes until golden. Allow shell to cool before adding filling.
  10. Add currents and rum, pine nuts, and mint to the zucchini and spinach. Gently toss and transfer to tart shell.
  11. Spoon a quenelle of the whipped ricotta for each person on to tart before serving.

Serves 4