This ramp olive oil tart makes the perfect spring lunch with a garlicky, cheesy filling in contrast to an herby crust.
April to May is ramp season and I couldn’t be more excited when they finally arrived at Specialty Produce. The ramps usually go into pesto, scones, and bread. It’s been a while since I’ve made a tart and decided to experiment with an olive oil crust. Using olive oil instead of butter gives the crust a crumbly texture that’s different from a butter based pastry crust. For a savory flavor, I also added sage leaves to give it an herby note. This ramp olive oil tart is something in between a quiche and a tart with a garlicky, cheesy filling.
- Ramps: They grow wild in only certain regions along the Appalachian ridge from Georgia to Quebec, and are foraged like truffles. They lend a wonderful pungent garlicky-onion flavor. If you can't find ramps, substitute with wild garlic.
- Fava beans: also known as broad beans, are a springtime crop. Fava beans grow in big, bumpy green pods. Inside the cushy pods are large, flat, bright green beans with a tough, clear skin that need to be removed before eating. Blanch the shelled fava beans to make removing the tough clear skin easier.
- Ricotta cheese: Ricotta cheese: look for sheep’s whole milk ricotta from your local Italian grocery store or specialty market. Quality ricotta only has milk, salt, and either an acid or natural culture for its ingredients. If you can’t find high quality sheep’s whole milk ricotta, cow’s milk ricotta that is moist, soft, and creamy is a great substitute.
- Pine nuts: pine nuts are delicious, little teardrop-shaped nuts used in making pesto and baked goods. They have a soft texture and sweet, buttery flavor when raw. Topping the ramp tart adds a little crunch.
How to Make Tart Shell
This olive oil crust is effortless to make with a mixture of all purpose flour, spelt flour, chopped sage, salt, and olive oil. Once you're done blending the mixture in a food processor, press it into the tart pan with your fingers and smooth it out with the bottom of a measuring cup. There's no chilling, rolling out the dough, or filling it with beans for blind baking. Bake it at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Do handle it gently so the crust doesn't fall apart.
How to Make Filling
The filling for the ramp olive oil tart is layered with grated Parmesan cheese, ramps, fava beans, and a mixture of ricotta cheese, creme fraiche, milk, and eggs. Simply whisk the ricotta mixture and pour it over the Parmesan, ramps, and fava beans.
How Long to Bake the Tart For
Bake the ramp olive oil tart for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees F. Let it cool for at least 15 minutes if you want to serve it warm.
The savory ramp olive oil tart makes a light spring lunch and doubles as leftover breakfast. I love the combination of satisfying and cheesy filling in contrast to the herby crust. Pair it with a salad or soup for a complete meal.
- 8-inch tart pan with removable bottom
Olive Oil Tart Base
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped herbs (thyme, tarrago, sage, or oregano)
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 ounces wild garlic / ramps green parts only, chopped
- 6 ounces fava beans, podded
- 8 ounces ricotta cheese
- 4 ounces creme fraiche
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese and extra for serving
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
- 2 chive blossoms, optional
- 2 tablespoons fresh herbs
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- For the crust, combine flours, herbs, salt, and olive oil in a food processor and pulse until it just comes together.
- Press the flour mixture into a 8-inch removable bottom tart pan, pressing onto the sides and the bottom. Use a straight sided measuring cup to help you pack in the crust tightly.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the shelled fava beans and cook for 1-3 minutes depending on the size of the fava beans. Transfer the cooked fava beans into a bowl with iced water to stop the cooking process. Remove the cap at the top of the fava bean and slip each bean out of its waxy coating.
- In a large bowl, whisk ricotta, creme fraiche, milk, eggs, salt, and pepper until well combined.
- Scatter half of the Parmesan over the bottom of the baked crust. Layer chopped ramps and fava beans over Parmesan. Pour the cheese mixture over the greens. Top with pine nuts and remaining Parmesan.
- Bake the tart in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the top is set and light golden.
- Let it cool for 15 minutes before serving it with chives, chive blossoms, herbs, and Parmesan cheese.