Pizza is undoubtedly one of my favorite foods.
Not only is it the most glorious combination of flavors and textures (crispy crust, tangy sauce, gooey cheese), but it comes in various disguises.
If I had a nickel for every time I tricked my husband into eating pizza for dinner by calling it homemade flatbread…
Well, I’d probably have enough money to buy more pizza.
So when it comes to this tomato basil pastry – which could also be referred to as a ricotta tomato pie – I feel like I’ve snuck yet another pizza into my life without having to feel bad. Thanks to the addition of airy einkorn flour, the crust is actually nutritious.
Let me say that again. The crust of this “pizza” is good for you. You’re welcome.
New to einkorn flour? Me too. But once I took it for a spin around the block to prepare this tomato pie, I became a believer.
In short, einkorn is the world’s most ancient wheat (and the only type of wheat that’s never been hybridized). It’s loaded with nutrients, and contains significantly more protein than commercial wheat.
Why would you not cook with the stuff?
In an attempt to see if my friends could tell the difference between standard, white, all-purpose flour and einkorn, I prepared this recipe as a dinner party appetizer one evening.
The response after a few bites?
A multitude of mmm’s followed by moments of silence as everybody chomped their way through slice after slice.
The stick of butter that goes into the dough certainly doesn’t hurt, and the einkorn gave the crust a slightly sweet, nutty flavor that everyone couldn’t get enough of.
The response when I revealed the half-empty bag of einkorn flour?
A lot of Finkle and Einhorn jokes, courtesy of Ace Ventura and my childish friends. Insert eye-roll emoji here.
Everyone loved the buttery base, and the juicy, colorful heirloom tomatoes zig-zagged with dark reduced balsamic vinegar gave the dish its vibrant wow factor.
Who doesn’t love getting a pat on the back for a successful cooking venture?
I suddenly realized I was essentially just ordering pizzas in my head.
Although there’s no sauce on this pizza-esque masterpiece, the fluffy smear of ricotta and sweet, fresh tomatoes give it some legit pizza potential. I couldn’t help but dot my slices with fiery crushed red pepper flakes, and several of my friends followed suit.
The finishing touch of reduced balsamic gives the pie a complex, tangy bite. And the double layer of basil (baked into the tomatoes and sprinkled on fresh at the end) offers a fragrant, aromatic note.
I was serving lasagna for our entree that evening, but that didn’t stop my friends from finishing off the entire tomato basil pastry as a prequel to the heavy meal.
Maybe it was the einkorn that deserved the pat on the back, but I’ll keep that to myself next time.Print
This pizza-like pastry screams summertime with its juicy heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, and silky ricotta on a buttery einkorn crust.
- 1 cup einkorn flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 2–3 medium multi-colored heirloom tomatoes, sliced into rounds
- 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly torn basil leaves, divided
- Balsamic glaze, for drizzling (or 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar*)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and dust a piece of parchment paper with flour.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and butter cubes. Using a pastry cutter or two knives or forks, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles sandy crumbles. Add the water a little at a time, stir until the dough comes together.
- Turn out the dough onto the floured parchment paper and form it into a ball. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a large circle, about 8-10 inches in diameter. Gently fold and press the edges to create a slightly crimped crust.
- Slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet or pizza pan. Trim the edges if necessary. Parbake until the dough is just cooked, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
- Carefully spread the ricotta in an even layer onto the crust and then season it with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Arrange the tomatoes in a layered, circular form (spreading out their colors as much as possible) and season with the remaining salt and pepper.
- Drizzle the pie with the oil and top with 1 tablespoon of the basil. Bake until the tomatoes are soft and the crust is golden brown, about 35-40 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining basil, drizzle with the balsamic glaze, and serve warm.
* To make your own balsamic glaze, place the balsamic vinegar in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until reduced by at least half, and thickened to a sticky consistency.
- Category: Pizza
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Baked Goods
Keywords: tomato, ricotta, basil, einkorn flour, balsamic vinegar
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Preheat the Oven and Begin Making the Dough
Preheat the oven to 350°F and dust a piece of parchment paper with flour.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and butter cubes.
Step 2 – Cut the Butter into the Dry Ingredients
Using a pastry cutter, two knives, or two forks, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles sandy crumbles.
A little at a time, add in the water and stir until the dough comes together. It will be a little sticky at this point, so make sure your hands are floured as well.
Step 3 – Roll out the Dough and Crimp the Edges
Turn out the dough onto the floured parchment paper and form it into a ball.
Using a floured rolling pin (or a wine bottled wrapped in plastic), roll out the dough into a large circle, about 8-10 inches in diameter.
You can also make it into a square or rustic shape if you prefer, just aim to keep the thickness even across the dough so it will bake evenly.
Gently fold and press the edges to create a slightly crimped crust.
Step 4 – Blind Bake the Dough
Slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet or pizza pan. Par-bake until the dough is just cooked, for about 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Allow the crust to cool to room temperature, for about 10 minutes.
Step 5 – Slice the Tomatoes and Spread Crust with Ricotta
While the crust is cooling, slice the tomatoes into about 1/4-inch-thick rounds.
Carefully spread the ricotta in an even layer onto the cooled crust, and then season it with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.
Step 6 – Arrange and Season the Tomatoes
Arrange the tomatoes in a layered, circular pattern, alternating colors if you have a few different options. Season with the remaining salt and pepper.
Step 7 – Add Oil and Basil, and Bake
Drizzle the pie with the oil and top with 1 tablespoon of the torn basil leaves.
Bake until the tomatoes are soft and the crust is golden brown, about 35-40 minutes.
Step 8 – Garnish with More Basil and Balsamic Glaze
Sprinkle the pie with the remaining basil, drizzle with the balsamic glaze, and serve warm.
You can find reduced balsamic vinegar in most grocery stores, or make it yourself by simmering about twice the total volume of balsamic vinegar that you are going for, about ¼ cup for this recipe, until its sticky and reduced by about half.
I Only Have Pies for You
This stunning tomato basil pastry is a piece of cake.
Although it’s meant to take advantage of those gorgeous summertime heirlooms, sweet, cherry tomatoes are flavor bombs made for baking that you can find any time of year. After you give it a first shot in the summer, don’t forget to pull out this recipe again whenever the tomatoes at the grocery store call for a delicious from-scratch preparation.
Did I intrigue you with my einkorn adventure? Take one of your own, with these recipes that highlight this wholesome flour:
How will you personalize this tomato pie? Swap the ricotta for goat cheese? Add olives for an extra hit of salt? Share your pastry preferences in the comments below! And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it.
Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on August 30, 2013. Last updated: September 20, 2019 at 18:19 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Fanny Slater
Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast based in Wilmington, North Carolina who won the “Rachael Ray Show” Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014, and published her cookbook “Orange, Lavender & Figs” in 2016. Fanny is a food and beverage writer, recipe developer, and social media influencer. She was a co-host on the Food Network series “Kitchen Sink,” was featured on Cooking Channel’s longtime popular series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and continues to appear regularly on the “Rachael Ray Show.”