Savory Tart: Fiddlehead & Ricotta with Oat Crust

Savory Tart: Fiddlehead & Ricotta with Oat Crust

A no roll oat crust guarantee this savory tart topped with a creamy whole milk ricotta & cheddar cheese, fiddleheads, & sautéed onions easy to make.

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Well guys. . .I survived my first trip to China. There certainly were times when I questioned whether or not I would make it back in one piece. . .but here I am, making plans to return to the Pearl of the Orient faster than you can blink an eye.

In case you’ve never been to this bustling city, it seems like there is a cloud of pollution perpetually looming through the parade of skyscrapers that march off into infinity. I was aware of China’s reputation for having the “dirtiest air on Earth” before I left.  My concerned doctor loaded me up with steroids and inhalers for fear that my asthma would flare up into a rage so intense it could not be contained. All the information in the world, even the endless stream of photos from the Mr., could not prepare me for the thick, fluffy, white cloud that, more often than not, made it impossible to see anything but a wall of white every time I peered from my 58th floor window.



Savory Tart- Fiddlehead & Ricotta with Oat Crust


But probably more treacherous than the air quality was traveling about on foot. The simple act of crossing the street was like playing an intense game of Russian roulette. Every time you stepped foot off the curb, you never knew whether or not you would make it to the other side completely unscathed.  A green blinking crosswalk light only delivered a false sense of safety as drivers turned a blind eye to it and plowed through the crowds. I got the sense that I wasn’t being just another paranoid tourist as the locals always seemed to hesitate and second guess on whether or not they should continue onward with their journey or head back to the safety of a nearby cafe.

I quickly learned that whenever possible, you should always try to cross as a herd.  I took it one step further by thoughtfully positioning myself smack dab in the center of the moving group. This tactic seemed to work, but my trip was not without incident.

I was coming home from lunch with the Mr. one afternoon, hyper aware of the unfamiliar sights and sounds around me. As I plodded down the rain soaked sidewalk, a taxi cab sped up into the entrance of a parking lot that I just so happened to be passing. He zoomed by so close that my umbrella smashed into his battered and bruised vehicle and ricocheted back, nearly poking me in the eye. Fortunately, the umbrella was all he hit.


Savory Tart- Fiddlehead & Ricotta with Oat Crust


These are all things that I suspect will start to feel like the norm (fortunately or unfortunately) in good time. The good news is that the Mr. and I found an apartment in a quaint little area in Shanghai. It is larger than our pint sized apartment in Boston and has a tiny gym so I can continue to burn calories, making room for new calories in the form of cakes, pies and cookies.  I’m also hoping to take some cooking classes while there. . .so prepare to see some Chinese treats in the near future.


Savory Tart: Fiddlehead & Ricotta with Oat Crust

Savory Tart: Fiddlehead & Ricotta with Oat Crust

Savory Tart- Fiddlehead & Ricotta with Oat Crust

Savory Tart- Fiddlehead & Ricotta with Oat Crust


I didn’t take many photos during this trip as Mother Nature decided to fill up her watering can time and time again, causing it to rain relentlessly.  Because of this, and the insane humidity, I preferred to seek shelter rather than explore the city.  I guess part of me did not feel a sense of urgency as I knew I would be returning soon and would have plenty of opportunity to document the sights that I was experiencing in this fast moving city.


Savory Tart: Fiddlehead & Ricotta with Oat Crust


This Savory Tart with Fiddleheads, Ricotta Cheese and Oat Crust was one of the last things I baked before I jetsetted off thousands of miles to the “Paris of the East”.   Fiddleheads (If you are wanting to read more about fiddleheads see HERE.)  were still in season at that moment.  I realize this is no longer the case;  however, I think asparagus would make a lovely substitute so I decided to go ahead and post the recipe.

This Savory Tart with Fiddleheads, Ricotta Cheese and Oat Crust is filled with onions & shallots softened in a dab of butter, then topped with a creamy whole milk ricotta cheese. It’s then nestled in a crust made from oat and almond flour which gives it a nice wholesome and nutty flavor.  As a matter of fact, I think it is one of my favorite savory tart crusts to date.  Even better, it’s simple as can be to make and doesn’t require rolling. Simple press the dough into your pan of choice and voila. . .you have your crust.  I topped the savory tart with a sprinkling of lemon zest, chives and crushed red pepper.  I also topped the first tart I made with some cheddar cheese because . . .well. . .in my world, more cheese is always better.





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Savory Tart: Fiddlehead & Ricotta with Oat Crust

Yield: 13 x 4 inch tart (8 servings)


    For the Oat Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour
  • 1 cup ground almond meal
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 6 - 7 tablespoons ice cold water
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold & cut into 1 inch cubes
  • For the Fiddleheads:
  • 1 - 1.5 cups of fresh fiddleheads
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the Ricotta & Onion Filling:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded + more for topping (optional)
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives (chopped) + more for topping
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Zest from one lemon
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)


    For the Oat Crust:
  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add the butter & toss until it is coated with the flours.
  3. Using your fingers, work the butter into the flour until you have pea sized pieces. Be sure to work fast so that the butter stays cold.
  4. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of ice water evenly across the flour.
  5. Continue to knead the dough with your fingers until it starts to come together. Add one tablespoon of ice cold water at a time as needed. I used 7 tablespoons of water for my dough.
  6. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  7. In the meantime, coat a 13 x 4 inch tart pan with cooking spray.
  8. Place the rack in the center of the oven & pre-heat the oven to 425° F.
  9. Break off pieces of the dough & press it into the tart pan.
  10. Using a fork, prick the bottom about 20 times.
  11. Blind bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges are set.
  12. For the Fiddleheads:
  13. Rinse the fiddleheads well to remove all the dirt & debris.
  14. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a boil.
  15. Add the fiddleheads & boil for 10 minutes.
  16. Drain & rinse with cold water.
  17. Pat the fiddleheads dry & toss them in lemon juice & salt & pepper to taste.
  18. For the Ricotta & Onion Filling:
  19. Reduce heat of oven to 375 º F.
  20. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  21. Add diced shallots & onions & sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened & golden brown (about 10-15 minutes).
  22. Add garlic & cook for 30 seconds.
  23. Place ricotta cheese, eggs, cheddar cheese, fresh chives, oregano & lemon zest in a medium bowl.
  24. Stir until well blended.
  25. Salt & pepper to taste.
  26. Evenly spread the onion & shallot mixture on top of the crust.
  27. Spread the filling evenly over top of the onions. Note: You may have a little bit of extra filling left.
  28. Push the fiddleheads gently into the filling.
  29. Sprinkle with additional cheddar cheese, if desired.
  30. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
  31. Sprinkle red pepper flakes & chives on top if desired.
  32. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then slice & enjoy.

As an alternative, you can substitute asparagus for fiddleheads. Simply trim the ends off the asparagus so they are all the same length, season them with salt & pepper & gently press them into the ricotta mixture. Bakes as indicated.

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Fiddlehead & Ricotta Tart with Oat Crust - A no roll oat crust guarantee this savory tart topped with a creamy whole milk ricotta & cheddar cheese, fiddleheads, & sautéed onions easy to make. Easily sub in asparagus if fiddleheads aren't in season. Click for RECIPE.

25 thoughts on “Savory Tart: Fiddlehead & Ricotta with Oat Crust

  • July 11, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    What a stunning tart! And I can’t wait to see more pictures of your adventures in China. So amazed at all your travels – you are fearless!

    • July 12, 2016 at 7:01 am

      Ha! Ha! Thanks. . .trying to decide whether or not I should sign up for trip to Mongolia radio collaring gazelle. If not that trip. . .Mongolia is definitely in the plans.

    • July 13, 2016 at 10:17 am

      Why thank you. I’m a bit disappointed that I was not able to take more photos. . .but after rain soaking my camera in Patagonia. . .I didn’t want to drag it out in the rain. Besides since I had every intentions of returning, it was hard to motivate myself to go out in that hot and humid rain. I’m not sure that I am fearless. . .but I do seem to like to ask for trouble. 😉

  • July 11, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    My hubs recently went to China for work and I heard many of the same observations from him. Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures! Love this savory tart! It is so beautiful.

    • July 13, 2016 at 10:19 am

      More adventures coming soon. . .so keep a lookout. I hope to take the opportunity to travel to the neighboring countries. . .so really looking forward to that.

  • July 11, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    What a gorgeous tart Lynn! Sounds like something I would absolutely enjoy for any meal of the day. As I mentioned before, my son Casey will be heading to China 2nd semester of next year. Now, I’m a little nervous. I will pass along your tips for getting around the city and send him with meds for asthma too. Yikes!

    • July 13, 2016 at 10:22 am

      I think he will be fine Mary Ann as long as he is prepared (asthma medications, face mask, and Cipro for tummy issues) and is really careful crossing the streets in the city. Aside from traffic and pollution. . .I felt very safe in China – I would have to say even safer than I often feel in Boston.

  • July 12, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Wow. Everything about this tart impresses. I’ve never heard of fiddleheads before, but I’m instantly in love with them due to their name. Call me childish. I’m slightly depressed because, having read up on them now, I’ve discovered that I’m unlikely ever to see them in the UK supermarkets, since we don’t grow them. However, I’m so glad I can sub asparagus as i also think the tart crust sounds divine. You crust also looks incredibly neat – do you have any tips to give me – mine always looks fine before the blind bake but then a mess afterwards.

    • July 13, 2016 at 5:40 pm

      Ha! Ha! Well that is the plan Nora. . .but there are some visa/work permit challenges that are still up in the air (just found out about them). . .so we shall see.

  • July 13, 2016 at 1:58 am

    I really enjoyed Shanghai when I went there for many work trips. I loved that it was so metropolitan and bustling … but I liked the small town of Xang Ciao too… very rural and a mix of horse drawn buggies with mercedes benz. My favorite thing about China was all the different vegetables that they have. I’ve never had fiddleheads but want to try them just because of the name! Pinned for later!

    • July 13, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      Oh yes Michele. . .there are so many new fruits and veggies to explore. . .which should be a lot of fun. I’m also looking forward to taking some cooking classes (dumplings anyone?).

      It is kind of fun to say you are eating fiddleheads, isn’t it?

  • July 13, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Gorgeous photos! I remember fiddlehead ferns when we lived in Seattle, but I’ve never seen them since. I really wish I could because your tart is absolutely gorgeous and sounds delicious!

    • July 13, 2016 at 6:20 pm

      Many thanks for your kind words. Like you, I had never heard of fiddleheads until I move to New England. Their quirkiness makes them a lot of fun to cook with.

  • July 16, 2016 at 7:09 am

    Your trip sounds pretty intense! I would love to visit China one day, but I also hate the humidity of Asia!
    This tart looks amazing, I’ve still never tried fiddleheads, I have to try and get my hands on some next year!

  • July 19, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Geezzz, I’m glad you made it out alive! This is such a gorgeous tart! I have only tried fiddleheads raw when I was on a hike in Maui, I would love to try them cooked!

  • July 20, 2016 at 10:45 am

    What a fun post, I enjoyed reading about your experience! Glad you made it! This tart looks so cool! Never had fiddlehead and I’m curious to try them!

    • July 22, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      Glad you liked it Mira. I was supposed to be going back but the Mr’s work permit is now up in the air. You should try and get your hands on some fiddleheads. They are such a fun, yet quirky, little vegetable.

    • August 5, 2016 at 8:45 am

      Thanks Sabrina. Fiddleheads are pretty spectacular. . .it’s just too bad that they are available only for a short period of time.

  • September 22, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    This is amazing , I have fiddleheads growing in my yard and have seen people picking them and they always said they were very good! Now I have a recipe . Can’t wait too try this. I will also dry them to save for later so if any one wants to buy fiddleheads email me at of course this will be seasonal.


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