Tomato, mozzarella and basil tart
“Use good quality, sweet tomatoes for this tart – the better the tomatoes the more delicious the tart will be. Use plum, baby plum, cherry tomatoes or a mixture of varieties for flavour and decorative effect.”
-Jackson Medlow-Stagg, Blind Veterans UK
Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as a starter.
One pack of pre-prepared puff pastry
500-600g of good quality, sweet tomatoes
2 tbsp of pesto
Freshly ground pepper
A few grinds or pinch of salt
1 Buffalo mozzarella
1 tbsp of olive oil
Plus two large, flat baking trays.
• Preheat the oven with one of the baking trays on the top shelf, where the oven is hottest
• Lightly grease a second baking tray or line with greaseproof paper, to stop your tart sticking.
• Wash and prepare the tomatoes – baby or cherry tomatoes should be halved, larger tomatoes sliced.
• Roll the pastry out onto your greased or lined baking tray and score a line about an inch/2 cm away from the edges, taking care not to cut through the pastry.
• Use the back of a spoon or spatula to coat the area inside the line you scored with pesto.
• Arrange the tomato slices and/or halves on top of the pesto, also within the line you scored, covering as fully as possible.
• Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, brush the edges of the pastry with milk and place the tart, on its tray, on top of the pre-heated tray you put into the oven earlier (this helps to cook the pastry base).
• Bake at the top of the oven for 25-30 mins at Gas Mark 7 / 220°C (200°C for fan ovens) or until golden brown and cooked through and the tomatoes soft. Check a couple of times during cooking and move down to a lower shelf of the oven or reduce the temperature if your oven is particularly hot, so the pastry doesn’t burn before the tomatoes are cooked. It’s a good idea to turn the tart around half way through, so it cooks evenly.
• While your tart is still hot, cover with basil leaves and pieces of mozzarella (tear, rather than cut this, for an authentic Italian look) and drizzle lightly with good quality olive oil.
• Serve warm or cold with rocket or other green salad leaves, with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing.
Variations to try:
Harissa can be substituted for the pesto, for a spicy, middle-eastern style tart, or black olive tapenade.
Why not use your tarts to help blind veterans? Find out how…