Late Summer is the perfect time to make this savoury tart, when tomatoes are bursting with flavour and at the height of their sweetness. With a buttery, flaky crust, a pesto sauce and a sweet caramelised onion filling this is equally delicious served warm or cold. Paired with a simple green salad and a chilled glass of white wine, it can make a lovely main course or a leisurely lunch.
The pastry crust, a is a traditional shortcut pastry (pâte brisée), can be used for both sweet and savoury tarts and couldn’t be easier to make. 200g of flour and 1 large pinch of salt – heaped onto your work counter, make a little well in the flour and crack an egg into it. Take 125g of butter from the fridge and cut into small cubes. Mix together all the ingredients with your fingers until all the butter is rubbed in, creating a sandy, crumby dough. Pour a tablespoon of cold milk over the dough and use your hands to bring the dough together, kneading it until it is smooth. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge for at least an hour. Preheat your oven to 200C and butter the inside of your tart dish. Lightly flour the work counter and roll out the dough into a thin disc. Fit the dough into your tart dish, pressing down into the edges. I bake it in a tart pan with a removable bottom, for easy plating when baked. Trim the top of the pastry and gently prick the bottom of the tart with a fork. Pop the dish into the fridge for 20 mins to let the pastry chill. After 20 mins line tart dough with greaseproof paper. Fill the paper with baking beads, dry beans or rice. Bake for 20 minutes, remove the greaseproof paper and bake for a further 15 mins until the pastry is golden. With a tender, flaky crust, you can fill these tarts with just about anything and I guarantee it will taste delicious.
Oven Dried Tomato
These tomatoes are beautiful, versatile and delicious with a deep rich flavour. Their colour deepens and their skin wrinkles as they roast and dry. You can eat them on a tart like the recipe, or you can slice them up and add them to pastas, salads, or sandwiches. Oven dried tomatoes are extremely simple to prepare, but they do take a while to dry out. It all depends on the size of the tomatoes and how many you are drying out. To prepare – take 2 punnets of cherry tomatoes and cut the tomatoes in half. Drizzle over some olive oil, fresh thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper. You then roast the tomatoes by blasting them in the oven with a high heat for 15 minutes then reducing the temperature to a very low setting (120C) for at least 90 minutes until they have shrivelled and the tomato flavour has become highly concentrated. If it is taking too long turn the heat up – but try and keep it below 150C – as the low heat intensifies the flavour and makes the tomatoes extra-sweet.
Sauté 3 large, thinly sliced onions over a moderate heat until they collapse and darken. When cooking the onions, you’ll need to control the heat to make sure they don’t catch and burn – don’t forget to give them an occasional stir.
Homemade pesto is so easy to make, all you need is a blender, food processor or pestle and mortar to grind up the sauce. Bitz together 3 handfuls of fresh basil leaves, a handful of pine nuts, very lightly toasted, a good handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a small squeeze of lemon juice
How to Assemble Tomato Tart
To assemble your tart, gently spread the caramelised onions over the centre of the pre-baked shell. Cover with a thin layer of pesto sauce. Dot with the oven-dried tomatoes and, if you like, an extra scattering of thyme leaves. Then bake until warmed through.