Tons of tomatoes, a bit of forgotten puff pastry left over from last week’s anchovy tart and plenty of herbs on the balcony made me start thinking about another tart. And it seems I’m not the only one: both David Lebovitz and Delia have been having similar thoughts (look at her recipe of the day for Tues Aug 23). Perhaps we have all over-bought at the farmers’ market or Turkish shop this week…
Having compared several recipes I’m not surprised they’re so popular: easy as, er, pie and seasonal you can have dinner ready in 40 minutes with minimal prep and only a baking sheet to wash up. The two grande dames of home cuisine on either side of the Atlantic, Martha and Delia, have a very similar approach: use some ready-made puff pastry, slather it in some kind of soft paste (purée of roasted garlic, pesto or some kind of soft cheese), cover it with slices of tomato and bake. I was very tempted by the roasted garlic until I realised that it would add a good 40 minutes more of cooking time. So I tried the Delia recipe and it was just glorious. If you don’t like goat’s cheese try it with mascarpone or some other plain soft cheese and if you have some flavoured olive oil use that over the top instead of the normal stuff. Brilliant for those nights when you want something different but don’t have the time or energy for lots of prep and stirring.
Roasted tomato, garlic and goat’s cheese tart (adapted from Delia online)
For two you will need:
Cupboard (or things you may already have):
garlic clove, 1
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
olive oil or a flavoured oil like this, about a tablespoon
ready-rolled puff pastry, 200g (about half a standard packet of ready-made)
soft goat’s cheese, 75g
ripe tomatoes, about 300g (three big ones should be about right)
fresh thyme, a few small sprigs
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan-assisted/gas 5 and lightly oil an ovenproof baking sheet. If the cheese has been stored in the fridge, take it out now to let it warm up/soften a little.
2. Peel and finely chop the garlic clove, slice the tomatoes thinly and take the leaves off most of the thyme sprigs.
3. Unroll the pastry onto the baking sheet and, without cutting right through, score a line about 1cm in from the edge all the way round the pastry.
4. In a small bowl, mash the garlic clove, thyme leaves and cheese together to make a soft paste. If it seems a bit stiff and unyielding (which it may be depending on the type of cheese used and the temperature) mix in a little olive oil to loosen it up a bit. Season with some salt and pepper.
5. Spread the paste onto the pastry, keeping it within the score line, then cover with the tomatoes and the remaining thyme sprigs.
6. Drizzle over a little olive oil, salt and pepper then bake for about 40 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden and the tomatoes are just starting to char at the edges. Top Delia tip: if you are serving this warm, wait a few minutes before slicing it up because the pastry is less likely to tear.