Roasted tomatoes are such a pleasure, especially at this time of year when homegrown varieties are plentiful and full of flavour.
I halved 10 large tomatoes and put them on an oven tray – scattered them with chopped garlic, some sprigs of thyme and plenty of seasoning, then drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I roasted them for an hour at about 140’C in my fan oven – keeping an eye on them in case they started to blacken.
I used most of them to make a delicious and summery tart, but have a nice pot in the fridge waiting to be used as the basis of a pasta sauce, or even a soup if this rainy weather sets in.
The tart I made was inspired by a recipe in August Good Food’s mag, but I added a layer of pesto to heighten the appeal to the boys. I’m always banging on about having a pack of puff pastry in the freezer, and I’m going to do it again.
It’s such a simple ingredient – as long as you remember to defrost it in advance! Of course you can buy chilled pastry too that doesn’t require such foresight.
You can put all manner of lovelies on top of puff pastry to make a simple supper, here’s a few recipes I’ve done before.
This one is possibly the simplest to date and therefore worth adding to your list of meals that can be slung together in a jiffy.
Roasted tomato tart with goats cheese and pesto (Inspired by BBC Good Food, August)
One sheet of ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp pesto
7-8 large halved roasted tomatoes (see method above – use cherry tomatoes if you think your kids might struggle)
125g soft goats cheese, crumbled (rindless sort in a pot – or other cheese of your choice)
1. Heat oven to 220’C/200’C Fan/Gas 7. Unroll the sheet of puff pastry and place on a greased non-stick baking tray. Mark a 2cm border with a sharp knife around the edges of the pastry sheet, then prick all over with a fork and brush with beaten egg. Bung in the oven for 12-15 mins until golden and risen.
2. Remove from oven and then brush with pesto. Then place your halves of roasted tomato cut side up evenly within the borders of the pastry. Scatter the goats cheese over the top and then put the tart back in the oven for around 8 mins until the tomatoes are warmed through and the cheese turns golden. Slice and serve with a fresh salad.
Unfortunately the tomatoes were way too big and chunky for the boys and they were unsure about the soft goats cheese, so next time I think I’ll divide the pastry into separate mini-tarts and use roasted cherry tomatoes and a less grown-up cheese like cheddar. I always try sophisticated flavours out on them, coz you can’t predict when they’ll like something. You’ve got to love a trier!
They hoovered up the pastry and pesto and accompanying salad bits though so all was not lost. Matthew and I really enjoyed it – the intensity and sweetness of roasted tomatoes with the sharp freshness of goats cheese – magnificent.