Tomato tart is a traditional French tart, usually made with cheese and butter as well as the tomatoes. In this version, the dairy is omitted but the flavour is still retained. A perfect accompaniment to a meal of any season, it can be served hot straight from the oven, or cold at a picnic.
- Serves 4 - 6
- 225 g (8 oz) shortcrust pastry of your choice
- 900 g (2 lb) ripe tomatoes, sliced thinly
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 garlic clove, sliced or crushed
- 1 tsp fine sugar
- Pepper, freshly ground
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Assemble ingredients.
- Make your own preferred shortcrust pastry. Wholemeal is suggested but not necessary.
- Roll out pastry and place it in a pre-oiled flan tin. Place it in the fridge for 1/2 an hour to chill.
- Place thinly sliced tomatoes, garlic, herbs and 3 tbsp olive oil into a frying pan or paella dish and fry over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Turn the tomatoes and add the sugar and pepper. Reduce heat and cook for 5 - 8 minutes.
- Take the tomatoes off the heat.
- Set up a colander or criss-crossed cookie rack over the sink and carefully lift out the tomatoes (one by one if necessary) so that they do not break. Lay on the colander or rack to cool and drain. You are trying to remove as much moisture as possible. See below for ideas of what to do with the leftover juice mix.
- Remove the pastry case from the fridge and pierce base with fork. Blind bake for 10 minutes in oven (400ºF/200ºC). (See below for blind baking instructions.)
- Remove from oven, allow to cool for 1 - 2 minutes and take out the foil and beans.
- Arrange the tomatoes individually in the pie crust. You can make a spiral arrangement or simply lay them in there, overlapping wherever they will. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil - add more if desired. You can also add dried herbs if desired at this stage or add fresh garnishes after cooking.
- Bake for 15 - 20 minutes (400ºF/200ºC).
- Serve with fresh basil strewn across the pie or drizzle additional olive oil. Absolutely delicious warm, straight out of the oven. And still tasty cold, as long as it has been stored in an airtight container and consumed same day of baking.
- Blind baking means to bake the pastry case without filling. Line the pastry with foil and put dried beans, dried peas or uncooked rice to keep the pastry from bubbling up while cooking minus the filling. The reason behind blind baking is to help stop the pastry from becoming soggy when the filling is added. In this case, the tomatoes are very moist, even though well-drained.
- If you want to use cheese in the recipe, traditionally it would be Parmesan and it would be sprinkled on the pie case just before adding the tomatoes. Look in health food stores for vegan alternatives and try them. They have different properties, so no guarantee of taste or texture!
- You can use the leftover edges of the pastry to make small tomato "pizzas". Roll out the cut off edges and cut out little circles with them (an upside down glass is a perfect cutter). Spread with tomato paste, add one slice of tomato, top with herbs and bake for 10 minutes. Serve as snacks.
- Keep the juice and oil mixture from frying to add to a stock or soup. It is even great added to flavour a pre-purchased dip and it is perfect for a bruschetta base.
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