If there’s one country that knows how to bring out the absolute best in tomatoes, it has to be Italy.
Salt. Pepper. Basil. Garlic. Olive oil. And Cheese …… One of the best combinations on the planet!
And that’s what you need for this great seasonal tart.
It’s fabulous hot or cold. Picnics, lunch to go, a lovely supper with all the tastes of summer …… whichever way you want it!
I used cherry tomatoes (homegrown!), but sliced or quartered tomatoes will be just fine.
I used store-bought ready-made puff pastry, but shortcrust will be just fine … as will your favourite savoury gluten-free pastry too.
I made a simple vegan ricotta-style cheese, but store-bought vegan ricotta will be just fine.
So everything is just fine. And you get a delicious Italian Tart which has to be on my favourite recipes list! §
- 500gms. pastry. Defrost if required. Keep pastry chilled in the fridge until ready to use. I used ready-made savoury puff pastry.
- Approx. 220 gms. vegan ricotta-style cheese. (If going down the home-made curd cheese route, 1 litre of soya milk will provide approximately 220-240 gms. of curd cheese). See recipe link above.
- 1 scant tsp. salt: add to the ricotta cheese and stir thoroughly to combine.
- 500 gms. tomatoes : cherry tomatoes sliced in half, or larger tomatoes cut into quarters or evenly sized chunks. As you can see, I used cherry tomatoes, and I included some green tomatoes for an extra tang.
- 2 large garlic cloves : peeled and finely sliced.
- approx. 1 tsp. salt
- 1-2 tsps. coarse ground black pepper.
- 25-30 basil leaves: finely chopped.
- Drizzle of olive oil.
- 1 tbs. olive oil + I tbs. plant-based milk : combined to use as a baste for the pastry.
- Pre-heat oven to Gas. Mk. 7 / 220C.
- Take 1 baking flan tray approx. 25cm. x 40 cm. Lightly grease the inner surface of the tray.
- Roll out the chilled pastry so it is slightly larger than the tray (approx. 2 cm. on each side.
- Place the pastry in the tray and then fold the edges over so that the pastry case sits just inside the edges of the tray (see pic.)
- Using a fork, press the edge of the folded pastry into the base ( see pic.)
- Using the tip of the fork, prick the surface of the pastry several times, without going right through, to prevent the base of the tart puffing up (see pics.)
- Baste the entire surface of the pastry (the base and the crust), lightly with the olive oil/vegan milk mix.
- Spread the vegan ricotta-style cheese evenly over the pastry base, leaving the crust free.
- Scatter half the chopped basil and half the ground black pepper over the curd cheese.
- Spread the tomatoes evenly over the cheese. (Mainly cut side up).
- Scatter the sliced garlic, the salt, the rest of the pepper, and the rest of the chopped basil over the tomatoes.
- Drizzle very lightly with olive oil.
- Place in a hot oven for 25-30 mins. until the pastry is golden and the tomatoes are cooked.
Serve hot / warm / cold with salads of your choice.
I made a great bean and fennel salad…. mmmm…