Rustic Tomato Tart

Rustic. You know straight up that is culinary speak for made sans finesse. When it comes to pastry and baking, I am all about the lack of finesse. My mom says I have hot hands and should never touch pastry (or crochet ha ha ha) which is all the motivation I need to call on the gods of store bought puff sheets. So here is how it went down, the discovery of a pasty tart so simple yet so delicious that is has become my go to drop in dinner or brunch. Saturday arvo, my buddy coming over, no dinner planned, but a haul of sweet tomatoes from the market in the house. I had a packet of puff pastry in the freezer, and had an idea I could make these lazy tarts which would be monster yummy and not get in the way of hanging out time. Pizzaish, but more of a tart, tomatoes are the star, and the supporting cast for me were olives and fresh thyme. It could as easily have been basil. I used a commercial vegan cream cheese on the base which I had in the fridge, you could also use vegan mozzarella, but I like the creamy good times. Let's rollnotroll into your new favorite recipe. This recipe makes two tarts, which means you can graze over a coupla hours, or have cold from the fridge later that night in your silky nighty, Nigella style.

Ingredients:

  • 2 vegan puff pastry sheets (check ingredients, I used Borgs)
  • 8 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tub vegan cream cheese ( I used Torfutti)
  • 3 tsp. lemon juice
  • Zest of that lemon
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp. raw caster sugar
  • ½ Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp olive oil 
  • Black olives, seeded and halved
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced with salt
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. fresh thyme, 

Lets DO This!

1. Slice tomatoes about 5mm thick and lay flat in a colander, sprinkle with salt so they drain and aren't so wet. Do this about 30 mins before you want to assemble, and flip and shake as you pass them. Turn on your oven to 180 degrees.

2. Lay out the two pastry sheets on baking trays lined with greaseproof paper.

3. Spoon the tub of cream cheese into a bowl and mix in the minced garlic, nutritional yeast, black pepper and lemon juice. Spread this over the pastry sheets generously leaving about 2cm all around the edge.

4. Shake any excess liquid off the tomatoes, pat dry with some paper towel and lay the tomato slices across the cream cheese in a single layer until it is covered. 

5. Here comes the rustic part - pinch the corners of the pastry together tightly, making a little fold, pinch roughly along the sides of the tart so you have some rustic looking short edges.

6. Place the olive halves decoratively on the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with lemon zest, pick the fresh thyme leaves and scatter across the tomato, leaving some for garnish. 

7. Bake in the oven for about 30 - 35mins until it turns golden brown. Cut into slices and serve with a simple salad and lots of smugness about your effortless hostessing.

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Polly McGee