Roasted Tomato and Goats’ Cheese Tart with Thyme
If we’re lucky in the kitchen garden, we’re now going to have lots of very red, sun-ripened tomatoes. I always make masses of fresh tomato and basil sauce and lots of gazpacho, which only tastes good when the tomatoes are very red and ripe. This year I’ve also got this brilliant new recipe which once you’ve made, I guarantee you will go on making because it’s just about the easiest and most sublime tomato recipe on record. It’s great as a starter or as a main course with a salad. Serve it at barbecues or any outdoor eating event (it’s even good cold on a picnic). You’ll just have to make it to believe it.
|1 lb 10 oz (725 g) ripe plum tomatoes, or any other ripe medium-sized tomato|
|5 oz (150 g) soft goats’ cheese|
|4 level teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, plus a few small sprigs|
|1 x 375 g pack fresh, ready-rolled puff pastry|
|2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed|
|2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil|
|salt and freshly milled black pepper|
|Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C).|
|Need help with conversions?|
|You will also need a large baking tray measuring 16 x 12 in (40 x 30 cm), lightly oiled.|
This recipe first appeared in Sainsbury’s Magazine (Aug 2002).
To begin the recipe, first of all unwrap the pastry and place it on the baking tray. Then, using a sharp knife, carefully score a line on the pastry, about ½ in (1 cm) in from the edge, all the way around, but be careful not to cut it all the way through.
Now tip the goats’ cheese into a small bowl, add the crushed garlic, chopped thyme and a good seasoning of salt and freshly milled black pepper. Then give it all a good mixing and, using a small palette or other round-bladed knife, carefully spread the cheese mixture evenly all over the surface of the pastry, right up to the line. Next, thinly slice all the tomatoes (there is no need to peel them) and arrange them on top of the goats’ cheese in overlapping lines lengthways; overlap one line one way and the one next to it the other way.
After that, season the tomatoes and then drizzle the olive oil and scatter the sprigs of thyme all over them. Bake in the pre-heated oven on the middle shelf for 55 minutes or until the pastry is golden-brown and the tomatoes are roasted and slightly charred at the edges. If you are going to serve the tart warm, leave it to settle for about 10 minutes before cutting into squares.
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