• Ali

Tomato, courgette and basil tart

This is a very versatile, quick and easy recipe, perfect for a summers lunch or a lunch at work.


I have made it with wild garlic pesto, but you can use green, red or rocket pesto or sun-dried tomato paste to spread on the base of the tart.

To make wild garlic pesto you need 100g wild garlic, boiled for 10 seconds, then run cold water over it and squeeze out the moisture, much as you would do with spinach. Place in a food processor with 50g pine nuts and 100g grated parmesan. Whilst the processor is running, slowly trickle in 150 ml extra virgin olive oil. Store in a sterilised jar with a little more olive oil on the top in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 3 months. Or you can buy a very good wild garlic pesto, when in season, from https://trottersindependent.co.uk/product/wild-garlic-pesto/

You could make the tart with aubergine, red pepper, tomato- any combination of ingredients- sprinkle over a few chilli flakes, drizzle with chilli oil- add some goats cheese or crumble on some feta, anything goes.

I also made a pea, avocado mozzarella and basil salad. For this I defrosted 200g frozen peas, peeled and chopped 1 avocado into chunks, tore up a few leaves of basil, tore a ball of mozzarella into strips and threw them all together. Drizzled over a little white balsamic, or white wine vinegar and some extra virgin olive oil, or rapeseed oil. Seasoned with salt and pepper and tossed all together. This would be even better (I think) if I could get a ball of burrata instead of mozzarella and plonk it on top, a thing of dreams. Maybe one for after lockdown!


Serves 4 as a lunch with the salad


Ingredients

1 packet ready rolled puff pastry

4 tbsp pesto red or green (I used wild garlic pesto)

2 vine ripe tomatoes

1 large courgette

Fresh basil

Salt and pepper

1 egg, beaten for brushing

Olive oil

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200C.

  • Lay a sheet of baking parchment or a silicone sheet on a baking tray.

  • Unwrap your sheet of puff pastry. Cut a 2cm wide strips off down each side of the length of the pastry. Cut the same size strips form each short end of the pastry as well.

  • Lay the large sheet of pastry onto your lined baking tray.

  • Brush the edges of the pastry lightly with egg and stick the strips back down on the edges of the pastry, trimming the excess off where necessary. Prick the centre of the pastry lightly with a fork to stop it ballooning up.

  • Using a spatula spread the pesto over the base of the pastry.

  • Thinly slice the tomatoes and courgette, place in an overlapping pattern over the pesto, season with salt and pepper and tuck in the basil.

  • Drizzle with olive oil

  • Brush the pastry frame with egg, put into the oven to bake. Check after 20 mins. The bottom should be crisp and the sides puffed up and brown. Take out of the oven and drizzle with a little more olive oil.

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