08 March 2011

tomato tart

'S' had a horrendous couple of weeks at work, so I decided to make a nice dinner for him on Saturday.  We normally eat in front of the tv, so by 'nice', I mean sit down at the dining table (after it's been cleared of all my junk!) and eat like normal people do.  I did try and spesh it up with candles and tealights, giving me an excuse to break out my black candlelabra which has just been sitting and gathering dust.

We had soup (Pumpkin and Ginger) with crusty bread to start - ready made, not homemade.  I'm not above buying ready made soup, especially if it's from Pitango.  A multi-awarded brand that only uses organic and free range products.  Justifies buying ready made soup!

Soup was followed by a tomato tart.  After spending what seems like a couple of hours trawling through the internet for tomato tart recipes, I decided to just make something up based on your basic puff pastry, tomatoes and feta tart.

Like usual, I did a quick inventory check on what I had and what looks like it's threatening to go off if I don't use it up soon.  The quick check coughed up some corn (actually it was ONE ear of corn) and some rather ripe avocados.

So there it was.  A tomato tart with corn, avocado and feta.

Some of the recipes I stumbled across called for sliced onions.  I decided to caramelise my onions since I hate raw onions.  Can't stand them actually.  Apart from onion breath, raw onions gives you bad B.O. (body odour).  That horrid, rancid, I bathed in yesterday's onion juice smell.  Blaaagh.  Anyway, didn't want to run the risk of the onions not cooking through properly.  So caramelised onions was the answer.

I didn't really measure the ingredients.  I took out the pan that I was going to bake the tart in and basically made enough so that the ingredients covered the base of the pan.  I cut one more tomato when I realised I didn't have enough and ended up only needing to crumble 2/3 of my block of feta cheese.  Although I enjoy the exactness of baking, cooking this way (by sight and taste) is one that I much prefer doing to be honest.

I also used pre-made puff pastry.  Make these from scratch if you must.  But I'm not precious about buying ready-made pastry dough.  It saves SO much time and guarantees no mistakes.

Once this came out of the oven looking as perfect as I wanted it to be, my mind was racing with other tart ideas (get your mind out of the gutter!).  The whole thing turned out a whole lot easier than I expected.  And highly edible too!

Tomato Tart

1 large onion
1 tablespoon raw sugar
Very ripe but firm Tomatoes
Corn (fresh if possible)
1 avocado
Black olives (about 10)
Thyme (fresh if possible)
A packet of puff pastry
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 210°C

Slice onions and tomatoes into thick-ish rings.

To prevent the tart from getting soggy, I spread the cut tomatoes out on a plate and place paper towels on top of them (pressed down lightly) to soak up some of the excess liquid.

Fry the onions over a medium heat until soft, and then add the sugar. Continue to fry until the onions are brown and caramelised.  I allowed mine to burn a tiny wee bit - I like the sweet smokey flavour when that happens.

Remove caramelised onions into a bowl. Cut the black olives into halves and mix the olives and the corn in with the onions.

Roll out your puff pastry and line your pan with the pastry so enough pastry going up the side of the pan.  Prick the bottom of the pastry all over with a fork.  Oh by the way, I lined my pan with a baking sheet/paper, instead of buttering the pan - no mess!

Slice avocado, approximately the same thickness as you've done for the tomatoes and lay the slices out in the pan.

Add the next layer of ingredients - the onion and olive mixture.  I just used my fingers to spread it out evenly.

Next, crumble the feta all over.  Then lay out the sliced tomatoes on top of the feta.

Sprinkle with thyme (leaves only - chuck out the stalks), salt and pepper.

Bake in the oven until puff pastry is cooked and golden.

Serve hot...candles and tealights optional. :-)


  1. How sweet. It looks delicious. And, I must say, your thyme is so cute in that little pot!!


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