Richard Bainbridge’s heritage tomato tart
recipe serves 8-12
For our autumn menu here at Benedicts, we are serving a delicate and simple tomato tart. This is a classic dish that we used in our Dine at Home range during lockdown. It is a great show stopper and provides a light lunch for family and friends but is versatile enough to make smaller, individual portions as a starter or for a table of one.
This recipe is very close to my heart. We always associate tomatoes with being bang on in the summer season but here in the UK, for people growing tomatoes outside, they start to ripen at the end of August, which makes this a perfect recipe for September when we are lucky enough to have those beautiful sunny days and sunsets. After lockdown, many people now feel more comfortable entertaining and certainly more confident in their own kitchens, looking for more adventurous but simple recipes to create in their own home – my heritage tomato tart definitely fits the bill!
You can make your own puff pastry as we do at Benedicts. Making rough puff is a fairly straightforward process and you will get a beautiful, consistent rise. The rise may not be as high as with normal homemade puff pastry, but it is more complicated to make and can be very temperamental. Give homemade rough puff a go, otherwise buy a high quality puff pastry.
For the tomatoes, use ones grown in your own back garden, given to you by family and friends, or buy the best quality you can. This is the perfect recipe for showcasing the beautiful, juicy tomatoes which makes all the difference. We use heritage tomatoes in this recipe for the huge variety of colour and exquisite flavour. All you need to do is sprinkle with a little fresh thyme.
I cannot emphasise enough that this is a base recipe to take on as your own and add to as you see fit. For example, you can spread pesto underneath the tomatoes, garnish with a balsamic dressing to go over the top or can mix things up and use red onions instead of tomatoes. This recipe gives you a real foundation so that you can create variations with your own personal touches and add this dish to your own repertoire.
Finally, some news! As we move into September, we will be taking over the Jarrold Deli Counter with a selection of products from the kitchen at Benedicts. This tart will be there in various guises, with me putting my own twist on this basic recipe, so keep your eyes peeled.
Head on over to Jarrold in September and October and find this beautiful tart and explore all our other dishes at their Deli Counter.
1 pack of puff pastry 10 heritage tomatoes of various colours 3 sprigs of thyme Sea salt White pepper Olive oil Salad leaves
Pre-heat your oven to 185°C/gas mark 6.
Line a baking tray with some baking parchment.
Unroll the pastry onto the tray and score with a sharp knife in a criss-cross pattern, leaving a 2cm border around the outside of the pastry.
Place a large pan of water on the stove and bring to the boil. Drop your tomatoes in and blanch for 20 seconds or until the skin starts to peel, then put them into ice cold water to cool.
Once cooled, peel the skin off the tomatoes and slice them around 1cm thick. Arrange the tomatoes on the pastry within the border. Sprinkle the sprigs of thyme on top, season well with salt and pepper, then finally brush lightly with olive oil.
Place the tray into the oven and bake your tart for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
When ready to serve, slice your tart and serve with dressed leaves on the side.