If you love tomatoes, you’ll love this tart. It is the wonderful combination of tomatoes, cheese and parmesan. The recipe, from BBC Good Food Magazine, recommends using a mixture of tomato varieties. We used Spanish ensalada tomatoes, 2kg on the vine, bought this morning from the smiling lady at the vegetable stall in the tiny indoor market in our nearest village. This market is easily missed, there is no sign on the wall outside, just an open door. It is horseshoe-shaped, bakery first left, olives second left, then a cured meat stall, the fruit and veggie stall at the end is the largest and busiest. Turn to the right and exit past the household goods stall [everything from shower gel to mops] and the butcher. The village is tiny but its local shops would put an English high street to shame, you just have to take a deep breath and follow the local ladies over the threshold to discover what lies inside. I won a nod of approval for requesting ‘do kilo de tomate y do kilo de papa’ which is campo around here for ‘two kilos of tomatoes and two kilos of potatoes’ without pronouncing a single ‘s’.
3-4 onions, sliced
1 tbsp butter olive oil, for drizzling
1 tsp sugar [optional]
3 thyme sprigs, strip the leaves off 2 strips
5 sage leaves, shredded then finely chopped
3oz fresh breadcrumbs
1oz Parmesan, grated
For the pastry:-
300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g cold butter, cubed
85g mature cheddar, cubed
½ tsp salt
25g Parmesan, grated
Make the pastry first. Put the flour, butter, cheddar and salt into a food processor. Pulse a few times until the butter and cheese are cut into smaller pieces. Measure 150ml of very cold water into a jug. Drizzle the water into the pastry, little by little, pulsing between additions, until it comes together in a rough ball. It will feel quite doughy [we used only 120ml water to achieve this state]. Wrap in cling film and chill for one hour.
Meanwhile in a pan over a low heat, gently soften the onions in the butter and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir in the sugar, thyme and sage, turn up the heat and cook for a few more minutes until golden and sticky. Season and set aside to cool a little.
Heat the oven to 200®C/gas 6. Dust a big baking sheet with more flour, then roll out the pastry onto it 0.5cm thick in a circle [our baking sheet was rectangular, so the tart was rectangular]. Mix the onions with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Leaving a 5cm border all the way around, spread the onion mixture over the pastry base. Arrange the tomatoes on top. Hand-roll and pinch the pastry edges up around the filling, pressing firmly to hold. Scatter over more thyme and plenty of seasoning. If you think your tomatoes need a little help, sprinkle over the sugar now. At this stage, the tart can be covered and chilled for up to 12 hours.
If cooking now, drizzle with a little olive oil and bake for 25 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden. Serve warm or at room temperature. We ate it with a simple lettuce, tomato and spring onion salad.