Tomato Thyme!

This is about the only time of the year that you should be able to buy fresh tomatoes cheaper than tinned. You may be lucky enough to have a greenhouse or sunny back garden and are now harvesting your super tasty home grown tomatoes. Either way, it’s a perfect time to make tomatoes the star of the show when it comes to using them up.

When I went to market last week, I picked up 5 kilos of gorgeous tomatoes for just £1.80 – you get to find super bargains when it comes to seasonal fruit and vegetables.

This is my favourite Tomato Tart recipe, which takes moments to make and tastes divine! You can use any fresh herbs that you have to hand (or even some dried) and use any cheese that you have lying around in the fridge.

Tomato Thyme Tart with Goats Cheese

You’ll need one pack of puff pastry for this recipe, so get it out of the fridge half an hour before you need it to give it time to soften a little.

Heat the oven to Gas mark 5, 375F, 190C.

In a bowl, mix together 150g cheese (crumbled if it’s a soft cheese, grated if it’s a hard cheese), 1 clove of garlic finely grated or chopped and around 3-4 tablespoons of freshly chopped herbs. If you’re using fresh thyme, you can just pick off the leaves from around 10 stems and put them in with the cheese. If you only have dried, use around 2tsp. Mix well and season with black pepper. Don’t forget cheese is quite salty, so you won’t need to add salt. Make sure all of the ingredients in the bowl are well mixed.

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Roll out the pastry, trying to keep it as rectangular as you can (you can always trim it, if it goes wrong!). Don’t roll it out bigger than the biggest baking tray that you have. If you don’t have any big baking trays, cut the pastry in half to fit.

With a sharp knife, score an edge all the way round your pastry – taking care not to cut all the way through. This will enable the edges of your pastry to rise, but will prevent the middle bit from rising and pushing off all of the tomatoes. Inside the area that you’ve scored prick with a fork to make extra sure that it won’t rise.

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Scatter the cheese mixture all over the pastry. You may think that there’s not enough of the cheesy mixture, but don’t forget – this is all about the tomatoes. The cheese is there to give an extra dimension, rather than providing all of the flavour.

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Finely slice around 10-12 tomatoes and lay them in lines over the cheese. It makes a nice pattern if you go down one way with the sliced tomatoes and up the other way – like this:

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Brush the cut edges of the tomatoes with melted butter or an oil of your choice. Season well with black pepper and sprinkle a little salt over the top before scattering some more herbs over the top of it all.

Put the tart/s on the middle shelf and bake for around 50-55 minutes (30-40 minutes if you have two smaller tarts) until the outside is well risen and golden and the tomatoes are cooked and starting to brown and show signs of being well roast.

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Leave to cool slightly. Best served warm.

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