I don’t know about you, but I tend to buy too many vegetables when I go shopping. As a result, at least once a week I have a good ol’ rummage through the fridge and pull out what needs used up soon and make my dinner choices in accordance with what needs to be used. These vegetable tartlets are a perfect example of this sort of dinner because I had a number of veggies that I didn’t want to see go to waste and I only needed to buy some puff pastry and a block of feta to make them.
I’m a huge fan of pastry, particularly puff pastry because it’s such a versatile base ingredient upon which to base a meal around. I tend to keep a block of it in the freezer for whenever inspiration strikes so when I looked in the fridge the other day and saw that there were a number of summer vegetables that needed to be used up I decided to make a tomato and mozzarella tart with them.
Puff pastry is a very cheap way to make a tasty meal that can be topped with loads of delicious ingredients and it works particularly well with soft, sweet roasted vegetables, such as tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines and the likes. I’ve recently discovered (and fallen in love with) jars of roasted red peppers. Although they’re on the expensive side to buy from supermarkets, I’ve found them to be fairly cheap in discount stores (such as B&M and Poundstretcher’s). They’re gorgeous stuffed into sandwiches or served on the side of salads, but I’ve also been adding them onto pizzas because their natural sweetness goes really well with creamy, melted mozzarella.
The beauty of this tomato and mozzarella tart is that you can add any other ingredients you fancy. I’ll bet some chopped bacon or smoked ham would be lovely on top of it or some shredded pieces of roast chicken. I dare say a few strips of smoked salmon would be outstanding on it too, especially if you served the tart with a fresh green salad and a cold, crisp glass of white wine.
This tomato and mozzarella tart is a celebration of summer vegetables. It’s a crisp, flaky puff pastry base that’s topped with walnut and basil pesto and adorned with a plethora of delicately roasted tomatoes, courgettes and black olives which are nestled underneath a crisp blanket of grated creamy mozzarella. It’s simply an excellent dish for a summer lunch or dinner.
500g block of gluten-free puff pastry
2 large common tomatoes (sliced)
1 courgette (sliced) – no more than 240g of prepared courgette in total
1 roasted red pepper (from a jar) – about 100g in weight
8 black olives (halved)
Freshly ground black pepper
50g grated dairy-free mozzarella (or normal mozzarella)
For the walnut pesto:
15g fresh basil
30g sundried tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F/Gas mark 6.
Line a flat baking tray with a sheet of greaseproof paper.
Roll out the block of puff pastry on top of the greaseproof paper and use a plate to cut a large circle out. Cut a second circle that is slightly smaller than the outer circle, leaving a gap of around 1 cm around the edge.
Lay the puff pastry circle onto your baking tray.
Make your pesto by blending the pesto ingredients together (I used my Nutribullet) and spread the pesto over the puff pastry base.
Lay your tomato and courgette slices on top of the tart and add freshly ground black pepper.
Add the pieces of sliced red pepper and black olives.
And top with grated mozzarella before baking in the oven for around 30 mins.
Once the vegetables are soft and the pastry is cooked through, remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before serving with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.