Most people tend to forget that the tastiest tomatoes you can find are as summer turns to autumn. It means they have had the chance to gorge up all the sun, which makes them deliciously sweet.
Tomatoes are so popular and versatile that everybody seems to love them.
Tomatoes are popular ingredients in salads, sauces and even in soups, but what about making them stand out in a summery tomato tart? A fresh and lighter alternative to pizza, with an abundance of flavour that you can share with friends and family around a glass of wine.
Michel Roux Jr tomato tart recipe
250g puff pastry
350g cherry tomatoes
6 small shallots
2 tbsp of mustard
3 tbsp of olive oil
5 basil leaves
15g pine nuts
Salt and pepper
- First of all slice the tomatoes in two if they are small, or in quarters if bigger. Season them with salt and leave to render in the excess water for about 30 minutes. This is crucial, otherwise your tart will be soggy.
- Peel the shallots and cut in slices of approximately half a centimetre.
- Generously oil a baking tray and season the slices before cooking in the oven for 15 minutes at 175°C until coloured.
- Once you have lined your puff pastry on a baking tray you must pre-cook it for 10 minutes at
180°C until a lovely blond colour. You may need to use some dried beans and cling film to ensure that the puff pastry doesn’t rise too much.
- Whisk the crème fraîche with the whole grain mustard and spread evenly throughout the bottom of the tart.
- Add a few basil leaves on the bottom for extra taste before decorating your tart with the tomatoes and confit shallots. Once decorated and seasoned the tart is ready to go back in the oven at 150° until the tomatoes are softened and the puff pastry has a caramelized colour.
- This tart is at its best served lukewarm with a drizzle of olive oil, shaves of Parmesan, toasted pine nuts and fresh basil on top.
Wines to drink with tomato tart
- Mas Bruguière l’Arbousé, 2014: From the north of the Languedoc region, this wine is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre that has a generous yet balanced fruity flavour. Great for the summer seasons with a mineralogy that suits fresh vegetables. RRP: £10.97 from Waitrose.
- Château Olivier Pessac-Léognan, 2012: This Bordeaux wine is a blend of Sauvignon, Sémillon and Muscadelle. A combination of white flowers, citrus fruits with a hint of smokiness it is a very lively wine. RRP: £34.60 from Tanners Wine Merchants.
- Esprit Buganay Rose, Cotes de Provence, 2014: If you are serving this drink as an aperitif, the tomato tart is the perfect accompaniment. With the blend of Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache you will not be disappointed. RRP: £10.99 from Waitrose.
More about the wines
Close to my heart, as my wife is a native of the region, is the joyful rosé from the north of the Languedoc region. On the beautiful territory of the Pic Saint Loup, the blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre offer an extremely balanced, fruity and generous wine.
Its mineralogy matches perfectly with local tomatoes. The Mas Bruguière l’Arbousé, 2014, is excellent value for money, a wine that you can enjoy all summer long.
For a rounder and richer wine why not try a Bordeaux grand cru? This roundness is provided by a blend of Sauvignon, Sémillon and an infinite percent of Muscadelle. I thoroughly enjoy the notes of exotic fruit and smokiness that the Château Olivier Pessac Léognan, 2012 delivers. This young white wine full of liveliness couples fantastically with the Mediterranean tomato tart.
Perfect served as an aperitif, the light and subtly spicy flavours of the Esprit Buganay Rose, Cotes de Provence, 2014 works perfectly with the tomato tart. A beautiful blend of Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache this wine if full of fruity flavours and is beautifully elegant. This full-flavoured rose comes from the southern region of Provence, and so works so wonderfully with fresh, aromatic ingredients such as tomatoes.