I love late summer when the garden begins to share it's bounty with us . . . that is the time of year when all the hard work begins to pay off . . . the fruit ripens, vegetables are ready to be picked . . . and there is nothing tastier on earth than things you have grown yourself.
I have always loved tomatoes. As a girl we ate ripe tomatoes at the end of the summer out of hand like apples. It was not unsual to sit down to a complete meal of nothing but sliced ripe tomatoes, sliced ripe cucumbers . . . scattered with salt and pepper and served with buttered bread.
Or a feed of nothing but sweet corn on the cob with lots of butter and salt. We never felt deprived when this happened. It was a real treat. It still is.
I took some of our ripe tomatoes today and used them to make a delicious tomato tart. Tomato tarts can be as complicated or as simple as you want them to be. This one is very simple and very rustic.
It's just a matter of rolling out the pastry into a nice round and then sprinkling it with some rich and creamy soft Goat's cheese. You then layer that up with sliced tomatoes and chopped olives . . . you could add a few capers as well, if you are fond of them. I am, but today I didn't have any to use . . .
A sprinkle of coarse pepper and salt and into the oven it goes . . . until the pastry gets crisp and golden brown . . . and the tomatoes are just beginning to caramlize . . . and the goats cheese lays all rich and creamy beneath them . . .
I like to use the dry cured olives because they have more flavour and are usually cured with some herbs. I love them and a few can go a very long way because they are so very flavourful!
After that you only need drizzle the tart with a bit of really good extra virgin olive oil and a few strips of fresh basil before cutting it into wedges to serve.
Me . . . I always like to drizzle it with a bit of balsamic dressing as well, such as the house dressing in my sandwiches of yesterday. (It's most delicious you know!) All in all this makes for a delightfully toothsome and flavourful light lunch or supper.
Tomato, Olive & Goats Cheese TartMakes 1 9-inch tarts
(You will want enough to make a 12 inch round)3 large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2inch wedges
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 4. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Roll the pastry out to a 12 inch circle. Place the pastry carefully onto the paper lined baking sheet. Crumble the goats cheese in the middle., leaving a 2 inch border all round. Remove and discards any seeds and excess juice from your tomatoes. Arrange the tomatoes in an even layer over the goats cheese. Grind some black pepper over top and a bit of salt and sprinkle the olives evenly over all. Gently fold the edges of the pastry over top of the filling all the way around, crimping as need be. You want to leave the centre open.
Bake in the heated oven for 40 to 45 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden and the filling is cooked. The tomatoes will be lightly roasted. Remove from the oven and allow stand for about 10 minutes. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the basil strips. Cut into wedges to serve.