Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tomato Tart with Basil Mascarpone

Recipe by Heston Blumenthal (with some Jessica Tweeks)

So I have made this recipe twice now, and both times it  has been for my vegetarian friends. I recommend using this recipe only on a weekend, when you have time to lovingly prepare a dish that needs a bit more time. Read the recipe so you can see just how much time you will need to allow, as you will require good time management for this recipe.
I used to get stuck for ideas when having veggo's over but now I eat vegetarian food regularly myself, and find it can be still taste delicious and make you feel full.
Both of my vegetarian friends have said this is an incredible meal. I was delighted when Paula said it was classy restaurant worthy, as so much love went into making this for her. She was the one who gave me the cookbook containing this recipe. YAY!

*To start this recipe the Tomatoes must be prepped as they take 2 hours to drain and 3 hours in the oven.  One hour is also required for onion caramelisation*

Oven Dried Tomatoes
Preheat over to 100C (Bake for 3 hours)

1Kg of medium tomatoes
6 Cloves of garlic (peeled and finely sliced)
Bay leaves (I used dry and sliced them)
Thyme sprigs (So easy to grow in the  herb garden)
Caster sugar
Olive oil

Heston's recipe calls for peeling of the tomatoes but I skipped that. I loved the skin on.
Cut the tomatoes in halves and scoop out the seeds carefully with a spoon.
Leave upside down, on a baking dish that has been covered with paper towel. Allow to drain for 2 hours. You can cheat and do 1 hour if you like.

Transfer to baking tray lines with baking paper cut side up.
On each tomato place a couple slices of garlic and bay leaves. Add small sprigs of thyme to each. Sprinkle with a little salt and caster sugar, then drizzle olive oil.

Place in pre-heated oven for 3 hours  or until they are dry but still soft.

Basil Mascarpone
I do make my own pesto. But because this recipe is already time consuming I recommend buying store bought basil pesto. Depending on the strength of the pesto I'd recommend adding two heaping tablespoons to around 200g of Mascarpone.  Once you've mixed the two together taste it to check if it needs more pesto. Set aside in the fridge until needed.

Bake at 200c
50g Olive Oil
60g Unsalted butter
10 small onions (around a kg)
5g of Thyme leaves
5g Rosemary leaves  (I got mine from the Italian neighbour next door)
1/2  Tblsp Dijon mustard
20g Sherry vinegar (I didn't have any because I couldn't find it in the shop. I combined half apple vinegar and red wine vinegar, and that seemed to work as a fine substitute).
250g All Butter Puff Pastry (Around 4 puff pastry sheets. Mine was from the frozen food section)
Tapenade (Heston has his own recipe for this but I bought mine in a jar. Make sure it has no anchovies if you are making this for Vegetarians).
Oven Dried tomatoes (that you prepared earlier)
1 Medium egg, lightly beaten

Start by chopping the Kg bag of small onions, as they will take 1 hour to cook down.
I wore snorkel goggles because I've never had to cut so many onions in my life, and the first time I did this I could barely see from all the onion tears.

Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan  on medium heat.
When the butter has melted add the onions.
Cook for approximately 1 hours until they are very soft, stirring  occasionally to prevent the onions from catching on the bottom of the pan.

When the onions are well caramelised chop the herbs and add them to the pan with the mustard, vinegar and pinch of salt. Cook for another 10 minutes then remove from heat.

Roll out the puff pastry. I used two cookie sheets (baking trays). I rolled together two puff pastry sheets per tray.  Lightly score a line for a border of about 5mm from the edge of the tray. Prick the pastry inside these lines with a fork. Spread Tapenade to the border edge, as pictured above. Cover with onions. Then completely cover the onions with tomatoes arranged in neat rows.

Add a little water the beaten egg. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash. J-TIP: If you don't have a brush try dabbing some paper towel into the wash and gently going around the border with that.

Bake in a preheated oven of 200C for 15- 20 minutes or until edges are risen and deep golden. 
Put the bowl of basil pesto on the table with a spoon so your guests can freely add dollops of this to the top of their tart.
I also fried up two chorizo sausages and put them in a bowl for the non-veggos to add to the top of their tart and this was a HUGE hit. I also served this up with my spinach, pumpkin and feta salad. I'll post that recipe soon.

My hubby David on left, enjoying Tomato Tart with his Brother Michael and his VEGGO gal Elise