As summer comes to an end, we have (as I am sure many of you do) a glut of tomatoes still merrily ripening in the diminishing sunshine. It happens every year………….. The freezer starts to fill with an array of tomatoey things which will be consumed little by little over the winter months.
One of our favourite tomato preservation methods is roasting. I do seem to roast a lot of fruit and vegetables, I think because it intensifies their flavour immensely as well as making them last longer. And so it is for tomatoes………..
We like to roast ours with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil, then use as a base for all sorts of pasta, meat and vegetable sauces.
This week I thought I would try them in a tart. I had a load of spinach lurking in the fridge alongside some Feta and Mozzarella (which I have been buying almost in bulk for my recently posted Pandabonos). And as if it was just put there to inspire me, even the basil plant in the garden had decided to make an appearance (having been devoured for most of the summer by an entire community of slugs), so I thought I would throw that in too.
The end result? A tart to celebrate (or even commiserate) the end of summer. Incredibly intense zingy red tomatoes (you do need to like tomatoes for this one), off-set by soft green iron-rich spinach and chewy mozzarella, all equally contrasted by soft white salty Feta and a sweet hint of basil. The crisp pastry case adds all the bite you need…………. Serve with new potatoes, more green veg, or just eat on its own. This tart is packed full of nutrients, but is also light and guilt-free!
In hindsight, for a different dimension against the tomatoes, I think oregano may have worked just as well (or maybe even better) than basil. I will certainly give that a go next time…………
Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes
- Take about 2 pounds / 1 kilo small/cherry tomatoes and cut in half or quarters (depending on the size).
- Put the tomatoes in a large oven-proof dish and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (as good a quality as you can afford).
- Roast on a reasonably high heat (I use 200⁰ C / 400⁰ F / Gas 6) for about 40 minutes (stirring a couple of times during the cooking process) until the tomatoes are slightly caramelised around the edges and the liquid content has reduced significantly.
- Remove from the oven and use straight away or cool and freeze in airtight containers.
Roast Tomato, Feta, Mozzarella, Spinach & Basil Tart
1 x 10 inch/25cm savoury GF pastry flan case – baked blind as from this post.
Approx 2 pounds/1 kilo cherry/small tomatoes – roasted as above.
A handful of Mozzarella cheese either shredded or the dry pizza variety
A couple of handfuls of fresh spinach leaves – washed and patted dry
200g Feta cheese – crumbled
a few basil leaves – washed
black pepper to season
- Roast your tomatoes as above and set aside.
- Make and blind bake your pastry case as from this post.
- Pre-heat the oven to 190⁰ C / 375⁰ F / Gas 5.
- Once your pastry is cooked, place a thin layer of Mozzarella cheese in the bottom.
- Cover the Mozzarella with a good layer of fresh spinach leaves.
- On top of this, place a thick layer of roasted tomatoes, draining as much excess liquid as possible.
- Sprinkle the Feta on top of the tomatoes.
- Top with a few basil leaves (either whole or ripped into pieces) and a grind of black pepper.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until the pie is hot through, the basil has crisped on the top and the spinach is wilted.
- Remove from the oven and enjoy.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013 unless otherwise indicated