Occasionally I get weeks when I can’t be bothered…. The feeling often centres around having to make decisions at home when I have been making them all day at work. I get home and just want someone else to do the deciding for me.
I have had a number of ‘those’ weeks. Work’s been tough recently and has felt like a sticky treacle treadmill much of the time. The sort of treadmill you wish you could get off, but even if it stopped, you would find your feet stuck and refusing to let you go.
With the weather finally warming up, I’ve also been feeling a little bit cheated being confined in a dingy office, looking out of a grimy window at the bright, sunny world below.
Even cooking and blogging has felt like hard work and I have wondered whether my creativity got washed away with the rain. And then there is that moment when you get offered timely inspiration from somewhere else and it makes you feel like you can do it after all….
This wonderful, fresh, summery tart came from one such timely nudge in the form of a previous recipe challenge : the Four Season’s Food Challenge back in 2014. The theme was ‘Red‘.
Wanting to make something savoury, I started thinking about red veg, which is actually quite limiting. It seems there are loads of options for red fruit, but walking round the veg sections of the farm shop and supermarket still left me scratching my head.
And then they were there…. Beautiful, shiny, bright red, pointy Ramiro peppers…. and the inspiration kicked in. Roast them. But with what? Must be red…. Sweet, juicy, red, succulent mini San Marzano tomatoes. Now that’s really red!
As the pepper and tomato began their cerebral roasting, they got mingled together with some red onion, garlic and parsley and before long, there was the makings of a summer tart.
Almond pastry, sprinkled with cheddar cheese, loaded with roasted red veg and topped with a chunky sprinkling of Wensleydale cheese, shot through with an extra red hue in the form of cranberry and blueberry.
The smell from the oven was incredible. Sweet, caramelising veg mingled with a hint of almond…. the resulting pie is a delight. The pastry is crisp and slightly nutty. The pepper-tomato filling is wonderfully intense…. caramel-sweet from the roasting, but shot through with soft, savoury roasted garlic, onion and a hint of parsley. The acidity of the veg is tempered by the cheddar and Wensleydale which top the whole thing off with a cheesy after-shot. An almond basket of savoury summer sun. Simply delicious!
Although this tart recipe could be made in a large family-size, I made it using individual 10 cm tart tins which are perfect for taking out on a picnic. The tarts are amazing both hot and cold, so they are ideal no matter where you are travelling with your rug and picnic basket. They could also be made as mini mouthful tarts, which would be just amazing at a barbecue or summer party…. And so pretty too.
Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Tart
1 x quantity gluten free almond pastry
4 Ramiro Peppers (or an alternative red sweet pointy pepper variety_ = deseeded and cut into smallish pieces
1 large red onion – (finely slice one half and chop the other half)3 largish cloves garlic – chopped into small chunksVery large handful chopped fresh parsleysalt and pepper to seasonolive oil150g mature cheddar cheese – grated150g Wensleydale cheese with cranberry (and blueberry – optional) – crumbled
- Make one portion of gluten free almond pastry as in this post and use to line either one 23 cm/9 inch loose-bottomed flan tin or four to five loose bottomed individual 10 cm/4 inch tart tins.
- After chilling the raw rolled pastry (lined in the tins) for an hour or so in the fridge, line the pastry with baking paper and baking beans and blind bake. Heat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6 and bake the pastry for 10 minutes with the baking beans. Remove the baking beans, turn the oven down to 190 C/375 F/Gas 5 and place the pastry cases back into the oven for a further 10 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden. Remove and cool completely.
- Turn the oven up to 220 C/425 F/Gas 7.
- Place the cut peppers, halved tomatoes, sliced and chopped red onion, chunks of garlic and chopped parsley in a large heat-proof dish. Season with salt and black pepper, drizzle with olive oil and stir.
- Place in the oven and roast for about 40 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the vegetables are beginning to char on the edges. You can either leave the filling to cool or use straight away.
- Turn the oven down to 190 C/375 F/Gas 5.
- Sprinkle a fine layer of cheddar cheese across the bottom of each tart case.
- Spoon a thick layer of pepper-tomato filling on top of the cheddar cheese (to almost the top of the tart case).
- Top the red filling with some scattered, crumbled Wensleydale cheese.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes to heat through completely and allow the cheese to melt.
Four Season’s Food Challenge