In our Irish home there are three of us who love frittatas and quiches…and one who does not.
The one who “does not” is the one we’ve always called “littlest”…even though she is now as tall as myself!. She is also the one in our family who is known as the “pickiest”! So…as long as she doesn’t like frittatas and quiches…I don’t make them and we don’t eat them.
Tired of waiting for my baby girl to change her mind, I decided last week to take a new approach: instead of a frittata or quiche…I baked a savoury tart!
I found a recipe for Yotam Ottolenghi’s Tomato and Almond Tart this summer over at theguardian.com. It looked so yummy that I knew it would eventually appear on our Irish dinner table. I was just hoping we wouldn’t have to wait until “littlest” went to college and her tastebuds grew up.
As it turned out…my sweet girl LOVED it! And, how could she not? The almond paste soaks up the juice of the tomato and creates the most luscious layer of rich, nutty sweetness…ohhh, so good! It’s the ideal savoury take on “the classic French fruit and frangipane tart”.
The best part, aside from the fact that I can now serve a frittata/quiche/tart-like main with a huge side salad for dinner, is this recipe is easy to make. Healthy, tasty, and easy-to-make (and looks good enough to serve at a dinner party)…this recipe ticks all the right boxes in our Irish home. Give it a try! I think even your “pickiest” child (or adult) will love it too.
Tomato & Almond Tart
140g unsalted butter*, at room temperature
2 large eggs (each 60g net weight), beaten
65g fresh breadcrumbs
80g ground almonds
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
15g picked thyme leaves
20g parmesan, finely grated
Malden sea salt* and black pepper
320g puff pastry*
sunflower oil*, for greasing
1kg medium tomatoes, cut into 1cm-tick slices (about 10 tomatoes)
12 anchovies in oil, roughly torn (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
1. Heat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/gas mark 7.
2. With an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and aerated. With the machine running on medium speed, slowly incorporate the eggs. If the mix splits, add some breadcrumbs to bring it back together, then carry on adding the remaining eggs.
3. Stop the machine, and work in the breadcrumbs, almonds, and garlic just until everything is combined. Remove from the mixer and, using your hands, gently fold in half the thyme, the ricotta, parmesan and half a teaspoon of sea salt. Set aside.
4. Roll the pastry into two 20cm x 30cm rectangular sheets about 2mm thick. Grease two baking trays with a little sunflower oil and lay the pastry rectangles on top. Spread the almond mixture evenly over the pastries with a palette knife, leaving a 2cm boarder around the edge.
5. Lay the tomato slices on top of each sheet in three long rows, with a fair amount of overlap between the rows (tomatoes shrink a fair bit when exposed to heat).
6. Sprinkle over the anchovies, if using, and remaining thyme. Drizzle the tomatoes with half the olive oil and season with some sea salt and a generous grind of black pepper.
7. Bake the tarts for 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4 and carry on cooking for another 10 minutes, until the base is nice and brown. Remove from the oven, leave to cool slightly, then dribble over the remaining olive oil and serve.
Additional Notes & Credits:
* This recipe appeared in The Guardian online on 10 August 2012.
** I used salted butter for this recipe, only one roll of puff pastry, and olive oil because that’s what was in my larder. This recipe still worked beautifully.