Phew! It’s been too hot to cook, hasn’t it? We’ve spent the heatwave guzzling gazpacho and snacking on salads. But a sudden influx of (very welcome) visitors made me revisit the fridge for something other than just sticking my head inside and wishing I could climb aboard. So – ta-dah! – please allow me to introduce you to my goat’s cheese and tomato tarts.
One of the elements is my home-made roasted tomato sauce but if the prospect of extra cooking is just too much for you, you can use shop-bought passata. The same goes for the tomato chilli jam. You will have to turn the oven on, I’m afraid, but these tasty little tarts take less than 20 minutes to cook.
I’ve been batch cooking in the cool of the evening, so if I’m cooking a tart, I whack a tray of tomatoes in to roast and maybe cook some other veg at the same time. Having said that, the goat’s cheese and tomato tarts are best eaten soon after they come out of the oven, so if you want to eat them for lunch please bear that in mind.
I used the sort of goat’s cheese log, about 8cm in diameter, which has a bloomy edible rind.
Goat's Cheese and Tomato Tarts
1 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry, preferably all-butter
4 slices of goat’s cheese log, about 2-3cm thick
4 heaped tsp roasted tomato sauce or passata
4 heaped tsp tomato chilli jam
Basil, to garnish
If you’d like to make the roasted tomato sauce, halve or quarter a trayful of good quality tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with oil and roast at 200C/180 fan/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 30-40 minutes. They should be a little charred at the edges and sitting in the thickened remnants of their own juices. Pass through a mouli, cool and refrigerate until needed. You won’t need much for this recipe but it’s a fabulous and versatile sauce to have on standbye and freezes well.
Unroll the pastry and cut out four circles about 2cm wider all round than your cheese. Put them on a lined baking sheet, sit a slice of the cheese on each pastry circle in turn and score around it, without cutting all the way through. Remove the cheese (wrap it and put it back in the fridge) and prick the central pastry rings with a fork. Put them in the fridge while you warm the oven to 220C/200fan/425F/Gas Mark 7.
When the oven’s hot, take the pastry out of the fridge, spread a heaped teaspoon of roasted tomato sauce in each of the inner circles and sit the cheese on top. Place in the oven, turn the temperature down to 200C/180 fan/400F/Gas Mark 6 and cook for about 18 minutes or until the pastry rims are risen and golden and the cheese has browned and puffed.
Top with a spoonful of tomato chilli jam and allow to sit for 10 minutes before garnishing with sprigs of basil and serving with your choice of salads.