Tomato and Fennel Tart
This rustic Tomato and Fennel Tart is the perfect supper for the end of summer. Get the recipe below.
Red, yellow and green
Is there anything more beautiful than plump and juicy heritage tomatoes? Maybe I’m biased because my tomato plants are currently heaving with fat fruits that shine bright in the sun. My garden is so green right now that their skins, peaking out from beneath the leaves, provides a welcome pop of colour. The month or so when the tomatoes ripen is my favourite part of growing season. I wait so long for them to turn and when they do I have to savour them.
From apple green to sunshine yellow, post box red and everything in between, the selection of tomatoes on my kitchen counter this weekend were so beautiful I had to photograph them. Once I’d finished given them a little photo shoot I had to accept that they needed eating… The question was what to make with them.
Some ended up in a simple salad, others were roasted to make a pasta sauce. But perhaps the best thing I made with them was this delicious tomato and fennel tart.
Rough around the edges
I think it’s fair to say this tart is a little rustic. I inelligantly rolled out a ball of puff pastry I had defrosted earlier in the day. After spreading with a very thin layer of pesto, I scattered the pastry with thinly sliced shallots, fennel and finely the sliced heritage tomatoes.
Folding up the edges is crucial to keep in all of the juices of the tomatoes as they roast. A drizzle of olive oil, and a couple of cracks of salt and pepper brings it all together. This tart is best cooked low and slow to make sure the fennel and shallots have time to get soft and sticky and the tomatoes are able to let out all of their juices without the pastry becoming soggy or worse burnt!
It’s a real balancing act to get a sweet, fragrant filling encased in crispy puff pastry.
I like to finish the tart with a sprinkling of fresh fennel seeds though a couple of fronds would work too. Serve with steamed green veg for a delicious end of summer supper.
Tomato and Fennel Tart
- Pre-heat your oven to 150C/gas mark 2/300F.
- Dust your work surface and a rolling pin with the plain flour.
- Place the block of puff pastry on to the floured surface and roll out into a circle no thicker than 0.5cm.
- Transfer the pastry base to a baking tray.
- Spread the pesto over the centre of the pastry circle, leaving a border of 2-3cm.
- Layer most of the the thinly sliced shallots and fennel over the pesto base.
- Next layer the sliced tomatoes followed by the remaining shallots and fennel.
- Finish by placing the cherry tomatoes on top.
- Fold the pastry edges over, covering the edges of the tomatoes, fennel and shallots.
- Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with fennel seeds, sea salt and cracked black pepper.
- Place the tart in the centre of the oven and cook for 45 minutes or until the tomatoes, fennel and shallots have softened and the pastry is crisp.
- Best served warm.
Make it vegan
Most ready made puff pastry is actually plant based – that’s right, no butter in sight. Who knew?! I love accidentally vegan ingredients like this.
The reduced fat pesto from Sacla is accidentally vegan (in the UK) though you can choose your favourite plant based brand if you prefer.
Make these two swaps and you’re good to go!