Mediterranean tart

I failed my chemistry GCSE. I don’t understand how magnesium and sodium changes stuff into hydrogen (it probably doesn’t – as I said, I failed – when chemicals are involved, I just don’t get it).

It’s funny that my favourite sort of cooking is alchemy – the kind where you start with raw ingredients that get transformed into something different and unrecognisable. Maybe I like it so much because I seem get to stuff to work in the kitchen, while it never worked in the chemistry laboratory.

Anyway, this is one of my all-time favourite recipes. You start with a random assortment of vegetables, leftover cheese and pastry, and within just 20 minutes it’s transformed into a delicious supper.

Ingredients (this is a very loose guide – remove anything, or add other bits and bobs in your fridge)
Puff pastry
Goat’s cheese
2 courgettes
4 tomatoes
1 red onion
Basil
Lots of black pepper

First thing’s first – whack the oven up to 200°c. The trick with puff pastry is to give it a short, intense blast of heat – no putting the raw pastry into an oven that’s slowly warming up.

Next, roll out shop-bought puff pastry (or, if like me you were being very lazy/time efficient then use a Jus-Roll puff pastry sheet). Make sure that it’s laid out on a non-stick tray; I always use a Silpat baking sheet which works really well.

All you have to do now is chop and scatter the ingredients over the puff-pastry rectangle. Grate some extra cheese on top, and grind lots of pepper over it, then pop in the oven.

After 10 minutes, turn it round so the puff pastry is equally golden and risen, and then do it for another 10 minutes – 20 minutes in total.

Cut into quarters, and serve with salad, chutney or mayonnaise.

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