Summer Tart for Food Friday on BBC Radio Leicester

Between Saturday 13th and Sunday 21st of June this year it is National Picnic week.  A great opportunity for families and friends to get outdoors and involve food and drink.
  I personally love picnics, I don’t do enough of them but am determined to have more this year, as I love being outdoors and love the countryside. I feel it’s a great way for children to experiment more with food and also learn things such as the wildlife around them from being outdoors.

  Picnics are a great frugal way of spending time together with your loved ones and getting people involved with food.  Now it doesn’t have to be all about “beige food” either, be as colourful as you can with food on picnics, use up your leftovers to create rice, pasta and noodle salads.  Look in your fridge and come up with what you can. Don’t feel you have to go and buy a load of food in, thats the beauty of it, creating what you can on a budget, and thats exactly what I did here for this weeks Food Friday with Ben Jackson on my regular slot on BBC Radio Leicester. (Listen here)
   I took a look at what I had that was on its last legs, of which were my lovely British vine tomatoes and an Aubergine I bought the day before for 10p!
  I decided to do a lovely Summer tart, It is super easy to do, will cost you less to nothing but has some great punchy flavours. 

  Even if Picnics aren’t your thing, you may have some friends over for some “Al fresco” dining which I can assure you, this will impress them immensely! 
One thing to also state is the versatility of this, you can change the vegetables to something such as Peppers or courgettes. Or as Ben suggested, crumble some feta on top. 
  I know one thing, I will be making many different versions of this including a courgette one, when mine come to harvest and look out for some more Picnic recipes for you to try soon.

Summer Tart:



Ingredients:

(One Block of 500g Puff Pastry will make 2 Tarts)

*One Tart


–  Some Plain flour for sprinkling
–  Half block of 5oog Puff Pastry
–  One medium sized Red Onion sliced
–  2-3 large tomatoes sliced into wedges
–  A Few thin slices of Aubergine
–  2 cloves of Garlic finely chopped
–  A selection of fresh herbs, I used Thyme, Lemon Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary
–  Sea salt and Cracked Black pepper to season
–  Drizzle of Chilli oil over the top if you wish or You could use Rapeseed or Olive oil

Method:

*  Preheat Oven to 200-220c

*  Roll out your Pastry on a floured surface with a Rolling pin to just under a Pound coin’s thickness.

*  Score slightly with a knife a couple of cm’s in around the Edge of the Pastry to allow to puff up at the sides.

*   Prick with a fork a good few times so that the Pastry won’t rise to high.

*  Place your Red onion slices on, then your Tomatoes, Season with salt and pepper and pop in the Oven for 10 minutes.

*  After 10 minutes, place your Aubergine slices in between the slices of tomato, add your Garlic, herbs and drizzle your oil over and place back into the Oven for a further 10 minutes or when the tart is Golden brown with no “Soggy bottom”













Homemade "Sun-Blushed" Tomatoes

This is something Ive always done for years with Tomatoes.  I first picked it up when I was a Commis Chef many years ago in a fine dining restaurant.  In the restaurant kitchens, it is so hot, we used to just place them under the Pass lights to do this.  In hot countries or in summer, yes you could just place them in the sun but I find and easier way of doing this and one that doesn’t attract wasps or flies! 

  I had a huge interest from people when I did these, it was lovely, so I just had to share it. There is also going to be a recipe that pairs these with something that will come shortly after.

  This is a great way of using up tomatoes when they are starting to “turn”. I used Baby Plum tomatoes in this recipe but you can do it with any, just have to have them longer in the oven (Low and slow) and the bigger they are, slice them thinner. Once you have done this you will never turn back.

  


Homemade “Sun-blushed” Tomatoes:


Ingredients:

* N.B – I haven’t put any measurements/weights down in this recipe as it’s your call on how much you make.

–  Tomatoes, I used Baby Plum
–  Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper
–  Selection of Herbs chopped , I used Parsley, Basil, dried Thyme and Rosemary but you could also use oregano, Marjoram, tarragon etc…
–  Rapeseed Oil or good quality Olive oil to drizzle and marinate in the Jar so have a full bottle handy
–  3-4 Cloves of Garlic
–  Caster Sugar to sprinkle




Method:

*  Preheat your oven to 100c-120 c, depending on how powerful your oven is and size of tomato. For these tiny ones. Mine took just over an hour. Just keep checking them. 

*  Slice your Tomatoes and place onto a baking dish/tray

*  Sprinkle a bit of sea salt, Cracked Black Pepper, dried (Homemade) Thyme, Rosemary and sugar

*  Drizzle with oil and  place in the oven for anything between 1 hour and 2, as stated above.

*  Keep checking your tomatoes every 20-30 mins. 

*  In the meantime when you are waiting, Sterilise your chosen Jar, start to add your oil and Garlic.

*  A couple of minutes before they are done, I added on top some fresh parsley and basil to cool down with but placed them into a cool dish.

* Once they are cooled add to your jar and you’re done. Keep in the fridge. And the oil that comes off this will be out of this world! Do not throw it away!