There’s nothing like a fully ripened tomato to tell us that we’re in late summer. And there’s nothing that complements shiny tomatoes better than a classic basil pesto. So to combine these two summery flavours in a single recipe was a no-brainer for the February issue. These tarts have a wow-factor: the homemade pastry is spiked with pesto too! If you’re pressed for time, and need to use ready-made pastry instead, the results will be just as sensational, with plenty of pesto in the tart to keep you, and the tomatoes happy.
Michael Olivier has chosen “Lekkerwijn” from Solms-Delta Estate to enjoy with your tarts.
You will need
10 small to medium-sized ripe tomatoes
50ml Pesto Princess Basil Pesto (roughly half the jar)
100g goat’s milk cheese
Glug of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Small fresh basil leaves for garnish
200g cake flour
100g butter (cold)
50ml Pesto Princess Basil Pesto
Preheat the oven to a gentle 150˚C. Cut the tomatoes in half and place cut side up on a large roasting tray, so as not to crowd them. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Slow-roast for 1½ hours until tender and caramelized.
While the tomatoes are roasting, make the pesto pastry by pulsing the flour and butter in a food processor until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the pesto and beaten egg and mix until the dough comes together. Empty onto a floured surface, giving it a few turns to form a dough ball. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes, while you check on those tomatoes.
Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface and line the small or large loose bottomed tart tin/s with the pastry. Store these in the fridge until they are ready to be baked.
Once the tomatoes are caramelized, remove them from the oven and crank up the heat to 180˚C.
Line the pastry shells with baking paper, or a flattened cupcake liner, and fill with baking beans or rice. Bake the shell/s blind for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and take out the paper and beans. Place the pastry cases back in the oven for a further 5 minutes to crisp up.
Spread 1 teaspoon of pesto per small tart tin, or 50ml for a larger tart tin over the base of the pastry. Fill with the roasted tomatoes ensuring they cover the entire surface. Crumble the goat’s milk cheese and dot it over the top, pushing it in between the tomatoes here and there. Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is just starting to brown.
Serve warm or at room temperature, scattered with fresh basil leaves, with a side of extra pesto for those who may want an extra dollop. Add a salad, a glass of wine and you have the perfect, pesto-packed late summer meal.
Makes 10 small tarts or 1 x 26cm tart
Michael Olivier’s Choice
Solms Delta Rosé 2014
Here is the ideal partner, both in colour and in flavour, for these delicious tarts. It got the nickname, Lekkerwijn, from Henri l’Ecrevent who first owned the land on which the Solms-Delta Estate now stands. Dressed in brand new livery, the wine is a Grenache Rosé harvested from two blocks on the Estate, one in the early stage of ripeness giving a freshness and the other later giving the full and delicious fruit. Touch of Cinsaut blended in.
It looks like: Brilliant cherry blossom pink.
It smells like: Vibrant red fruit – raspberry, strawberry, cranberry and red apples.
It tastes like: A generous wash of fruit, all the red fruit on the nose echoed on the tongue. Lovely long crisp aftertaste.
Styling, photography & recipe – Sam Linsell
Art direction & design – Roxanne Spears of Good Design