A Tomato Tart...
What to cook this week!
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…enjoy summer on your plate with this plantbased perfection
Our great inspiration for the glorious month of June is tomatoes and after the delectable Jolof and peas recipe which you really should save, we bring you a tomato tart. Sumptuous, gorgeous, and simple!
Bella who is my original ‘work wife’ and a recipe developer for Lerato Foods created this temptingly delicious recipe. She has been on our small team since our very first cookery class in 2015 in London, and so together we have been on this great journey of teaching, inspiring, and bringing people together to enjoy fabulous food. I feel so blessed to have her on our team, and we have so many delicious adventures planned for you our dear subscribers.
This tart is the ultimate converter for those, like Bella who would typically push the tomatoes to the side of the plate. The tomatoes, tender and roasted atop a filling of creamy cashew ‘cheese’ that can easily be substituted with hummus, mashed cannellini, or black-eyed beans. Coconut sugar can also be swapped for honey or agave for a vegan alternative to add a touch of sweetness to the caramelized onions. I love a thicker and aged balsamic glaze like this for a wonderful depth of flavour.
We love recipes that are adaptable, and this tart is most forgiving. Whether you make your own shortcrust pastry or buy one as we have done, you will enjoy summer on a plate with this plant-based perfection.
Look out for tips on buying and keeping tomatoes at home to enjoy them at peak ripeness. I’ll be sharing these in an upcoming podcast/newsletter for paid subscribers, and so if you want the juicy tips click below!
Take it away Bella!!!
I’ve never been the biggest fan of tomatoes, whether they be cooked or raw, I always find some way to push them to the edge of my plate unless they’re blended and cooked down into a sauce with copious amounts of black pepper, or served underneath a mountain of cheese and vegetables.
But after we decided on tomatoes for June, I suddenly started to crave sweet, fresh, juicy vine-ripened tomatoes. So much so that I was up early on the morning of creating this dish, running through different flavour combinations in my head that would really enhance the flavour of the pile of tomatoes I had left to sweeten on my kitchen side.
I used store-bought shortcrust pastry because I am no pastry chef, and honestly, who really has the time to be making pastry when the supermarkets already do it so well!
A creamy and herby cashew sauce is at the base of this tart, topped with sweet caramelized onions, and a juicy vibrant mixture of vine-ripened tomatoes, doused in olive oil and sprinkled with black pepper. This tart is the perfect accompaniment to a green summer salad, preferably served outside with a refreshing glass of sparkling elderflower cordial.
*chef’s kiss* Bella x
“Bella darling, please can we have homemade elderflower cordial on the list of summer recipes to create?” I’d love some and I think our dear subs would too!
What you missed: RSVP for your Free Summer Virtual Cookery Class for paid subscribers
Jollof and Peas Recipe Cook It!
A Tomato Tart
A simple tart celebrating the best of summer fruits. Perfect for everything from lunch at home, a picnic outdoors to a summer feast with fruity cordials, or a refreshingly cool rosé.
Serves 4 - 6
Time: 50 minutes
350g mixed vine-ripened tomatoes
1 pack of shortcrust pastry
2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp coconut sugar or 1 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1tbsp black pepper
150g raw cashews
1 tbsp dried Italian herbs
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp onion powder
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Sea salt flakes & pepper
You will need
Tip: As an alternative to a tart base, top sourdough slices with cashew cream, caramelised onions and finally the roasted tomatoes and fragrant basil.
Let’s get cooking
Preheat your oven to 180˚C fan / 200˚C / 400˚F degrees. Soak the cashews in water and set aside.
Grease your tart dish and set aside. Lightly dust a flat surface with flour and place your pastry flat on top. Rest your tart dish over the pastry and cut around adding approximately 2cm of pastry to the cut.
Carefully flip your tart dish over and gently press your pastry down so that it sits nicely in the dish. Keep your pastry-lined dish in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a wide pan, add the onions with a pinch of salt, and gently fry for 20 minutes until caramelised. Add a tablespoon or two of water if the onions begin to stick and stir occasionally.
Once softened, add the coconut sugar, black pepper, and balsamic vinegar and continue to gently cook for a few minutes until well combined. Set aside to cool.
While the onion is cooking, bake the pastry for 15 minutes. You can line the pastry with parchment paper and place baking beans on top for a perfectly leveled tart but we are going for a rustic tart here.
Blend your cashews with the water then add them to a pan with all herbs & spices. Cook on low heat, stirring until thickened to a spreadable cheese consistency.
Slice your tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Drizzle over olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper.
Assemble your tart, beginning with the cashew cheese, evenly spread over the pre-baked pastry base, top this with caramelized onions and place your sliced tomatoes on top of this.
Bake at 170˚C fan / 190˚C / 375˚F degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until your pastry is golden brown and crisp and the tomatoes are tender. Scatter over torn basil leaves and leave to cool slightly before cutting into triangles, ready to serve. A little more of that thick balsamic vinegar de Modena drizzled on top will be wonderful too…go on! Enjoy!
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If you cook the recipe, don’t forget to share your photos using hashtag #cookwithlerato & @leratofoods on Instagram, and of course, leave a comment below to share your delight. Don’t forget to give Bella a follow @sunshinesoulseeds for more plant-based inspiration
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