a tart is, without fail, my saviour on those evenings when i haven’t given dinner a thought all day, the shops are already closed so i can’t pick up some fresh meat, and the household tummies are already rumbling. it is my failsafe go-to: ridiculously easy, and surprisingly crowd pleasing, giving the simplicity.
i always keep an armory of store-bought pastry in the freezer, both puff and shortcrust, and ensure there is one of each in the fridge at all times, for emergency dinners (particularly in the summer, when a light tart and some steamed veggies is all you need).
i throw whatever is left in the fridge on the pastry and whack it in the oven. done! even the oh-so-simple tomato puree, tomato and cheddar cheese combo is a winner when piled on top of golden puff pastry.
more often than not, i have a log of goat’s cheese and a bag of prosciutto on hand, and these ingredients, paired with some quick caramelised onions, can make for a pretty fancy dinner in under half an hour.
on this occasion, i also had some gorgeous organic tomatoes that i picked up from the market, and the adornment of multi-coloured shapes and sizes were like baubles on a christmas tree. so pretty!
take the puff pastry out of the fridge while you prepare your other ingredients. first, i chopped up two brown onions, and threw them in the pan with some butter and two tablespoons of brown sugar. toss them about occasionally so they don’t go crisp – you want them caramelised, soft and delicious. when they’re a deep brown colour and taste like sweets, take them off the heat.
roll out your pastry on to a baking tray, and scoop your onions onto the pastry, spreading them out evenly. next, crumble goat’s cheese into the gaps, followed by ripped-up pieces of prosciutto and finally, dot your tomatoes about. i fold over the sides of my pastry – partly because it gives it a nice, rustic look, and also because it won’t fit on my baking tray otherwise.
bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden, and the tomatoes warmed through and seared on the top (i like mine to still have some bite in them, but if you prefer them completely soft, throw them in the pan with the onions for a few minutes). the goat’s cheese should be softened and warm but not gooey.
buttery, flaky pastry topped with a delicious mouthful of creamy, sharp goat’s cheese, sweet onions, salty prosciutto and finally a juicy pop of tomato. serve with a summer salad or steamed greens for a light lunch or dinner. in winter, make it a heartier fare with some roasted root vegetables on the side.