Free Form Tomato tarts

This is a great recipe to use when you have a glut of tomatoes, transform them into a summery starter or main course.

Serve with a green salad

Serves: 4

Preparation: 20 minutes + cooking time 50 minutes


  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 450g Tomatoes, skinned (optional) and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sun-dried Tomato Purée
  • 4 fresh Basil sprigs, torn plus extra to garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 500g frozen Puff Pastry, defrosted
  • 450g small mixed heritage Tomatoes, sliced
  • 25g vegetarian friendly Italian Parmesan-like hard cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.
  2. To make the tomato sauce, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a saucepan, add the onion and fry for 5 mins until softened and just beginning to brown around the edges.
  3. Add the garlic and tomatoes, fry for a minute or two and then stir in the sugar, vinegar and tomato puree.
  4. Add the basil leaves, season generously and cook over a medium heat for 15 mins until you have a thick pulpy sauce.
  5. Stir more frequently towards the end of cooking to prevent the sauce from sticking to the pan.
  6. Cut the pastry in half, roll each half out on a lightly floured surface and trim to a 25 × 18cm rectangle.
  7. Transfer to a lightly oiled large baking tray and score 2.5cm in from the edge of the pastry.
  8. Be careful not to cut through to the base.
  9. Prick the inner rectangle with a fork.
  10. Bake the pastry for 10 mins until it is well risen and partly cooked.
  11. Take the baking tray out of the oven and press the centre of the pastry down with the back of a fork, inside the marked line, to make a deep tart case.
  12. Spoon half the tomato sauce into each tart in an even layer, arrange the sliced heritage tomatoes on top and season generously.
  13. Drizzle with the remaining oil and grate the Parmesan over the top.
  14. Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  15. Serve warm, garnished with extra basil and cut into pieces.


For those whose tomato crops aren't quite so bumper, simply halve the recipe and make just one tart. Cut it into four small pieces and serve as a starter or with other dishes.

This idea can also be scaled down to make tiny tarts that are just a little larger than a slice of tomato – great to serve with drinks before dinner.

Make sure to reduce the cooking times down to just 5 mins until the pastry is risen and then 5 mins or so once the tomatoes are added.

This recipe is from Cooking from the Garden by Sara Lewis and published by Simon & Schuster in 2012 ISBN 978-0-85720-860- priced £9.99

For a complete list of all WI books please send a sae to WIE 104 New Kings Road, London SW6 4LY