TOMATO & BOCCONCINI TART
Tomato & Bocconcini Tart
THIS tart has long been a favourite of mine. It gets better and better every time I make it and I think I've developed it to its best now. I love tomatoes and they are definitely the star of the show here but the cheese and basil oil need a big round of applause too. The bocconcini adds a beautifully cheesy, chewy element while the oil gives just the right kind of herby sweetness. Tomatoes are best friends with salt and pepper so don't forget to season well!
What you'll need:
1 sheet shortcrust pastry
4 tomatoes (mixed type), sliced
120g bambini bocconcini, each ball halved
1/4 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
What to do:
Place the basil leaves and oil in a blender and blend until combined. Let it sit overnight. (See note.) The next day put this mixture through a sieve and strain the oil into a bowl. Press the leaves to get as much oil out as possible and then add a teaspoon of the leftover basil leaves to the oil. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a springform cake pan and line it with pastry. Chop off any excess pastry and patch up any holes. Put baking paper on top of the pastry and fill with rice. Bake for 20 minutes and then remove the paper with rice. Bake for a further 10 minutes to cook the base.
Remove the pastry from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a serving or oven-proof plate. (Moving the tart now means you won't have to worry about breaking it when it's finished... Preparation is everything!) Drizzle the pastry with basil oil and scatter with some bocconcini halves. Layer the tomato slices on top and add more bocconcini. Add another layer of tomato and then more bocconcini. Keep layering until you've run out of tomatoes and dot some extra bocconcini on top. Drizzle with more basil oil and season well with salt and pepper.
Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese has melted. Garnish with rocket leaves or snow pea sprouts and give another generous drizzle of oil. Enjoy!
NOTE: If you don't have time to make the basil oil the night before, simply blanch the basil in boiling water for a minute or so and then whizz it up and strain.