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RUSTIC TOMATO TART; FOOD; This makes a tasty summery lunch or dinner.

Byline: with NADIA SAWALHA

Today I am shamelessly dedicating this page to my mum. The reason for this is she has reached (and the whole family is in shock about this) the grand age of 80.

My mum is proper old-school. She doesn't mince her words, she could kill someone stone dead with a look, is super smart with a very, very dry wit and, like most of her generation, she has the most beautiful handwriting.

The whole family adores her, even though she can be scarily cantankerous.

My mum Betty (or Roberta, Bobby or Berta) taught me almost everything I know about cooking, for which I am eternally grateful. But I wasn't always.

Because when I was a kid, before I realised how amazing it was to have a mother that baked her own bread, made her own yoghurt and knitted her own muesli, all I wanted was a mum like Mum told us ice cream from a everyone else had. Who gave her kids sugary cereals, sausage and chips, paste sandwiches (yuk!), Jammy Dodgers and Mr Whippy from the ice-cream van.

Not only did Mum never give us any of those junk delights, she actually told us for years that ice-cream from an icecream van was poison and could kill us!

Back then, she was an embarrassment. Imagine having friends round and having to give them roast garlic lamb and dauphinoise potatoes. The horror of having to offer homemade ice-cream.

We all laugh about this now and I consider myself blessed. I know I never say it straight to you, mum, but I love you more than you know. Thank you for being my mum. Still haven't forgiven you for the ice-cream lie, though!

Serves 6 as a main, 8 as a starter

FOR THE CRUST: 175g plain flour 1 tsp salt 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped 70ml olive oil 1 tbsp water

FOR THE FILLING: 600g fresh sweet tomatoes - baby plum or cherry 2 tbsps olive oil 3-4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced 25g butter Salt and black pepper 2 tbsps sun-dried tomato puree 12 or more basil leaves for garnish Optional parmesan for sprinkling NB: You'll need an ungreased 24cm loosebottomed flan tin

1 Set the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and set aside.

2 Fry the garlic in the olive oil over a medium heat for about 2 mins until it softens.

3 Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the water. Pour the hot mixture slowly into the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon to form a dough. If the dough seems a bit crumbly, add a little more water.

4 Push the dough firmly into the flan tin.

5 Prick the base lightly all over with a fork and refrigerate for 25 mins, then bake the crust in the centre of the oven for about 20 mins until it's crisp.


6 Cut the tomatoes and de-seed - don't skip this, I know you're tempted, but there will be far too much juice if you don't do it.

7 Put the tomatoes in a large pan with the olive oil and garlic, and cook over a medium heat for 20-25 mins until reduced, then stir in the butter.

8 Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.

9 Once the tart is cool, spread the tomato puree over the base and pile in the tomatoes. Sprinkle with parmesan if you fancy it and garnish with basil leaves.

Mum told us ice cream from a van was poison

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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion Column
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 10, 2017
Next Article:Ask Nadia; FOOD.

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