Bake: Savoury balsamic tomato and mushroom feta tarts
I’ve spent the last week in the UK, bumming around friend’s houses, going on day trips and sitting in theatres. Unfortunately, the UK isn’t exactly the cheapest destination in the world and despite the free accomodation, my wallet is feeling the strain.
On Friday night, it was bloody freezing. Like the kind of freezing where you open the door, squeal ‘NOPE!’ and run back inside. Plus, I was exhausted after walking over 20km, trying to hunt down the multitude of Shaun the Sheep’s dotted around London’s centre, so my friend J and I decided to have our own date night, inside, with tarts by me (as I am the queen of tarts) and a candle lit by him… We followed it up with a movie, curled up under the covers.
These tarts are dirt cheap and can be filled with just about anything, we used what we had on hand and what we could score cheaply at the local supermarket. They didn’t take long to put together and the hardest part was unravelling the frozen puff pastry, which comes in tightly bound rolls here (you buy it flat back home, far easier to cook with!).
We used two smallish baking dishes, but feel free to double this recipe to fit a bigger dish.
Side note: yes, I did recently learn the art of making my own puff pastry, but when short on time, frozen is perfect – just make sure you buy ‘all butter’ puff pastry for the best results.
So here’s what you’ll need:
- Puff pastry (half a sheet should line a smallish baking dish)
- Olive oil
Tomato, olive and feta tart
- 1 1/2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
- 8 olives, cut in half (any kind you like)
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- Knob of crumbly feta
- Optional: sprinkling of mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, etc)
Mushroom, balsamic and feta tart
- 10 or so mushrooms, sliced thickly
- Knob of butter
- Knob of crumbly feta
- Splash of balsamic vinegar
- Optional: ham, bacon or sprinkling of mixed seeds
- Grease your baking dish with olive oil or butter and line with the puff pastry, pressing it carefully into the corners of your dish
- For the tomato tart: soak the tomatoes and olives in the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper for 20 or so minutes, then strain (but don’t throw out the balsamic!) and spread across the bottom of your puff pastry-lined baking dish. Sprinkle with feta and seeds
- For the mushroom tart: cook mushrooms in butter in a frying pan and seaosn with salt and pepper. When golden, add a splas of balsamic vinegar, stir and turn off heat. Add feta and stir, take off heat and let sit. When cooled slightly, spread across the bottom of your puff pastry-lined baking dish. Sprinke with seeds, ham and/or bacon
- Brush the edges of your puff pastry with olive oil (no need to get out an egg for this little edging)
- Bake at 180 C for around 15-20mins, or until golden and puffed
- Optional: Pour the leftover balsamic that your tomatoes soaked in into a hot frying pan or pot and reduce until thick and syrupy (this will only take a minute or two) – drizzle over the tomato tart after it’s baked.