This is one of my favourite Spring/Summer dishes. Its quick, easy and tastes good. What's not to love?
I used to really hate tomatoes but over the years I've become very fond of them, mozzarella is my favourite cheese by far and fresh basil just smells incredible, so the combination is a match made in heaven and works well in loads of different dishes, from just a classic Italian salad to pasta. I particularly like it in a puff pastry tart topped with parma ham.
To make a tart to serve 1 for dinner or 2 for lunch you will need:
100g of puff pastry (shop bought is so much easier than making it from scratch)
About 80g of chopped tomatoes from a tin or carton*
5/6 sunblushed or sun dried tomatoes
About 50g of mozzarella
A handful of fresh basil
1 teaspoon of mixed herbs (I used Italian herb seasoning - I'm sure Herbs de Provence would be great too)
Two slices of parma ham
If you bought a block of pastry rather than ready rolled, use a rolling pin to roll out the pastry on a lightly floured board into a rough square until its about 1/2 cm thick.
Distribute the chopped tomatoes evenly over the tart, leaving a gap around the edges.
My mum often makes jars of sunblushed tomatoes and she made me a couple to take back to uni with me. They go really well in salads and I've already had about half of the first jar even though I've only been back in uni for a few days.
They're cooked in the oven at a low temperate for a long time and storing them in jars preserves them, but if you don't have a supply of homemade sunblushed tomatoes then they sell them in supermarkets.
Chuck on the sunblushed tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.
I bought a basil plant because it was only slightly more expensive than buying a packet and you get so much more and the plant grows more leaves - which is excellent for basil lovers like me.
Look at all of that lovely basil...
Sprinkle on the mixed herbs and transfer the tart to a baking tray lined with baking paper and pop in the oven at 180°c for about 10 minutes, depending on your oven (mine is very temperamental so I have to constantly check my food isn't burning), until the pastry has risen and is crisp and golden .
Top with the parma ham and a couple more basil leaves, serve with some lettuce and preferably enjoy in the sunshine! (if there is any sunshine that is)
* You could also used tomato purée or sundried tomato paste - just spread some around until you have a nice even layer that's not too thin or thick