Keep-things-spicy tomato and feta slab tart

Tomato and spiced feta tart.
Tomato and spiced feta tart. Photo: Katrina Meynink
Dietary
Vegetarian

I love this tart. The simplicity, the casual air of "effort" that it brings, and which Christmas often demands of us, but mostly, I adore the taste. This is baked proof that simple foods can do all the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping people well fed during the entertaining season. I used medley tomatoes because I love the oomph of colour.

Ingredients

1.2kg mixed colourful cherry tomatoes

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic glaze

½-1 tbsp salt

2 x 375g sheets puff pastry, defrosted in the fridge overnight (I used Careme brand)

500g Persian-style feta

3 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted

1 tbsp cardamom seeds, toasted

½ tbsp Aleppo pepper (or chilli flakes)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 160C fan-forced (180C conventional). Line a large flat baking tray (about 33cm x 45cm) with baking paper.

2. Add the tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic glaze and salt to a large baking dish. Toss to combine and pop in the oven for 30 minutes until just starting to blister. Remove and allow to cool completely.

3. While the tomatoes are cooking, prepare the feta base. Add the feta, mayonnaise, toasted spices and Aleppo pepper to a bowl and mix with a fork.

4. Unfurl the pastry sheets across the lined baking tray. The 2 sheets should overlap at the centre and hang over the edge of your tray – essentially you will fold the overhanging pastry back on itself to create a pastry border; overlapping them in the middle ensures you won't get any separation during baking. Fold the edges of pastry back on themselves to create a double-thickness pastry border about 2-3cm wide along all 4 sides.

5. Cut a sheet of baking paper to fit inside the border and cover this with pastry weights. Blind bake for 10-15 minutes until the border has puffed and crisped, and the base has started to cook without puffing. Gently remove the pastry weights and paper and return to the oven for another 5 minutes, or until the base section is lightly golden.

6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1 minute before spreading the feta mixture across the pastry base, within the border.

7. Working carefully, add the tomatoes in rows across the feta mixture. Because the tomatoes will be soft, and some will have split during the initial cook, strain some of the liquid away to avoid a soggy base.

8. Return the tart to the oven for 15 minutes or until the pastry border is dark golden and the tomatoes have completely heated through.

9. Remove, season with salt and pepper and allow to cool slightly before cutting to serve. This is best served slightly warm.