This recipe is originally from Liz O’Keefe and is a flavoursome freeform vegetarian tart that’s full of juicy tomatoes and shallots. I have suggested you use ready made pastry instead of making it from scratch. A brilliant addition to an alfresco table this summer…


Ingredients serves 4 – 6
Ready made packet of puff or shortcrust pastry
1 tbsp fresh thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
1 orange, zested and juiced
125 g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed, plus extra for greasing
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 head of garlic, left whole
2 tbsp olive oil
10g butter, for frying
14 shallots, peeled and trimmed (see tip)
2 tsp sugar
75 ml balsamic vinegar
1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and freshly grated
400 g cherry tomotoes, mixed colours if available

COOK’S TIP: To peel shallots, immerse them in boiling water for a few minutes. Drain and run them under cold water, then the skins should peel off easily.

How to prepare
1. Sprinkle the pastry with half the thyme leaves and the orange zest and roll it gently so it adheres.
2. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
3. Place the garlic head on a piece of tin foil then pour over half the olive oil. Wrap the tin foil up to seal and place on a baking tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until soft. Leave the oven on.
4. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the remaining olive oil and butter and fry the shallots until golden over a medium heat. This should take 5-8 minutes. Stir in the sugar, then add the balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil and hold at a rolling boil for 1 minute. Mix in the ginger, orange juice and remaining thyme. Simmer for 2 minutes until the sauce is thick, then set aside.
5. On a clean surface lightly dusted with flour, roll out the pastry to about one and a half times the size of a 25cm round baking dish. Grease the dish and line it with the pastry, letting the pastry overhang.
6. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skins into a small bowl. Season and smooth to a paste with the back of a teaspoon. Spread the mixture onto the bottom of the tart and then arrange the tomatoes on top. Pour over the shallots and their juices, pushing the shallots into the gaps between the tomatoes. Fold the overhanging pastry back over the tomatoes and shallots and trim off any excess. Don’t worry if it’s a little uneven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the tomatoes are soft. Stand for 5 minutes, then serve garnished with thyme leaves.