Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Tomato tart with herb oil, tapenade and watercress and tarragon salad

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 4
From Celebrity MasterChef
Don't worry about the long list of ingredients - this wonderfully fresh tomato tart takes no time to make.


  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.

  2. For the relish, heat the olive oil in a saucepan and gently fry the shallot and garlic. Season with black pepper, salt and ground cumin. Add the white wine vinegar and simmer until the volume of liquid has reduced a little. Add the tomatoes, cover with a lid and simmer for 45-50 minutes, or until you have a thick relish consistency.

  3. For the tart, line a flat baking sheet with baking parchment.

  4. Cut out four 16cm/6¼in rounds from the puff pastry sheets (use a 1 litre/1¾ pint pudding bowl as a guide). Mark a 15mm/¾in border in the pastry circles (use a 500ml/18fl oz bowl as a guide). Place the pastry on the prepared baking sheet and prick the centres with a fork.

  5. Spoon some of the cooked relish into the centre of the pastry circles. Arrange the slices of plum tomato on top and brush the border with beaten egg - making sure you don’t brush the cut edge as this will prevent the pastry rising. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the pastry is risen and golden-brown.

  6. Meanwhile make the herb oil. In a pan, gently heat the garlic in the olive oil with the basil stalks and tarragon stalks. Remove from the heat after 10 minutes and season with salt and pepper.

  7. Place a small handful of the basil leaves, tarragon leaves and watercress leaves in a small food processor (reserve the rest for the salad). Pour over some boiling water to wilt the leaves. Drain the water from the food processor and blend the leaves to a paste. Pour in the herb-infused oil and blend again until smooth.

  8. Make a salad with the remaining watercress, basil and tarragon leaves. Season with salt.

  9. To make the tapenade, blend the olives, capers, anchovies, parsley, brandy and black pepper together in a small food processor. Loosen with a little olive oil and blend to make a paste.

  10. Serve the cooked tarts topped with a small quenelle of tapenade and some herb salad. Drizzle with the herb oil.


For the relish

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 banana shallots, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 5 really ripe tomatoes, halved

For the tart

  • 2 sheets ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 8 plum tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten with a pinch of salt

For the herb oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100ml/3½fl oz olive oil
  • small bunch fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks reserved
  • small bunch fresh tarragon, leaves picked, stalks reserved
  • 2 handfuls fresh watercress, leaves picked
  • salt and black pepper

For the tapenade

  • 200g/7oz pitted Kalamata olives
  • 3 tbsp capers, rinsed
  • 15g/½oz anchovies in oil (drained weight)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley
  • 25ml/1oz brandy
  • salt and black pepper
  • drizzle of olive oil

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