Quick supper – feta, basil and tomato tart

Tart

Do not fear, I am not advocating teeny tiny meals. This is just half a portion as a whole one wouldn’t fit on the plate.

This recipe (more like assembly instructions really) isn’t going to win any prizes for originality, but it was quick, tasty and – always immensely gratifying – used up the half pack of puff pastry that was just about to go out of date.

For two good-sized adult portions you’ll need the following:

  • 250g puff pastry
  • c. 4 tsp pesto
  • c. 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 sundried tomatoes, cut into small strips
  • c. 75g feta
  • small handful of fresh basil leaves
  • olive oil

Then:

  • preheat the oven to 180 degrees fan
  • lightly flour the work surface and roll out the pastry to quite thin (to use the technical term), then cut in half lengthwise
  • score round the outside of each pastry rectangle, about a centimetre from the edge, making sure not to go all the way through it
  • spread the pesto over the pastry, up to the scored line
  • spread out the halved cherry tomatoes and sundried tomatoes inside the scored line, then crumble over the feta
  • finish with some basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil
  • bake for c. 15 minutes

We had ours with green beans and rocket with vinaigrette, and pretty good it was too.

Cake crumb cookies

DSC_0364The off-cuts from the mini Victoria sponges had prompted me to google what could be made with leftover cake, and I found the answer – cake crumb cookies!  They looked scrumptious in the photo on the site, and I was all set to make a start when it occurred to me that this was the perfect opportunity to take the plunge and make up my own recipe.

This is what I did, although I couldn’t swear to all of the quantities. To make c. 24 cookies:

Pre-heat the oven to 160° fan. Combine the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat together with an electric whisk:

  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 110g self-raising flour
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • ½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3-4 tbsp water (enough for the mixture to come together but remain very thick and stodgy)

Then crumble 300g of sponge cake into fine crumbs and work into the mixture by hand.  Roll the dough into balls of about 25-30g*, flatten slightly and space them out on two baking trays lined with baking parchment. Cook for around 20 minutes, rotating the trays as needed for them to bake evenly.  They’re ready to be taken out when they’re golden brown and have a crispness to the surface but are still soft when you press them.  Pop them on a wire tray and leave to cool.

The cookies (unsurprisingly) have a lovely crumbly texture, aren’t too sweet, and went down really well at work. Next time I’ll use more ground almonds and less flour, as the almond flavour didn’t come through hugely, but even just as they were, I was really happy with these.

*would that be the size of ping-pong balls? Golf balls? I don’t know. They were bigger than marbles and smaller than basketballs.