This make ahead, summery tart couldn’t be easier – and guess what? The base is gluten free and contains no egg. Tangy caramelised red onions keep it nice and moist, whilst the swirls of basil dressing are just delicious with the juicy tomatoes. Try and buy the best quality tomatoes as possible. I like the large, on-the-vine variety – rather than cherry or midi – for this dish as it’s easier to slice them thinly in order to arrange nicely.
The easiest way to make the basil dressing is in a food processor. Yep, I know purists prefer to make their pesto with a pestle and mortar but life’s too short! The amounts suggested below will make more dressing than you need, but hey, you can never have too much pesto can you? To turn this into a vegan pesto, I like to use ground almonds to sweeten it up (in the absence of parmesan) otherwise you can just stay traditional and use pine nuts. You can also add more olive oil and drizzle it over salads.
You can prepare this tart up to a couple of days in advance: do the final step, the 20 minute oven-bake, just before your guests arrive!
You will need a baking tin/pie-dish of around 20 cm diameter.
Ingredients (serves 4)
200g chickpea flour
1 tbsp oil (I use melted coconut oil)
100 ml water
Good pinch of salt
Oil for greasing (I use a smear of coconut oil)
Fresh thyme/rosemary (optional)
2-3 large/medium red onions
4-5 large tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
50g basil (about 2 standard size bags)
1 large clove of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200 (fan)/220 (conventional)
- First of all, grease your pie dish or non-stick baking tin.
- Sieve the chickpea flour into a big bowl, mix in the salt and herbs if using and then add the oil and slowly pour in the water. Stir with a large spoon until you have a dry-ish dough – it will be sticky though.
- Liberally flour a large chopping board/clean surface and also your hands. Bring the dough together with your hands and push into a ball, rolling it around on the floured surface unless it is less sticky and more malleable. Unlike pastry made with a gluten flour (which can go leathery), gluten-free pastry likes being handled, so don’t be afraid knead and nudge it into submission.
- Roll thinly (say a few millimetres thick) to a rough circle a little bit bigger than the area of your baking dish. Using a spatula, lightly scoop up the dough and lay gently in your baking dish, pressing into the base and sides. There will be spare dough to patch up any holes!
- Use a fork or sharp knife to prick the base several times – this will allow any steam to escape during cooking which will help the dough to crisp up rather than puff up. Now part-bake the base for 10 minutes.
- Dice the red onions and sauté in a little oil. When translucent, pour in the balsamic vinegar, stir well and let them sizzle for a few more minutes until sticky. Season.
- For a speedy basil dressing, pop all the ingredients into a food processor – you might want to crush the garlic first – and whizz until blended. Add sufficient oil until you have a thin paste.
- Spoon the caramelised red onions in the pastry case and then thinly slice the tomatoes and arrange on top. Blob the basil dressing over.
- Cook for 20 minutes on 180 (fan)/200 (conventional) until the tomatoes soften.
I am sharing this recipe with Vegetable Palette, a monthly blog round up courtesy of Allotment2Kitchen