Recipe: Tomato, gruyere and thyme tarts

Today I’m continuing my celebration of British Tomato Week.

These tasty little tarts were inspired by one of my all-time favourite restaurants, Constantia Uitsig in Cape Town, South Africa. Very sadly, it closed a couple of years ago. We were there on its very last night open and I came away clutching their menu. I know, who knows why we do these things, it seemed like a good idea at the time and clearly they (sadly) had no need for it.

One of the favourite Uitsig starters was their tomato tart and as it lists the ingredients on my purloined menu, I decided I simply had to make my own version.

I try not to get too worked up about pastry and always buy it ready-made from the supermarket. I prefer puff pastry (as it’s lighter) but shortcrust will give  you a neater look with these tarts as you can mould it exactly to the container. Personally, I like a bit of a rustic feel – and it tastes just as delicious!

My nostalgic tomato tarts

Serves 4 as a starters

You will need four individual 10cm loose-bottomed tart tins

Tomato tarts straight out of the oven

1 pack puff pastry

2 tsps Dijon mustard

8 plum tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed

200g gruyere, grated

4 tbsps fresh time, leaves only

25g melted butter

Lightly rub the tins with butter

Cut the pastry into squares approximately the size of the tins and mould to the tins, tucking any edges in.

Spread the Dijon mustard on the pastry equally on the four tarts.

Top with the grated gruyere and half the fresh thyme.

Lay the tomato halves face down on top of the cheese.

Dab the leftover butter around the edges of the pastry.

Cook for about 30 mins until the pastry puffs up and browns slightly and the cheese starts bubbling.

Once cooked, remove from oven and sprinkle the remainder of the thyme on top.

Serve with a green salad.

Light, crisp pastry and a melted, indulgent filling
Sprinkle the remaining thyme on top for a touch of green

If you don’t have any tart tins, don’t panic. Simply cut squares of the puff pastry, place on a baking sheet and follow the rest of the instructions.

You don’t even need the tart tins…here’s a simply square one

For more about tomatoes, visit


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