When Michael headed out of town, I went straight to the #tomato tag in my recipe wish list. At the top of it was this tomato and almond tart recipe from Ottolenghi in The Guardian. The (admittedly optional) inclusion of anchovies in a recipe marked (V) gives me an irritable-vegetarian-tic but I think they're easily replaced with capers.
Between the sheet of puff pastry and thick tomato slices lies Ottolenghi's clever savoury riff on frangipane. The usual butter, eggs and almond meal get the cheese and garlic treatment instead of sugar, and it's no less luscious. The butter and garlic made the biggest impression on me so if I were concocting a vegan version, I'd hesitate to replace the butter entirely with margarine. Supplementing with cashew butter, then going hard on the garlic and nooch might have a comparable effect.
This tart needs nothing more than some green leaves to support it; it's fabulous both freshly baked and later, at room temperature.
Tomato frangipane tart
(slightly adapted from this Yotam Ottolenghi recipe)
1 sheet puff pastry
70g butter, softened
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup almonds, ground
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup sharp cheddar, finely grated
salt and pepper
500g tomatoes, sliced 1cm thick
2 teaspoons capers
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat an oven to 220°C and if your pastry sheet is frozen, take it out to thaw.
Using an electric mixer over a medium-sized bowl, beat the butter until fluffy. Keep the beater running and add the egg. If it stubbornly won't beat in completely (mine wouldn't), add a few breadcrumbs and beat some more. Stop the beater and thoroughly stir in all the breadcrumbs, the ground almonds and the garlic. Next stir in half the thyme leaves and all of the ricotta and cheddar, plus a generous sprinkle of salt.
Line a baking tray with paper and place the puff pastry on it. Spread the almond mixtures thickly over the pastry, leaving a 2cm border around the edge bare. Arrange the tomato slices over the almond spread, allowing them to overlap. Sprinkle over the capers and the remaining thyme, a little salt and a lot of pepper, then drizzle it all with the olive oil.
Bake the tart for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 10 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Give it at least a couple of minutes to rest before slicing and serving. It's also great at room temperature.