This fresh tomato tart is filled with vegan whipped feta and drizzled with a vegan pesto vinaigrette - making it the perfect bring-along to any picnic or celebration this season!
Whether you're planning a summer picnic, BBQ party or are joining in with the Queen's Jubilee celebrations this year, this tomato tart is a must-try!
There are 3 main elements to this tart: the vegan shortcrust pastry base, the whipped vegan feta filling, and the tomato topping (including the pesto drizzle).
The shortcrust pastry can be prepared a day in advance, and you can fill the tart on the day as it is most delicious eaten fresh.
For the tart and fillings, you will need a few simple ingredients.
- Flour: I used plain flour for the shortcrust pastry base, also called 'all-purpose' flour
- Vegan Butter: I like to use the Flora blocks, they are great for all things baking
- Vegan Feta: This is often called 'Greek-style block', and can be found in the free from fridge aisle of bigger supermarkets. I used the block from Violife for this recipe.
- Tomatoes: large, fresh and juicy tomatoes are the best kind to use for this recipe. I recommend enjoying this tart when tomatoes are in season so that you can enjoy the full flavor!
- Pesto: I like to make pesto vinaigrette from scratch for this recipe using a large handful of fresh basil leaves, alongside pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. If you want to use store-bought vegan pesto instead, see the substitutions list below!
See recipe card for quantities.
Vegan Shortcrust Pastry Base
First, start by making the shortcrust pastry base.
Add the flour to a bowl, and cut in the chilled dairy-free butter in small chunks. Using your cold fingertips, quickly and lightly rub the butter into the flour.
Gently lift the flour and butter into the air when doing so, in order to keep the pastry dough light. Once the mix resembles breadcrumbs, drizzle over 2 tablespoons of ice-cold water and stir the dough with a knife to combine.
If the dough is a little too dry, add small amounts of cold water at a time until you can form a dough ball. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.
Rolling & chilling
Roll the dough into a ball and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Once done, preheat your oven to 375°F [190°C (170°C fan)].
For a neat pastry base, roll out the pastry dough on a lightly floured surface, then carefully lift it into the tart tin and cut off any excess dough with a sharp knife. Pierce the tart base with a fork, then top with parchment and fill with dried beans or pulses.
Blind bake in the preheated oven for roughly 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden.
Remove the beans/pulses and parchment and allow for the pastry base to cool down completely.
Whipped Feta Filling
To whip the vegan feta, place it into a food processor and drizzle in the lemon juice, plant milk, salt and pepper.
Process on a high speed until the vegan feta is creamy.
Fill the whipped vegan feta into the cold pastry base.
Tomatoes and toppings
Thinly slice the tomatoes. If they are very watery, briefly pat them with a kitchen towel before assembling the tomatoes on top of the whipped feta.
To create the pesto vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
Drizzle the vinaigrette over the tomatoes, then sprinkle the tart with freshly cracked salt and pepper and garnish with basil leaves.
Here are a few tips and tricks in case you want to make this tart gluten-free or want to swap out one of the ingredients:
- Pastry base - instead of the homemade shortcrust pastry, you can also use ready-made puff pastry! Cut it to the size of your tart tin, top with baking parchment and blind bake it in the oven until golden around the edges, then let it cool down completely before filling your tart.
- Gluten-free - swap the plain flour for a gluten-free mix intended for baking (no single ingredient flours!)
- Pesto - you can easily use a store-bought vegan pesto and add the juice of 1/2 lemon and 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to create the pesto vinaigrette.
- Vegan Feta - if you can't get hold of vegan feta (or vegan greek-style cheese) then you can also opt for a dairy-free cream cheese alternative
To make the shortcrust pastry, you will need:
- a large mixing bowl
- baking parchment
- dried beans or pulses for dry baking
For the filling you will need:
- a food processor
- alternatively: an electric whisk
For the tart you will need:
- an 8-inch tart base
Store the finished tart in the fridge overnight and make sure to cover it to keep the tomatoes juicy. It will stay delicious for up to 2 days, but it's best eaten right away.
Drizzle some delicious balsamico over the tomato tart before serving!
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Fresh Tomato Tart
- 18 oz fresh, firm tomatoes (550 g)
- fresh basil leaves for garnish
For the shortcrust pastry
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (175 g)
- 1/3 cups vegan butter (90 g)
- 1-2 tbsp cold water (15-30 ml)
For the whipped vegan feta
- 1 7-oz greek-style block (200 g)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1-2 tbsp plant milk I used soya
- 1 tsp dried basil
- salt and pepper to taste
For the pesto vinaigrette
- 1 large handful fresh basil leaves
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Make the shortcrust base
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, then add in small chunks of the chilled vegan butter. Use your fingertips to loosely combine the flour and butter. Lift the flour into the air when doing so, to ensure the mix stays light and airy. Do not overmix or the pastry will become tough. Drizzle in 1-2 tbsp of water and use a knife to mix it into a dough. Adjust with more water or flour if the dough is too dry or sticky.
- Create a dough ball, wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 375°F [190°C (170°C fan)].
- Flip the pastry into the tart tin and remove any excess pastry from the edges. Pierce the tart base with a fork, then cover with baking parchment and dried beans or pulses. Blind bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the edges become lightly golden.
- Remove from the oven and remove the parchmend and beans/pulses. Allow to cool down completely.
Creating the filling
- For the filling, place the vegan feta into a food processor, alongside the lemon juice and basil and process. Add 1-2 tbsp plant milk to blend it into a smooth mix and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the whipped feta mix into the cool tart base and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Thinly slice the tomatoes and arrange them on top of the tart. If they are very watery, lightly pat them with a clean kitchen towel before adding them.
- For the pesto vinaigrette, blend all ingredients in a food processor and drizzle the pesto mix over the tomato tart.
- Garnish with fresh basil leaves and enjoy the tart fresh or store it in the fridge for up to 2 days.
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