What a treat it was for me to make Anthony Sedlak’s Black Olive and Goat Cheese Tart! All those dynamic flavours and homemade sauces? Wow! That is one of the reasons why I enjoy his show The Main so much. Yes, you could make this tart with store-bought sauces and sundried tomatoes but he doesn’t! Everything except the pastry is made from scratch and I bet he considered also making that too. Thankfully he did not! Although one day I will make puff pastry in my kitchen, just not today.
Once again I am trying to grow an herb garden. You can read about how I am becoming the reluctant gardener here. This year I am growing it inside, safe from the harsh wilds of a suburb in Nova Scotia. I was very excited to use my fresh lemon thyme in this recipe when I made the oven-dried tomatoes:
I choose grape tomatoes instead of Roma because I thought it would be easier for taking a bite out of the tart and because I had bought some on sale. I tossed them in some olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and sprinkled the fresh thyme all over. I put them on a rack which I placed over a baking tray covered with parchment and baked at 375F for 20 minutes.
Next came the pesto. I only have one small basil plant so I used some of its leaves but also bought a small container of fresh basil leaves as well. Pesto is made up of basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. Blend away until you get a sauce. You might have to add some additional olive oil to bring it together.
Then you got to clean the blender out to make a tapenade which is made with black olives, roasted garlic (I roasted the garlic at the same time I did the tomatoes) and olive oil.
You roll out puff pastry into a rectangle and dock with a fork all over. Put a thin layer of pesto over the surface leaving a 1/2″ border. Add dollops of tapenade here and there. Then in the spaces add your tomatoes. Sprinkle the top with goat cheese and bake for 8-10 minutes.
I am so proud of myself for not skipping any steps. I made everything from scratch but the pastry, just like Anthony. And the flavour? Absolutely amazing! My husband was not overly enthusiastic about this one because he does not enjoy black olives but I think he is crazy, the flavours are out of this world fantastic. Since we do not agree I can not give this recipe full marks so it gets a reluctant four out of five wooden spoons (although in my heart I give it five).
I would definitely serve this at a party but next time I probably will buy everything from the store to save on time, still, this is a winner recipe in my books. It looks beautiful, tastes fabulous and is a real treat.