Exclusive Waterstones Recipe: The Wine Dine Dictionary’s Victoria Moore Offers a Taste of Summer
‘Dick Diver’s Tomato Tart’ was made on a villa holiday in France when F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night was doing the rounds by the pool and it’s lovely.'
We may not yet be enjoying a balmy English summer (some of us at Waterstones Towers are still wearing scarves) but we’re keeping faith that summer days are just around the corner. To put us in a summer mood, Victoria Moore, author of new cookbook The Wine Dine Dictionary has kindly given us an exclusive recipe flavoured with a touch of literary inspiration; transporting you to a Fitzgeraldian setting of heat-filled, poolside days and glamorous bohemian nights.
Dick Diver’s Tomato Tart
Sometimes you pour a glass of sauvignon blanc and catch an evocative green fragrance - like the smell of furry tomato leaves and stems, or crunchy green peppers. I find this smell on lots of sauvignon blanc, mingling with notes of citrus, river rocks, white nectarine, blackcurrant leaf and elderflower, but it’s especially prevalent on modern styles from South Africa, New Zealand and Chile.
Those green tomato notes are caused by the presence of an aroma compound called methoxypyrazine. No surprise that pyrazines (as they’re often known - it’s less of a mouthful) are also found in tomatoes and capsicums – and that these go really well with sauvignon blanc. A glass of sauvignon blanc and a dish containing tomatoes is a pretty simple meal. But I love the way the lemony tang of the wine and the cool zing of the tomato play off each other, and those wafts of green from the food and the wine riff along together.
A few favourite tomato dishes to eat with sauvignon blanc: olive-oiled-tomatoes-with-salt and good bread; fattoush; penne with a raw pasta sauce and roasted courgettes; insalata tricolore; warm roast chicken with a big plate of tomato salad and chives; coriander and spring onion salsa.
Another winner is a recipe I call ‘Dick Diver’s Tomato Tart’. It was made by a friend called Stephen on a villa holiday in France when F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night was doing the rounds by the pool and it’s lovely. Here it is. Also very good with Loire sauvignon blanc.
serves 3-4 as a main with salads, or 6 as a starter (though my friends always greedily eat and eat until they’re full, because it’s really good). Salt fiends can add anchovies, capers and/or black olives.
350g ready-made puff pastry
3-4 tbsp passata (if you can be bothered, fry a clove or two of garlic in some olive oil until golden, add the passata, and bubble very gently until infused and garlicky)
1.5kg medium-sized tomatoes
seasoning to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
Heat the oven to 200˚C. Roll the puff pastry out (if not using ready-rolled) into either a 30cm diameter circle or a rectangle roughly 20 x 35 cm.
Spread a very thin layer of passata over the pastry, then lay the tomatoes on top, in circles, or lines, depending on whether you are making a round or rectangular tart, so that they overlap. They will shrink quite a lot when cooked so make sure there is a good amount of overlap.
You need to overlap both the slices in each row and the rows themselves. Scatter with capers and black olives if using. Season. Drizzle with the olive oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes, keeping an eye on the tart to make sure it doesn’t begin to burn. If a lot of liquid comes out of the tomatoes take the tart out of the oven and carefully pour it off.
After half an hour turn the temperature down to 150˚C and continue to cook very slowly for about 45 minutes or longer if required. The tomatoes need to dry out and the base to become crisp.
Remove from the oven and scatter with basil leaves, just before serving with a glass of sauvignon blanc. Bikini optional.
* The sauvignon blanc in the picture is a gorgeous one, made in South Africa and available at Waitrose, usual price £11.99 but on promotion at £8.99 until 16 May.