Tomato, Pesto and Soft Cheese Galette

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Galettes are my most recent baking discovery. ‘Galette’ is a French term for round, free form cakes, tarts and pastries. They have a wonderfully, rustic look about them, and are so quick and simple to make. This is a mini little galette that uses packaged puff pastry. It’s the perfect size for a small lunch for two, alongside a big leafy salad. The fresh tomatoes make it feel virtuous. We’ll forget about the pastry and the cheese and the pesto….

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Originally I wanted to make this with goats cheese. I spent the morning dreaming of it’s lovely, tangy, creaminess, but when I got to the shops goats cheese was ridiculously expensive. $70 HKD for a tiny little bit, that’s over £6 for a small piece of cheese. Ridiculous! I used a much cheaper Crema Bel Paesse cheese instead, not quite as tasty, but still worked well melting softly into the tomatoes. I suspect really you could use any type of soft cheese and it would still be amazing. Puddles of melting Brie would be incredible, or a little bit of mozzarella oozing into gooey strings.

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I cut the seeds out of the large tomato. This takes away a lot of the moisture and keeps the pastry bottom nice and crispy.

Tomato, Pesto and Soft Cheese Galette

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Ingredients

1 sheet of pastry (or 160g block)

2 teaspoons of pesto

1 large tomato

A handful of cherry tomatoes, roughly 8

Soft cheese (any type you like)

A few leaves of fresh basil

Freshly ground black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.

Roll out the pastry out into a square, a few millimetre thick.

Use a side plate as a template to cut out a circle of pastry. The outer edge of the pastry circle will be folded over and make the crust, so when filling the galette you need to leave a border of about 10cm.

Spoon 2 teaspoons of pesto into the middle circle of the pastry, spread it until you have an even coverage, remembering to leave your 10cm border all around.

Thinly chop your large tomato. Cut out the seeds and discard them. Arrange the tomatoes around the centre of the tart. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and arrange them around the large slices.

Tear or slice the soft cheese, and scatter it across the top of the tomatoes. Tear the basil leaves and do the same. Grind a generous amount of black pepper across the whole tart.

Now, gently fold the border of the tart in across the filling. Allow it to fold across itself, don’t worry about trying to make too neat!

Put the tart onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until the pastry edge is puffed and golden.

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