250g golf ball-sized vine-ripened

tomatoes, preferably plum 20 mixed-colour cherry tomatoes 2 tablespoon­s neutral oil

30g salted butter

3 tablespoon­s sugar

½ head red witloof

4 tablespoon­s Campari

1 teaspoon flaky sea salt

1 sheet butter puff pastry, 30cm x 30cm

Put a lined baking tray into the oven and heat the oven to 180℃.

Remove the top part of the core from the vine-ripened tomatoes and cut in half horizontal­ly, and cut 10 of the cherry tomatoes in half. Place all tomatoes into a clean bowl and gently toss in oil. Place tomatoes cut-side down on the baking tray and bake for 3-4 minutes until they begin collapsing. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, cut-side down. Let the tomatoes rest thoroughly to allow any excess moisture to come out.

Use all the butter to butter a 30cm diameter baking tin edge to edge and sprinkle the sugar all over. Arrange the cooled tomatoes cut-side down to fill the entire base of the baking tin. Cut the witloof into 1½cm-thick slices and arrange the leaves to fill any gaps. Splash the Campari evenly across all the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt.

Prick the pastry sheet with a fork and trim any corners so the pastry is approximat­ely 2cm wider than the baking tin. Place it loosely over the tomatoes and gently tuck it in around the edges. Put the tart in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.

Remove tart from the oven and allow to cool for 3-4 minutes with the pastry side up, to let any juices settle in the baking tin. While the tin is still warm, but not too hot to handle, place a large plate over the baking tin and invert the tart onto the plate. Serve immediatel­y, to keep the pastry at its peak.

Cook’s tip: Using drier tomatoes like Roma, acid-free or beefsteak will make for a ‘meatier’ tart. For best results, try to avoid overripe and juicy tomatoes.

GIVE THESE A GO… Tomato, black tea & kombu passata

Wash and shake dry 1½kg tomatoes. Put in a blender and pulse 4-5 times. Sieve to remove seeds and skin. Place 2 tea bags and a 10cm piece kombu into a clean 1-litre Kilner jar. Stir 1½ teaspoons flaky salt into tomato juice and put in the jar. Put into a suitably sized pot filled halfway with water, and simmer very gently for 45 minutes. Remove the tea bags. Allow to cool to room temperatur­e. Store in the fridge for up to 12-14 days.

Pan con tomate

Cut 8 slices of bread about 1cm thick and toast until lightly golden on each side. Cut a garlic clove in half and gently rub it on one side of the bread to scent. Place a box grater over a bowl and grate 4 medium-sized, ripe tomatoes to a coarse pulp. Drizzle 60ml olive oil over the garlic toast slices. Top each slice of bread with an even amount of tomato. Layer with a slice of salty Iberico ham. Serve immediatel­y.

Pasta pomodoro

Cook a finely diced onion and 2 sliced garlic cloves with 150ml olive oil for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add 2 coarsely chopped tomatoes and crush to a pulp. Stir in 2 teaspoons sugar and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add 500ml tomato passata, reduce heat and slowly cook to thicken, about 6-8 minutes. Cook 400g of dried spaghetti until al dente and drain. Add pasta to the sauce, return to moderate heat and stir for 2-3 minutes until thoroughly coated. Fold in 10 torn basil leaves just before serving. Top with freshly grated parmesan to taste.

Fried green tomatoes

Remove the cores from 4 large, green, beefsteak tomatoes; cut horizontal­ly into 1cm-thick slices. Whisk 1 cup buttermilk with a size 7 egg. Put 1 cup flour into a bowl, put some buttermilk/egg in a second bowl, and fill a third bowl with 1 cup polenta, ½ cup flour, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon fine salt. Dredge each slice of tomato in flour, then buttermilk, then polenta and place on a tray in a single layer. Fill a pan with ½cm of oil and heat until shimmering. Carefully put 3-4 tomato slices in the oil and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove to absorbent paper and repeat until all cooked. Season with black pepper and salt. Serve with mayonnaise or Green Goddess sauce (page 26).

Sauce vierge

Remove cores from 4 ripe tomatoes and make a cross in their bases. Submerge tomatoes in boiling water for 15 seconds and refresh with cold running water until cool. Peel away skins, quarter the tomatoes and remove seeds. Coarsely dice flesh and put in a medium-sized bowl. Add 1 tablespoon each of vinegar and lemon juice. Add 100ml olive oil. Finely slice 5 basil leaves and ¼ cup flat-leafed parsley and fold through. Season with salt and pepper. An additional teaspoon of sugar can be added if tomatoes taste more acidic than sweet. Pairs beautifull­y with ravioli, seafood and lightly cooked vegetables.

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