|375g pack of ready rolled puff pastry|
|6 rashers of back bacon|
|1 large leek|
|1 large sweet pepper (red, yellow or green)|
|2 medium sized tomatoes|
|80g / 3oz grated cheddar cheese|
|2 tablespoons of pesto|
|1 tablespoon of vegetable oil oil|
|1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil|
|Parsley or basil to garnish|
Set the oven to 220°C / 425°F / Gas Mark 7 (fan ovens 200°C / 400°F)
Spread out the ready made puff pastry
From the long and short edges cut a 3cm / 1in strip of pastry, brush the edges with milk and stick the cut strips down the edge (see picture below).
Slice the 2 medium tomatoes (see picture above).
Cut the bacon into strips.
Grate the cheddar cheese.
Slice the leek and separate out the rings (see picture above).
Chop the sweet pepper into small cubes (see picture above).
Grease the baking tray with a little oil or butter and lay the prepared puff pastry into it.
Many ovens don't cook evenly and many cook at a higher temperature at the back of the oven compared to the front. For many recipes this is not too important but to cook puff pastry it is important. So half way through the cooking time quickly take the tart out of the oven, turn the it round and put it back. A quick look at the tart when you are doing this will probably show that the part nearest the back of the oven will be browner than the front.
The basics of this dish are simple, a puff pastry base covered in pesto then topped with a mixture of fried vegetables and bacon topped off with tomatoes and a sprinkling of cheese. Our recipe uses sweet peppers and leeks for the vegetables but many vegetables can be substituted including French beans, runner beans, mushrooms, shallots, onions, garlic and many more. Use what vegetables you already have to make good use of them.
As far as cheese topping goes we used cheddar cheese but mozzarella, gruyere and many other cheese will do just fine. If you have a different cheese already in your fridge then use it. The back bacon can also be substituted for example with leftover gammon or ham. Chicken also makes a very good alternative especially if you have some left over from yesterday. This really is a mix and match recipe if you want to stray from our suggested recipe. This is truly a recipe which embraces the "use what I have in the fridge" culture.
The recipe is based on using ready made (often frozen) puff pastry and that's what is based on, it is pointless trying to make your own puff pastry. So read the instructions on the packet before starting this recipes. Some puff pastry comes with an oven proof backing so it can laid directly on the baking tray. Others don't have a backing so you need to spread a small amount of butter or oil on the baking tray to stop the pastry sticking to it.
Recipe by David Marks.
Now add the contents of the frying pan evenly over the pesto and top off with the sliced tomatoes sprinkled with grated cheese. Drizzle the olive oil over the top