Tart of confit Piccolo tomatoes with pesto and smoked salmon

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These beautiful tarts are perfect for entertaining around Christmas, with a slice of smoked salmon in the centre and umami-rich slow-cooked tomatoes around the outside. Don't be put off by the long cooking time – this is just so the tomatoes have enough time in the oven to crinkle up and concentrate their flavour. All you really need to do is whizz up two different types of pesto in a food processor and assemble!

First published in 2020




Tomato confit

Basil pesto

Sun-dried tomato pesto

To serve


Preheat an oven to 50°C. Place the halved tomatoes cut-side up on an oven tray. On top of each tomato place a sliver of sliced garlic, a thyme leaf, a little salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Dust with icing sugar, then place in the oven and cook for 2.5-3 hours until crinkled around the edges. You want to keep the temperature as low as possible, to prevent the garlic from burning
While the tomatoes conft, prepare the pestos. Begin by making the basil one – add all the ingredients (apart from the olive oil) to a food processor and blitz until well combined. Drizzle in the olive oil, then season to taste and set aside
Clean out the bowl of the food processor, then repeat the same process for the sun-dried tomato pesto. Both pestos will be slightly stiffer than a traditional pesto consistency, which is fine
To build the tarts, spread the base of each tart case with the sun-dried tomato pesto. Arrange the confit tomato halves in a concentric circle, then roll a slice of smoked salmon into a rose shape and place it in the centre. Dot the basil pesto around the top, then garnish with the mint leaves and gold leaf (if using)
First published in 2020

With a background in classical cooking in Michelin-starred kitchens, Richard Bainbridge returned to his home city of Norwich to open Benedicts, a renowned restaurant which serves Norfolk produce cooked with passion, playfulness and creativity.

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