10 g unsalted butter
10 thyme stalks
8 shallots (banana variety)
200 g ricotta
2 heaped teaspoons black olive tapenade
Salt and pepper
500g puff pastry (all butter)
Black pepper and sea salt
- Heat the oven to 150 C (fan).
- Pour 3 tbsp olive oil into a heavy oven-proof pan and add the butter. Sprinkle over the leaves from 10 thyme stalks. Add a sprinkle of sea salt and a grind of black pepper. Half the shallots (no need to peel), and place them cut side down in the pan. Put on a medium heat and leave to cook and caramelise for about 15 mins.
- Roll out the pastry to the size of a dinner plate, about 5 mm in thickness (use a large dinner plate as a template to cut round). Prick the base all over with a fork, leaving a margin of 2 cm. Leave to rest in the fridge.
- When the shallots have taken on some colour, cover with a lid and put in the oven to cook for 30 mins, then remove from the oven. Once cool remove the outer skins. Turn the oven up to 165 C (fan).
- Mix the ricotta with the tapenade and season to taste.
- Place the puff pastry on baking paper on a baking sheet. Spoon the ricotta and tapenade mix over the pastry, leaving a clear margin of 2 cm around the edge. Top with the shallots (cut side up) and grate over the pecorino cheese.
- Cook the tart in the oven for 60 mins, until the pastry is crisp and golden brown. Grind over some black pepper, and serve with rocket or a green salad.
Hint: cooking the pastry for 60 mins allows sufficient time for it to cook properly and avoid a soggy bottom!