Caramelised shallot, ricotta tapenade & pecorino tart


Olive oil

10 g unsalted butter

10 thyme stalks

8 shallots (banana variety)

200 g ricotta

2 heaped teaspoons black olive tapenade

Pecorino cheese

Salt and pepper

500g puff pastry (all butter)

Black pepper and sea salt


  1. Heat the oven to 150 C (fan).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. Mix the ricotta with the tapenade and season to taste.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!




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