Post in collaboration with Scotty Brand
A wonderful rustic style vegetarian tart which showcases Scottish tomatoes to perfection. Flaky puff pastry combines with sweet tomatoes, goats' cheese, olives and thyme for a simple yet showstopping seasonal supper.
Today's recipe is one that is a particular pleasure to share with you as it champions an initiative to bring back Scottish tomatoes to the commercial growing market. It may surprise you to learn that Scotland was once a tomato-growing force to be reckoned with but over the years the previously thriving industry fell into decline. Scotty Brand have been behind the drive to resurrect Scottish tomatoes and welcome them back to their product range this Spring. Their tomatoes are grown at Standhill Farm near Hawick in the Scottish Borders where Scotty Brand have been working with farmer Jim Shanks since last summer to overcome the various challenges of commercially growing the crop in Scotland. The Scottish climate does have its advantages too, as the tomatoes ripen at a slower rate than those grown in more southern climates, resulting in a sweeter and tastier crop.
Originally purely a dairy farm, Standhill has diversified to become the only commercial grower of Scottish tomatoes. A bespoke state of the art greenhouse has been build to house and grow the crop. Covering around 15 thousand square metres (approximately the size of two and a half football pitches) the glasshouse is fully sustainable:
- Water for the tomatoes comes from rainwater falling on the roof.
- The CO2 to encourage plant growth is a by-product of the farm’s own biogas plant (generating gas from cow muck!)
- Electricity likewise comes from biogas.
- Heat comes from an ultra-efficient wood-chip burner which is fuelled by wood from the farm and surrounding area.
- The glasshouse is equipped with thermal screens both to preserve heat and, occasionally, to reduce the heat of the Scottish sun.
- Pollination is carried out by bees especially brought into the glasshouse.
Double Michelin-starred chef Andrew Fairlie celebrated the return of Scotty Brand tomatoes by visiting the Border’s farm and being one of the first to cook and taste the tomatoes. Alas I was setting sail on my Edible Shetland Adventures on the day of the event and couldn't be in two places at once so missed out on what was a superb tomato based lunch. Speaking at the event Andrew said: “Scotland was once famous for growing tomatoes and I am delighted to see the industry back in production. What makes Scotty Brand tomatoes especially attractive to me is that they’re locally grown in such an environmentally-friendly and sustainable way, which is very much the way the market is going.”
Scotty Brand Tomatoes are available instore now at all Lidl stores in Scotland, Wholefoods, and selected Scottish Morrison and Waitrose stores until early November. There are two varieties:
- 240g Annamay Cocktail – sweet and juicy golf ball sized tomatoes, left on the vine for maximum ripeness and flavour
- 250g Sweetelle Baby Plum - small snacking tomatoes, slightly longer and more oval than a cherry tomato, very sweet, firm and juicy
Do track some down - I promise you can really taste the difference. (But PLEASE don't keep them in the fridge!) The smell of tomatoes as you open the pack is mesmerising and took me straight back to my Granda Monearn's small greenhouse when I was a child. And the flavour is just how tomatoes used to - and should - taste.
Tomato, Black Olive and Goat Cheese Galette
375g Pack Ready Rolled Puff Pastry
1 x 240g Pack Scotty Brand Scottish Tomatoes Cocktail Variety
1 Clove Garlic, Crushed
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
75g Black Olives (50g halved, 25g whole)
75g Black Olives (50g halved, 25g whole)
Salt & Pepper
1 x 250g Pack Scotty Brand Scottish Tomatoes Baby Plum Variety
125g Soft Goats' Cheese
1 Free Range Egg, Beaten
Unroll the puff pastry onto a large baking sheet.
Roughly chop up the cocktail tomatoes. Place them in a bowl and add the crushed garlic, smoked paprika, halved olives and the leaves from a couple of sprigs of thyme. Season well with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomato mixture onto the middle of the puff pastry leaving a 5cm strip all the way round.
Crumble the goats cheese into chunks and cut the baby plum tomatoes into halves.
Nestle the cheese, whole olives and halved tomatoes on top of the tomato base.
Fold in the pastry sides to form the galette and brush with beaten egg.
Bake for around 20 minutes, or until the pastry has puffed up and turned golden and the goats cheese has gratinated.
Serve garnished with a couple of extra sprigs of fresh thyme.
For further seasonal tomato inspiration check out these delicious recipes from some of my food blogging colleagues
- Baked Cinnamon and Allspice Tomatoes
- Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce
- Tomato Butter
- 5 Ingredient Tomato Soup
- Tomato and Dill Salad
- Galayet Bandora
- Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
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Disclosure: This is a commissioned recipe for Scotty Brand. As always, all views expressed are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me to continue to share my Edible Scottish Adventures with you. I’m super choosy and promise to bring you only the cream of the crop.