On this trip in July 2018 on behalf of MR PORTER and the Style Council ‘In Association With IWC’ we made a short film exploring key moments in a members day and why it is special to them –in line with this Mr Porter have titled the series, “Time Well Spent…”, featuring six members throughout the year. The overall feel of the film is cinematic, intriguing, inspiring and thought-provoking. We open the film under the blistering heat and blue skies of the Tuscan countryside, with me running along the beautiful hills of Tuscany. I am then asked about how I spend my time and what’s the most precious things to me in the time that I have as a chef (well of course, it’s my family). I then rustle up a healthy pressed tomato and peach tart with ingredients that are picked from within a 5 mile radius.
The best vegetable garden in the area we were in was Antinori ́s Osteria a Bargino, which is growing on the foot of the medieval walls of the monastery Badia a Passignano. The public are not allowed into this garden so were very privileged to take vegetables and herbs that I would use in the dish. They had all sorts of different tomatoes, peppers, aubergine, onions and an amazing range of herbs of all types. The garden was truly amazing, the smells of the summer herbs hit your face as soon as you entered. As I was making this lovely tart, I was then asked what makes a healthy meal. Why does it need to be healthy? Why doI have an interest in health? What does “healthy” mean to me and what makes a meal healthy? How does being healthy feel mentally and physically to me? All of this can be found out in the film.
Pressed Tomato Tart with Peaches
COURGETTE BASIL PESTO
100g picked Basil leaves
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
130ml olive oil
40g grated parmesan
40g dry roasted pine nuts
Blend all the above to a coarse puree
2med courgette grated
250g of puff pastry
600g of mixed heritage tomatoes
150g of ricotta beaten and seasoned with the basil added
10 leaves of basil finely cut
2-3 ripe peaches
Roll out the pastry with a little flour, till approx 0.5cm thick, making sure that its evenly rolled, dust off any excess flour, place this on to a tray with a sheet of parchment paper underneath, prick the pastry all over with a fork, then into the fridge to rest for 30 mins. Then place another sheet of parchment paper on top and place another flat tray on top so that it does not rise. Bake in the oven for 30-40 mins till the pastry is completely crispy and a dark golden brown. Then let it rest and cool on a wire rack, then cut this out before it cools completely with a cake ring size of 20-23 cm. Keeping this cake ring mould on, as we are going to press the tomatoes into this mould.
Grate the courgette on the coarse grater, season well, then dry well and mix enough of the pesto into the courgette, and place this onto the cooled pastry pressing it down well, then place on the ricotta by spreading it evenly as possible. Slice the heritage tomatoes, cutting them at different angles, so they can then be interlocked with each other, season well with coarse salt and fresh milled pepper, also slice the peaches and lightly season.
Place the tomatoes on top of the courgette, pressing them in each time you add a layer, also drizzle a little pesto over along with adding the peaches, add a few ripped basil leaves in between. Once it’s all layered up then you can lightly press this in the fridge for an hour, then it can be sliced with a large kitchen knife.