food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

tomato tart by food to glowThe conservatory and spare room are piled with Rachel’s boxes and bags: split-new cooking utensils, tea towels, pristine winter boots, Italian coffee maker, erm, Sriracha sauce.

By next weekend these bags – that are really quite annoying me – will be emptied into a new home, a new chapter of life. And I will be a big old mess.

heritage tomatoes by food to glowFor the past few weeks in the lead up to the Great Escape (to university) I have had my practical hat on: insurance trawling, Ikea buying, bank comparing. But it has kind of hit me that those bags I am tripping over, rolling my eyes at (a little), are the foundations for her nest – and my empty nest.

All of this has not escaped the notice of her cat, Max, who has been sleeping on the end of her bed every night for the past week. Max, who would rather be out catching mice than sleeping, has managed to sneak in through a firmly shut door to snuggle with his old pal, spooning up to her: more for companionship than warmth. He even tried to ride with us to the beach this weekend. He doesn’t want to let her go.


Max (aged 17) on Rachel’s bed

It’s hard loving someone so much but knowing that the best thing for them is to forge their own life and future away from you.

Now I have an inkling of how my parents felt when they waved me off for university in Edinburgh many years ago. I know that as my plane took off to fly the 3500 miles to my new life they were weeping with a mixture of sadness, a little fear, but also the knowledge that that was it. No more impromptu snuggles in my bed, giggling about boys; no longer putting up with my pestering for car keys/money/that cute pair of jeans with the embroidery on the hem.

The gaping silence and eerily tidy bedroom must have been devastating. They loved me but they made not a fuss with my choice to move away. Their stoic faces, holding back brimming tears, were a kind of gift to me. I wasn’t made to feel guilty for going so far away, for choosing to do my growing up outwith their benevolent gaze and guidance. I was able to go unburdened by their reluctance and fears. Quite an immeasurable gift.

And now, it’s my turn. You raise them to the best of your ability, hoping the quiet love you showed and bestowed will protect and guide them as they build their life, their nest.

Best wishes to all starting a new life. Big hugs to Rachel, her friends and to my beautiful niece, Madison. Be happy.

As for the recipe, it is in keeping with my mood today. I just couldn’t let summer escape into autumn without a suitably transitional recipe – for tomato tart. Made with love, and Perthshire tomatoes.

tomato tart by food to glow

Tomato Tart with Herby Seeds and Nut Crust {grain-free}

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

The main thing about this recipe is the tomatoes – you want good, sweet-savoury ones. Heritage are best, but nice ones from the supermarket are good too. But if time is an issue, you could use oil-preserved semi-dried tomatoes from a deli (or from your own preserving session).

As for the crust, I used my Herbes de Provence Seed and Nut Cracker mix as the base, but if you’ve no time – or blender*/mixer – just use a good quality shortcrust pastry or your own savoury pastry recipe. The filling is labneh and a little goats cheese but ricotta on its own will work very nicely too. Loads of scope for a light and tangy-sweet lunch or supper meal. Serve with a green salad.

One quantity Herbs de Provence Seed and Nut Cracker mix OR shortcrust pastry sheet

300g best cherry/grape tomatoes

1 tbsp olive oil

Sprigs of fresh thyme (enough to roast with the tomatoes and to garnish)

200g fresh labneh OR ricotta OR cashew cheese or other vegan soft cheese (250g for latter two)

50g best goats cheese OR Roquefort cheese

Raw honey, to drizzle (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F.

2. Press the seed and nut cracker mix into a 23 cm loose-bottomed pie tin, going a little up the sides. It doesn’t have to look perfect but do try for even thickness (I’m rubbish at this bit). Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin on an baking rack. If using a shortcrust pastry sheet or recipe, bake as directed.DSC_0026

3. At the same time as the crust is baking, halve the tomatoes and toss with the oil. Lay the tomatoes cut-side down on a baking tray, tucking in some thyme sprigs; pop in the oven, roasting until they start to wrinkle a little. They may take a little longer than the crust. You could also use jarred, in-oil semi-dried tomatoes and skip this step, perhaps including some fresh cut tomatoes with them. Some of you may even want to use all raw tomatoes if they are exceptionally good.roasted tomatoes

4. Mix up the labneh and goats/Roquefort cheese in a small bowl until lightened up in texture. I just used a wooden spoon, but you could use a blender or electric beaters to get it extra fluffy. Spoon in to the cooled seed and nut crust. Top with the tomatoes and strew with thyme leaves. If you can bear to, cover and pop the filled tart into the refrigerator to ‘come together.’ A spell in the cold makes it easier to cut and serve.

*I use my brilliant power blender, the Optimum 9400 Froothie but most blenders and food processors will do the job – just slower.

The Nutrition Bit: Tomatoes are well-known for their high concentration of quality antioxidants, consistently featuring in any dietitian and nutritionists Top 10 most nutritious foods. A lot of that goodness is contained in the colourful skin and juicy flesh. But did you know that lycopene – the main carotenoid pigment – is best absorbed from orange-yellow varieties? This pigment is also known to be best absorbed via food, not supplements.

Tomatoes – and lycopene – are known for heart health properties: fresh tomatoes and tomato products have been shown to help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Additionally, tomato extracts have been shown to help prevent unwanted clumping together (aggregation) of platelet cells in the blood – a factor that is especially important in lowering risk of heart problems like atherosclerosis – hardening of the arteries.

Most recently a large UK study has confirmed that the tomatoes actively help prevent prostate cancer. Ten servings a week help reduce risk by 18% – which is not insignificant when you realise that it is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men worldwide. Eating more than five fruits and vegetables a day bumps protection up to around 24%. It may also have a role to play in reducing risk of lung and stomach cancers. Nearly all good studies promote eating widely among the colourful plant foods rather than honing in on particular foods: protection is thought to be associated with the synergies between different plant chemicals ingested in various plant foods. In other words: up variety and don’t super size.

Popping this over to Elizabeth’s Shop Local Challenge as the tomatoes were grown just up the road from


tomato tart by food to glow



60 thoughts on “Tomato Tart with Seed and Nut Herb Crust

  1. Nicola says:

    I made your lemon polenta cake for the first time last week, and as with any of your recipes that I have tried, it turned out and was delicious, and went down well with friends and family! thank you, I think you are a genius!

    1. Aw, *blush*thanks so much!! I love making up healthy recipes and I’m always so happy when others like you appreciate them. Thanks for taking the time to let me – and others – know. 🙂

  2. Oh my goodness – looks delicious. And tomatoes are so gorgeous at the moment. Will have to give it a go!

  3. platedujour says:

    I think I know how you feel. I still remember my niece when she was born, then when she was little and so cute, now she’s 11 and so smart and almost taller than me! They grow up so fast don’t they, and it’s hard to let them go, but you’re right, it has to be done 🙂 The recipe looks great, lovely pictures. I will try it for sure once I’m back from my holidays!! xx

  4. Oh Kellie, what a beautifully written post. I can feel the bittersweetness you talk about. You have a great perspective – your attitude and that of your parents, that quiet love, reminds me of what my mom showed me as well all those years ago. It must be difficult but rewarding at the same time. And this tart is a wonderful end of summer salute! Love this crust too.

    1. Thank you, Katie. We were lucky, weren’t we?

  5. Jackie armstrong says:

    This looks lovely kellie, I love goats cheese especially with cranberry, so shall make this and test it out. Good luck to Rachel going to uni, I could imagine the house to be rather strange without her, and the poor cat just shows how animals can sense things

    1. Thanks Jackie. Packing is almost done and then it is across the bridge we go! Max the cat has turned in to her shadow. He is really going to miss her company.

  6. Beautiful picture 🙂

  7. rnbarlo says:

    What a great post and a great looking recipe. Will definitely try this at the end of our southern hemisphere summer.

  8. julietfitz says:

    What a sweet post. I was fine until I saw the picture of Max then…tears. Miss Tuffsey did the same thing with Madison. The time leading up to the leaving is actually worse than the leaving. When you see how comfortable and confident Rachel is in her “new home” you will leave with a smile on your face and such a proud feeling in your heart. I say all this as Madison has already come back for a weekend beach visit but going back today. As for the tart, I can’t wait for you to make it for me in December (hint, hint). Love to all, Julie

    1. Oh Julie. I didn’t mean to make you cry, sweetheart. :-/ Today I have been in such a wistful mood but trying not to be too clingy and puppy dog-eyed but it is hard. Everything seems to be “the at time we will…” But I know that like Madison she will be comfortable and confident. We did a good job, didn’t we sis?

  9. David says:

    Thanks a lot, Kellie, for reminding me of one of the saddest days of my life (the saddest being your little jaunt to Russia). But…I recovered and you became an even better person, & I couldn’t be prouder of you. Nice tart too. Love you,

    1. I don’t know what to say to that, Dad. I am sorry to remind you of that time, but at least I am getting a small taste of that feeling too. That bittersweet/proud/scared/etc feeling. Albeit at a shorter more manageable distance. Not too long until we see you. Love xxx

  10. ShariB. says:

    Kellie, what a well written and heartfelt post. I can’t believe how the years have flown for her. The recipe looks wonderful.

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, Shari. I guess you will well remember coming across the landing on Cumberland Street for a bit of grandma practise before your own children made you grandparents. You would be proud of her. Rachel is a wonderful young lady. All best to you, Dave and your family x

  11. Looks so delicious. What a beautiful way to showcase the tomatoes!

  12. That looks really great – I love love love ricotta cheese, and this seems like a great way to make the best use of the tomatoes still left until they disappear 😛

  13. Lovely post Kellie and the tart looks great too. My nest has been empty for a few years but I remember my angst on moving date for each son. I love that your Dad follows your blog and is obviously still so proud of you.

    1. Thank you, Tracey. I know it is a near universal feeling, kids leaving home for whatever reason. But needs to happen – for us parents too! Wishing you well from Scotland 🙂

  14. What a beautiful post. I held on to every word. We are two years away from this and I’m already shedding tears. It so dear how Max is behaving. You have such a wonderful writing ability Kellie and your tomato tart is wonderful!

    1. That is so sweet of you. Thank you so much. I am even managing a wee smile 😉

  15. Lots of luck to your lovely Rachel, and even more luck to her lovely Mum xx LOVE the tart, looks fab!

    1. Cheers, Elaine 🙂

  16. Sally says:

    The most gorgeous healthy tart ever Kellie. Your food is sublime. Can you come and cook for me?

    1. Ha! I could say the same about you! I would LOVE to have you cook for me. Too bad we will both be taking our girls off to university on the same weekend or we could have met up – and had someone else cook for us! Enjoy your brief visit to our fine city. 🙂

  17. Sally says:

    PS As you know I’m at the same stage as you. I’m waving off my older teen to a new life at Edinburgh uni. As term started so earlier she didn’t come back with us. We are packing her bags by Skype. It hasn’t hit me yet. It will.

  18. I hope the move goes well for everyone! It is a big life step. And what is it about tomatoes that just look so delicious? – they are very photogenic!!

    1. Thank you so much, Stuart. It is hard to take a bad photo of tomatoes, or vegetable in general (except potatoes – so brown!)

  19. That looks divine – I did a sweet nut crust tart with fruit ages ago and had been thinking it was a technique worth doing again. Lovely photos too.

    1. Nut crusts are SO versatile, aren’t they? Thanks for stopping by. I have been so absorbed in uni-prep stuff that I am behind in my own commenting. Rectifying this weekend after the move. 🙂

  20. Dang! This sounds like the perfect use of my overflowing tomato garden. Yum yum yum! Loving this and all of your posts. xx, Laura

  21. lizzygoodthings says:

    My heart goes out to you… I know how it feels to have my babies leave the nest… it is like losing a limb… another beautiful recipe, Kellie… hope to travel to your neck of the woods next year, would be lovely to meet you! xo

  22. Corina says:

    Beautiful tart. I can’t imagine how I’ll feel when my little ones grow up and leave the nest. It seems such a long way off now but I know when it comes today will seem like just yesterday.

  23. Jessica Quinn says:

    Kellie…thats a beatuiful post. my two have just started school so, in the same frame of mind, how percious and fleeting the “young” years are.
    love the tart reciepe. will be trawling your back catalouge for weekday dinners;-)

  24. Elizabeth says:

    What a beautiful post – both the story and the recipe. You inspire me to be a healthier eater. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to have your child go off to uni – how fab that they are furthering their education, but oh… that move! I don’t know how I’ll cope when I have to go through that! If they’re anything like us they’ll move thousands of miles away from their childhood homes too! EEeek!

  25. hoytapeo says:

    Irresistible; We woild like to taste it!! Indeed we do 😀

  26. Katie Bryson says:

    Stunning looks and delicious combination of flavours – what’s not to love? I am SO making this for a dinner party as it looks so impressive. Thanks for the inspiration.

  27. So gorgeous!!

  28. love the idea of the nut seed crust – am definitely trying this one out! thanks for sharing Kellie

  29. thespicyrd says:

    What a wonderful mom you are, and no doubt your Miss R knows this 🙂 I’ve had tears to my eyes reading both your post, and Jeanette’s over at Jeanette’s Healthy Living today, and who’s twins have just headed off to college. I’ve got roughly 6 more years to go until my first born flies the nest, but I know those years will pass way too quickly. Sigh…At least you have this gorgeous tart to cheer me up-you can never go wrong w/ tomatoes in my very humble opinion! xoxo

    1. You always know the right thing to say, EA. Thank you.I must go and visit Jeanette and read her take – twins!! Gah, letting two go at once. Yikes!

  30. Oh golly, I was reading this on the train yesterday and I was holding it together (just) until I scrolled down and read your Dad’s comment and I went into full blown shoulder heaving sobs…couldn’t read the recipe through my spilling eyes but I’m sure it was lovely and clever. x

    1. Sorry about that my sweet Niki. I was having a hard time typing it. Today has been a little tough.I have been over-hugging the poor child. She will probably be glad to see the back of me! Speak to you soon. Best wishes with your own preparations in this department. xx

  31. What a sweet post! I remember the first time I moved away from my parents how shaky and vulnerable I felt. I only moved a few hours a way the first time, little did I know it was merely a warmup for bigger moves (New Zealand, then later Sweden). I’m sure your Rachel is well prepared for forging her own way and she’ll make you duly proud. I love the looks of this sweet tart. I’m sure with fresh ricotta and the season’s last real tomatoes it would be a real delight.

    1. I knew you would go for ricotta!…My parents and your parents will have a lot in common then. My poor Dad is still traumatised (as evidenced from his comment, bless). I hope your own parents have come to terms with having you so far away. It must be hard though. Thanks for stopping by.

      1. And, we both have dads named David!

  32. Deena Kakaya says:

    when you recently posted a tomato tart recipe my friend, I was a disappointed that you were not going to be sharing it on your blog but understood that it didn’t fit the theme of your blog as it wasn’t especially healthy…though looked utterly divine. However, I am cheered and chuckling that you have shared something equally enticing and even more clever. Hats off to you clever lady xx

    1. You are so funny – and sweet. 🙂 The ‘naughty’ recipe is one from the Riverford website, but I added mint and a few other bits. Go find it and make that decadent treat.

  33. narf77 says:

    I think I just inadvertently met most of your family here Ms Kellie. When your children leave home it is bittersweet. We were clever. We left THEM. We moved house and left first the son-and-heir and then his sisters in situ while we flew the coop. The internet has made everyone so much closer now and Rachel will be able to keep in touch and share her new life with you regularly. You have done an amazing job. She is quite a wonderful young lady Kellie 🙂 (Tarts not bad either 😉 )

  34. What a beautiful tart. I love the contrast of the yellow and red tomatoes and set against any of the suggested cheeses, it sounds divine. The recipe for the crust base sounds tasty too. Nice!

  35. Hiya, I’ve been looking back at this recipe and plan to make it – can I ask why you mix the labneh with the goats cheese? Is it just for flavour or it is necessary for consistency?
    Thank you xx

    1. You know, I can’t really remember. Pretty sure it is just for a more rounded taste. Leave out the goat if you aren’t into it. Kind of a love it or hate it food! Chuffed that you are considering making this. A number of people have told me they have made it, but I don’t know how much they freestyled with it. Hope you like it!

      1. Oh no, I LOVE goats cheese, I was just wondering 🙂
        I’ll let you know how it goes xx

  36. milktherapy says:

    I reblogged ur great recipe and it is just on my to do list 🙂 great blog anyway 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.