Skye McAlpine is the blogger behind From My Dining Table. She lives in London, UK, and has one son, Aeneas, aged 3.

The charm of this dish lies in its unadulterated simplicity. Yes, it is a simple recipe to make, which means that I bake it often, either when playing around in the kitchen with my son, Aeneas, or just as often as the centrepiece for supper or lunch parties. But more still, there is something about the simplicity of the flavours which I find wonderfully seductive: buttery pastry with tomatoes and courgette lightly roasted in olive oil, nothing else. This tart is light and colourful, and just the kind of thing you want to eat on a hot summer’s evening. (Serves 6)


250g plain flour
125g cold butter
2-3 tbsps cold water

4-5 medium sized firm tomatoes
2 medium sized courgettes
4-5 bay leaves
Olive oil, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste


Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Chop the butter into cubes and toss it in the bowl with the flour, then use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture which looks and feels like coarse breadcrumbs. Try to work as quickly as you can, while the butter is still cold, before it becomes greasy. Use a knife to stir in just enough water to bring the dough together, then roll it into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and set in the fridge to chill for at least 30 mins (better still, you can make the dough the day before and leave it to rest overnight, if you like).

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade. Finely slice the courgette and the tomatoes into rounds and set to one side. Grease a 30cm wide round tart tin with butter and dust lightly with flour. Set the pastry on a lightly floured surface, then roll out the dough with a rolling pin into a circle as thick as a 50p piece and large enough to cover the the tin with a little pastry overhanging. Carefully lift the sheet of pastry and drape it over the tin, gently press it into the nooks and crannies of the tin, then roll the rolling pin across the top of the tin to cut away any excess pastry.

Use a fork to prick the bottom of the tart in several places, then arrange the slices of courgette and tomato in the tart. Nestle the bay leaves in among the courgette and tomato, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Set the tart in the oven for 35-45 minutes, until the pastry edges become golden brown and the vegetables are lightly cooked. I set it on the bottom of the oven, so that the pastry underneath crisps nicely and the bottom of the tart doesn’t become soggy. Alternatively, if you have a pizza stone or a spare baking tray, preheat it in the oven and set the tin on that.

When the tart is done, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes in its tin, before lifting it out on to a plate.

For more about Skye please visit From My Dining Table

Photography by Lesley Colvin

More in Features


By , 4th July 2024
‘A standout literary thriller.’ THE FT ‘Ingenious, intriguing, colourful and very entertaining, this is the ideal summer holiday novel.’ LITERARY REVIEW

From book to screen

By , 28th February 2023
Free resources and tips for would be screenwriters, from a complete novice - and some professionals - as I navigate the process of adapting my novels for TV and film

Observer New Review Q&A

By , 22nd March 2022
An interview with Stephanie Merritt about Edith and Kim, the perils of writing about family, and why female spies often get overlooked

Researching Edith and Kim

By , 17th November 2021
From a compendium of stories about life at the Bauhaus to a Modernist memoir by the founder of the iconic Isokon, here are some of the books that inspired my forthcoming novel