Vegan Tuscan Tarts with Basil & Black Olives


Imagine my delight upon discovering vegan puff pastry at the local supermarket here in Sri Lanka! No nasty additives either – just flour, vegetable oil and salt. Now, of course, I'd prefer to use a more wholefood-rich pastry (perhaps a nutrient-rich spelt or almond flour crust... sigh!) but here and there, a hungry girl can be forgiven for cutting a few corners. Maybe in 2037 I might find that here in Colombo... but until then, let's just celebrate this small victory.

If you have gluten sensitivity, of course, and the opportunity to make your pastry from scratch – please do! And post your recipe here when you're done. Also, the recent floods have affected our basil supply so what you see in the photo is shredded spinach. That didn't work so good... don't try that. Definitely go with basil, okay folks? Let's go!


1 sheet of vegan-friendly puff pastry (room temperature)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp tomato pureé
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 cup black olives, sliced
1/4 cup button mushrooms, sliced
1 roma tomato, sliced
1/2 small zuccini, finely sliced
1/4 small eggplant, finely sliced
1-2 tsp capers
1 handful fresh basil leaves, torn


Preheat the oven to 180℃. Lay the pastry sheet onto an 14x12 inch oven tray lined with baking paper. With a sharp knife, cut the pastry into 6 even rectangles. Score a 3cm border around each one and prick the middle with a fork a few times to stop it puffing up too much.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, tomato pureé, balsamic vinegar and crushed garlic. Spread onto the base of each tart and sprinkle over all the remaining toppings, except the basil leaves. Stay clear of the edges where we want the pastry to puff up and form a little crust.

Brush the edges of the tarts with a little almond or soy milk and bake for 20 mins, or until the pastry has puffed up and become golden brown. To serve, sprinkle over the fresh basil leaves and season with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and cracked pepper.