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Reader recipe: Tomato, za'atar houmous and harissa tarts

Serves: 4
timePrep time: 30 mins
timeTotal time:
Reader recipe: Tomato, za'atar houmous and harissa tarts
Recipe photograph by Ant Duncan

Reader recipe: Tomato, za'atar houmous and harissa tarts

Jasmine Doyle from Harrow entered our competition for an original picnic recipe using a sheet of puff pastry, and won with her simple-but-special Middle Eastern-influenced tomato tarts. ‘It’s my passion to embrace the seasons and I love combining classic dishes with a twist to suit the time of year. This is perfect to make ahead for summer picnics using seasonal tomatoes, on top of spiced houmous and a rose harissa base.’

Serves: 4
timePrep time: 30 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)


  • 1 x 375g sheet ready-rolled puff pastry (check your pastry is dairy-free, if required)
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
  • 50g tahini, stirred
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp za’atar, plus extra to serve
  • 325g cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp rose harissa paste
  • sea salt flakes
  • small handful of coriander leaves (optional), to serve

Step by step

Get Ahead
Best eaten on the day of baking but the tarts will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days.
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4.
  2. Unroll the pastry and cut into four equal rectangles. Transfer to a large, lined baking tray (or use two trays if needed). Score a 1cm border around each pastry rectangle, prick the middles with a fork and lightly brush all over with beaten egg. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
  3. Meanwhile, for the houmous, drain and rinse the chickpeas, reserving 2-3 tablespoons of the liquid. Put the chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice and za’atar into a food processor and blitz until smooth, adding the reserved chickpea water to loosen. Season to taste.
  4. Remove the pastry from the oven. Slice the tomatoes into thirds using a small, serrated knife. Carefully spread a thin, even layer of the harissa within the border of each pastry, then dollop and spread the houmous on top. Add the tomatoes and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt flakes and extra za’atar.
  5. Return the tarts to the oven for 20-25 minutes until the tomatoes are nicely roasted.
  6. Let cool for a few minutes before serving warm, or enjoy at room temperature, topped with coriander if you like.

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