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This Polenta Crust Tomato Tart is a tart with a cornmeal crust that is filled with a creamy filling and topped with roasted tomatoes.

This Polenta Crust Tomato Tart is a tart with a cornmeal crust that is filled with a creamy filling and topped with roasted tomatoes.

It’s no secret that I’m a cookbook lover. And while I buy them to cook from, of course, I sometimes buy them just to look through them. To drool over the beautiful photographs. And there is one cookbook author whose books are at the top of the list of the most beautiful cookbooks – Donna Hay.

Donna Hay is an Austrailian food editor and cookbook author. She has a very recognizable signature style – very clean and simple. And stunning. I seriously cannot look through one of her cookbooks without getting hungry. They are seriously coffee table worthy.

So when I was offered a copy of her newest cookbook – Fresh and Light – to review, I knew I couldn’t pass up the chance!

A review of Donna Hay's Fresh and Light, plus a recipe for Polenta Crust Tomato Tart
Fresh and Light is filled with over 180 recipes that are all about balance. I love what she says in the opening of the book – “So this is not a diet book. For me, it’s always been about balance, and Fresh and Light is my answer to my own best efforts at juggling for that perfect balance.” This is exactly my philosophy, so I was so excited to jump into this book.

I didn’t have any problem choosing plenty of recipes from this book that I want to make. But I’m not going to lie – many of these recipes would take some convincing for my family to try. Things like Spicy Chicken Larb with Pickled Cucumber or Preserved Lemon Chicken with Kale. But that being said, I would love to cook more recipes like these so that my family will be drawn to them!!

Another note to mention – it would be smart to have a kitchen scale to cook from this book. Some of the ingredients are listed in only weight measurements, and if you don’t have a scale, you might spend a lot of time online doing conversions. But really – you should have a kitchen scale anyway!!

Number of Photos: Many
Like I mentioned, you won’t find many cookbooks with more stunning photography than you will in a Donna Hay cookbook. If nothing else, buy it just to look through the pages and drool!! 😉

Difficulty Level of Recipes: Easy
These recipes are filled with whole ingredients that go together simply. I think even a novice cook could cook from this book easily.

Availability of Ingredients: Easy to Medium
I think the majority of the ingredients should be easy to find, but there may be a few, like Lebanese cucumbers or golden beets, that might be a little bit harder – but not impossible – to find.

Here’s what I made:
Whole Wheat Honey and Ricotta Pancakes

Whole Wheat Honey and Ricotta Pancakes

So I’m not going to lie – I was afraid my kids weren’t going to like these. They are only sweetened with honey, so I was afraid my kids were going to complain that they weren’t sweet enough. But they loved them. Of course, the two older ate theirs with maple syrup, but Camden, who just gets plain pancakes, couldn’t get enough of these either. I had to hide away two of the pancakes for the photos!!
Raspberry Banana Bread

Raspberry Banana Bread

I had a whole bunch of bananas that went overripe practically overnight, so I was pleased to see a basic banana bread recipe with 6 different variations. This is made with half whole-wheat flour, so you can feel good about eating it. The raspberries added the perfect amount of flavor and sweetness, and this was an extremely moist and delicious banana bread. I can’t wait to try one of the other variations!
This Polenta Crust Tomato Tart is a tart with a cornmeal crust that is filled with a creamy filling and topped with roasted tomatoes.

Polenta Crust Tomato Tart

When I was looking through this book for the first time, I saw the photo of this tart and knew immediately that this would be one of the recipes I would try. No question about it. And I’m so glad I tried it. This recipe definitely doesn’t taste “diet” or “light”. The buttery crust with the creamy filling – I could have actually been fooled into thinking this was something that was bad for me. The recipe calls for a 24cm tart pan, and all I have is an 11-inch pan, but I actually think the pan fit perfectly. There are only 2 changes I would make next time. First, I wish I would have roasted my tomatoes longer. Tomatoes aren’t exactly in season here, so I think a few more minutes of roasting would have made them even better. And I would have added more salt. I sprinkled salt over the top of my piece and it was perfect, so I’d probably just salt the tomatoes as they roast.

But that being said – this tart was amazing. I loved it when it was warm, but I had a slice for lunch the next day, just cold, straight from the refrigerator, and I was blown away at how much I liked it. I would easily make this again – especially when the tomatoes are coming off the vine this summer! Recipe below.

Overall Thoughts:
I love how fresh this cookbook is, and judging from the recipes that I made, I think I would love a lot more of the recipes in this book. And honestly, just looking at this book makes me happy. I can see myself pulling this book off the shelf when I need some inspiration, or just a pick me up. 🙂 I am definitely still a fan of Donna Hay!!

Some Recipes I Want To Try:
Brussels Sprouts and Ricotta Gratin
Basil and Tomato Frittata
Coconut and Lime Granita
Berry and Ricotta Slice

Buy it on Amazon.

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Polenta Crust Tomato Tart
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A tart with a cornmeal crust is filled with a creamy filling and topped with roasted tomatoes.
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 8 sprigs of thyme
  • cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup (75g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (170g) instant polenta or cornmeal
  • 120g butter (about 8½ tablespoons)
  • ⅓ cup water
  • salt
  • 300g reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup chopped basil leaves
  • ⅓ cup (25g) finely grated Parmesan
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place the tomatoes on it, cut side up. Top each with a sprig of thyme and season with pepper. Roast until soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. Reduce the oven heat to 350F. Combine the flour, cornmeal, butter, water and salt in a food processor. Process until a dough forms. Press the dough into an 11-inch tart pan. Place a piece of parchment paper over the crust and fill with baking weights or dry beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the weights and parchment paper, and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until crisp.
  3. Place the cream cheese and eggs in a food processor and process until smooth. Stir in the basil and parmesan. Pour the mixture into the pastry shell and top with the roasted tomatoes. Bake until set, about 25 minutes.
slightly adapted from Donna Hay Fresh and Light


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This Polenta Crust Tomato Tart is a tart with a cornmeal crust that is filled with a creamy filling and topped with roasted tomatoes.

**This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase an item from Amazon from the link Taste and Tell receives a small commission. Thank you for supporting Taste and Tell through your purchases! I was sent a copy of this cookbook for review, but as always, all opinions are my own.**

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11 Responses to Polenta Crust Tomato Tart | Donna Hay Fresh and Light Review

  1. Donna Hay has to be one of Australia’s best culinary exports. She is simply the bomb when it comes to cooking fresh meals that are effortless.
    Love the tart recipe. Must try!

  2. Roma tomatoes are my favorite of all time!

    I love this tart. Love the tomatoes on top with the thyme. Thyme is soooo good.

    And the basil tomato combo just makes me happy on the inside =) Must try this asap.

  3. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!

  4. I love tomato tarts, the polenta crust sounds great!

  5. I couldn’t wait to see this recipe since I saw this on Instagram. This looks fabulous and I love this cookbook too. Definitely need to add this one to my cookbook collection!

  6. Jeaniez1028 says:

    What a glorious post! Donna Hay is one of my all time favorites; I own many of her cookbooks. My favorite is “Flavours” – it is so beautifully photographed and organized and tasty! I am also a big fan of her magazine. Going to go and buy this new cookbook today…Happy Mothers Day to me!

  7. maria s says:

    the polenta crust sounds lovely!

  8. Joanne says:

    I’ve really been wanting to get my hands on this cookbook! I am so glad you ended up going with the tomato tart recipe for this review post…that creamy filling with the tart sweet tomatoes on top sounds so perfect for warm weather!

  9. Chels R. says:

    The cover of her book is really gorgeous. And the recipes you’ve highlighted from her cookbook look amazing. Especially that tart!

  10. Love the idea of polenta crust!!

  11. Sammie says:

    I love the look of this roasted tomato tart and am intrigued to try a polenta crust – this is my kinda food. Totally delicious looking. The cookbook looks fab too, I too am cookbook obsessed reading, cooking, getting inspiration. Seriously I need to build a barn at the bottom of our garden so I can have a library like Ina Garten!! Love your site. Sammie

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