Another one from last week's Eurovision party. When I knew a few people would be coming around I decided to throw something together based on an idea in my new Nigel Slater book, Appetite. He suggests making an easy vegetable tart for friends and parties using puff pastry, caramelised onions and melty cheese (like Taleggio). I decided to bulk it out a bit more as we had a big piece of pumpkin quietly willing itself to a better place. I threw the pumpkin, skin and all in the oven for about an hour and slowly caramelised the onions in some butter and oil.
Take your sheet of pastry (if frozen sheets are good enough for Nigel, they're good enough for me) and cut a border about 2cm in all around; this allows the sides to puff up attractively, whilst keeping the centre flat. Prick the centre with a fork a few times randomly.
I spread the base with some home-made pesto and added the soft, sweet onions and the roasted pumpkin I'd sliced. Worried that the overall taste might be a bit unbalanced towards sweet I added some kalamata olives and salty cheeses we had in the fridge - some fresh Parmesan and a simple cheddar (no Taleggio malingering in our fridge). I dotted it about with a few blobs of light Philly cream cheese, just to add a bit of luxury and some fresh herbs - thyme is good, or oregano, or whatever, and put it in a hot (200c) oven for about 20 minutes.
I'd say that this sort of thing is best straight out of the oven, but the guys who were there were just as happy eating the leftovers cold a few hours later. Simple to prepare, tasty to eat and definitely quicker than making your own pizza base!