Thursday, March 26, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers - Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts


Anne Strawberry picked this week's recipe, and although I already loved Anne and her lovely blog plenty, I have yet another reason to appreciate her. Tomato and goat cheese tarts rule!

Ina Garten is teaching me to appreciate frozen puff pastry. First it was these ridiculously easy sticky buns. Now, tomato and goat cheese tarts for dinner on a weeknight? I am so there.

This recipe calls for sauteing thinly sliced onions and garlic until caramelized, and layering the cooled onions with goat cheese, sliced tomatoes, shaved Parmesan, topped with a chiffonade of basil.

I almost let the voices in my head take over again, but I resisted. I stuck with Ina's recipe as written, except I added the basil after the tarts came out of the oven, and I cut them square rather than round so there wouldn't be any puff pastry waste. One sheet of puff pastry yielded four tarts, and it felt really decadent to eat two of them for dinner. They were very filling! And amazingly tasty. M., who eschews butter because of his cholesterol, didn't once ask how I prepared them. I think it was "don't ask, don't tell" night.

Next time (which could be tonight!), I plan to substitute sun dried tomatoes for the fresh, and mozzarella cheese for the goat cheese. Or maybe tapenade under the onions with capers and pine nuts. Or pesto under sun dried tomatoes with goat cheese and fresh basil. Or walnut oil with sauteed wild mushrooms and a garnish of arugula salad lightly dressed with vinaigrette. Or... Stop it, Leslie!

I may even shrink these delightful tarts to party size, serving them with any or all of the above toppings, making the perfect two or three bite appetizer. They have excellent do-ahead potential for impressing your guests with how seemingly effortless it is to pull an awesome hors d'oeuvre out of the oven and serve it to stunned guests. Heck, if I did that, I'd be stunned!

You'll find the recipe for this delicious and versatile tart in Back to Basics, or here, or on Anne's site. If you'd like to join us, we're having a blast cooking, baking and blogging our way through Ina Garten's recipes. You can find out how to join us here.

13 comments:

AppleC said...

Everything about the tarts I love. Definitely a great entertaining dish.

Penny said...

Leslie, Your tarts look beautiful and don't stop. I like all of your alternative ideas. Ha!

Anne said...

I love your square tarts and your flavor ideas have me drooling! Let me know how they turn out! :)

Cathy said...

We adored these too! I am completely in love with them. And I agree -- they could totally be made tiny and make great little pass around appetizers. I love the puff pastry, but I might make them on whole wheat pita sometimes to keep them a little healthier (although the puff pastry will definitely make an appearance now and then!) Yours look fabulous!

burpandslurp said...

lovely. I prefer savory tarts to sweet, and how can you go wrong with goat cheese?
have you ever tried making your own puff pastry though?

pinkstripes said...

I love seeing all these goat cheese tarts. They look delicious.

deltawhiskey.us said...

Yes, yes, yes. Do the mozzarella, it's fantastic! I really wish I had cut my pastry in squares, I'm loving these square ones!

~Cat

Lisa said...

The squares make so much more sense - no waste!! It truly pained me to throw away the scraps of puff pastry. You've improved this recipe three fold in my opinion. Good job :)

Marthe said...

Your tarts look delicious!!

Sara said...

I have made a very similar tart to the one alluded to with your changes for next time, as you can imagine it is absolutely ridiculous.

Another idea, next time, roll the puff pastry thin like pasta dough (not thin enough to ruin it - I know that is a very scientific description) and place some tomatoes, basil, and mozz. in piles on them like you are making ravioli, cover with another roll of puff pastry, and bake, then cut into pieces - basically puff pastry pizza ravioli.

Tell M. they are fat free and smile when you say it to avoid any follow up questions :)
--Nick

Suzie said...

They all look wonderful - we loved this pick as well.

Peggy said...

Weren't these delicious? I forgot to make them until last night so I am a day late posting. Yours look great.

Jaime said...

this look so good!