Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts

My recent habit of watching cooking shows has really produced some amazing recipes. This dish is just one of the many I've found and love. It's not really that difficult and would be great sliced up as an appetizer or is perfect for a main course with a side salad.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts
from the Food Network

1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted
Good olive oil
4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dry white wine
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus 2 ounces shaved with a vegetable peeler
4 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese (recommended: Montrachet)
1 large tomato, cut into 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
3 tablespoons julienned basil leaves

I started by rolling out my puff pastry dough to a square 11 x 11 inches. I rolled it out on cling wrap, which, if I do say so myself, was a thing of genius. You'll see why in a second. Then I used a bowl (6 inches wide) and cut around the bowl to make the circles. You do two on each sheet of dough.

Once I cut out my circles, I tore the plastic wrap in between the circles and was able to pick it up and flip it over onto the sheet. I then peeled off the cling wrap and they were all ready. Once I cut out all four circles, I put both sheets into the fridge until I was ready for them.

Next, I cut up the two onions and the garlic and added them to a skillet with hot olive oil. I cooked for about 15-20 minutes until they were wilted and the liquid was gone from the pan.

Then I added the fresh thyme, the white wine, the salt and the pepper and cooked for another 5-10 minutes until the onions were lightly browned. At that point, I turned off the heat and set the onions aside.

I then pulled out the dough and cut a border around the edge of the dough. You don't want to cut all the way through the dough, just make an incision part way. Next time, I will make my border thicker, probably closer to 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick. I also pricked holes in the center using a fork. (I repeated this step on all four dough circles).

Next, I added a small handful of Parmesan to the center of the dough. Note to self for future: You want the center part of the dough to be smaller and covered in stuff so it doesn't puff up.

Then I piled 1/4 of the onion mixture onto each tart. It should really be more spread out. Don't get me wrong, the tarts tasted amazing but had a little room for improvement in appearance.

Then I crumbled up 1/4 of my mini goat cheese log onto each tart.

After the goat cheese, I added a large slice of tomato on top. Definitely try and find the biggest tomato you can. This was the biggest one I could find at my grocery, but a humungo heirloom one from the farmer's market would have been better. I then brushed the top of the tomato with olive oil, sprinkled it with salt and pepper and piled on a generous amount of basil.

Finally, I added another sprinkle of Parmesan and baked the tarts for 20 minutes at 425 degrees.

While the tarts were baking, I cut up some amazing fresh strawberries to have as well- although that is a terrible picture, I'm sorry!

When the tarts were finished, we gobbled them up! As you can see, the border should have been bigger and the tarts would have benefited from a larger tomato, but boy were they delicious!!!!

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