Individual Vegetable Tarts

May 21, 2009


I have sung the praises of cookbook author Jeanne Lemlin here before.  Up until recently, I owned three of her cookbooks, all of which I love and could not do without.  For Mother’s Day, my sister-in-law bought me the one that was missing from my collection.  It is a fabulous addition.

I have a lot of cookbooks.  A lot.  Whenever I am tempted to buy a new one, I really look through the recipes.  About 90% of the time, I put the book in question back  because I find that the recipes are too similar to things I already have in other books.  What amazes me about Lemlin is this.  Here is an author whose books I use all the time.  You would think there would be no reason for me to have this fourth book.  And you would be wrong.  (This is starting to sound a lot like my justification arguments to my husband.)

Vegetarian Classics houses 300 more recipes, many of which jump off the page.  There are a few that bear a slight resemblance to earlier recipes, but most of them are quite different.  As I sat looking through the book, I knew that this entire week would be devoted to this book.  It has not disappointed so far.

I made these lovely tartlets for my clients Tuesday night.  They were quite simple to make, looked pretty, and were delicious to eat.  I love when something looks like you spent a lot of time on it when in fact it was fairly quick.  These would also make a fabulous appetizer, cut in much smaller rounds and topped with a single slice of potato and a single slice of zucchini.  As an added bonus, the sun-dried tomato pesto that is slathered onto the puff pastry can be used on crostini or tossed with pasta.  I think making a double batch next time might be a good idea.


Individual Vegetable Tarts
Adapted from Vegetarian Classics
Serves 4

1 sheet (half of a 17-ounce package) frozen puff pastry
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (recipe follows)
1 large Yukon Gold potato, halved, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1.  Defrost the puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight.

2.  Fill a saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil.  drop in the potato slices and cook until tneder but not mushy, about 5 minutes.  Drain and spread out on a plate to cool.

3.  Hea the oil in a large skillet until hot but not somiking.  Fry the zucchini slices until golden on each side.  Remove to a plate and let cool.

4.  On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry into an 11×11 square.  Using a 5 inch cutter or inverted bowl, cut 4 disks from the pastry.  Place the disks on a baking sheet and pierce all over with a fork.  Keep refrigerated until you are ready to assemble the tarts.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

5.  Spread 2 tbsp. pesto on each pastry disk, leaving a 1/2 inch border.  You will have some pesto left over; refrigerate for another use.  Ocver the pesto with some potato slices, then cover the potatoes with zucchini slices arranged in a circle.

6.  Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Makes 1 cup

1/2 cup loose sun-dried tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parlsey
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. pine nuts
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Place the tomatoes in a heat-proof bowl and pour boiling water over them.  Cover bowl with a plate and let sit 10 minutes.  Drain and cool the tomatoes.

2.  In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, garlic, parlsey, basil, salt, and pepper and process until finely ground.  Slowly pour in the oil and process until smooth.  Scrape the pesto into a bowl and stir in the pine nuts and cheese.  If you are using the pesto on pasta, stir in 1/2 cup boiling pasta water to thin it out.


  1. It is so refreshing to find books with innovative and creative new recipe dieas. Hard to come by these days, it seems like everyone is doing a version of someone else’s recipes!
    These tarts looks delicious, light and healthy! Loving it!

    Comment by Marta — May 21, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

  2. These look great and I love the flavours you combined. Yum!

    Comment by holler — May 21, 2009 @ 9:30 pm

  3. Such a pretty looking tartelettes. Sun dried tomato pesto sounds irresistible!

    Comment by elra — May 22, 2009 @ 12:29 am

  4. Here I am, checking your site again, when I should be going to bed. I haven’t used frozen puff pastry much, so this is a nudge to try it. I’ll be looking for those pics on foodgawker, too :)

    Comment by The Leftoverist — May 22, 2009 @ 5:14 am

  5. Clearly, I’m going to have to check out these cookbooks. The tarts look fantastic. Really great! I love the pictures too.

    Comment by redmenace — May 22, 2009 @ 6:43 pm

  6. The sun-dried tomato pesto sounds great in this! And, you’ve convinced me that I need to add some Lemlin books to my collection.

    Comment by lisaiscooking — May 22, 2009 @ 10:36 pm

  7. I really have to start cooking from her book. Your clients must love your food so much.

    Comment by Hélène — May 23, 2009 @ 6:21 pm

  8. I’ve never heard of Jeanne Lemlin before but now she definitely has my attention, thanks to you! I will have to try and find them in my library. These tarts are gorgeous! Love the sun dried tomato pesto recipe.

    Comment by Ashley — May 25, 2009 @ 5:29 am

  9. They’re gorgeous! I’d be a happy client of yours! I don’t know of this cookbook author, but I’m off to check her out!

    Comment by Lori @ RecipeGirl — May 25, 2009 @ 2:41 pm

  10. Lovely tarts! Puff pastry is some good stuff, isn’t it? I’m bookmarking this recipe, particularly for the sundried tomato pesto. I’m sure it was a star in these tarts, and it could probably be used in hundreds of other applications. I love the idea of zucchini and potatoes together with the tomatoes.

    Comment by Tammy — May 26, 2009 @ 7:51 pm

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