It’s November and that means it’s NaBloPoMo. That stands for National Blog Posting Month and some people will be writing a post every day. I attempted it last year and did fairly well. Seeing as I have already missed a day, I guess I don’t need to tell you that I will not be participating this year – just too busy of a month (and I have also come down with a nasty bug). But with all the upcoming cooking, I will probably have lots to share. Just not every day.
I wish I could have shared these tarts with you. Not only were they delicious, the recipe made four of them and we only ate two. I encouraged Randy to bring the leftovers to work with him for several days running (he just forgot) and eventually had to throw them out because they got soggy. I hate that.
It might seem strange for a vegetarian, but I really love Ina Garten. I have four of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and hers is the only show on the Food Network I can watch anymore. I have made many of her recipes and they never fail. Yes, about half of each cookbook is off limits to me, but the half I can use is terrific.
These tarts are a classic in my opinion. The only thing that takes time is caramelizing the onions but if you have some on hand (they keep for days in the refrigerator and I’ve heard you can successfully freeze them), this elegant meal comes together in about half an hour. Ina makes these tarts round but in order to get four, you would have to use two sheets of puff pastry and throw out the perfectly good scraps just to get a pretty shape. I used one sheet and cut the pastry into four rectangles instead – no waste. (Except for the finished uneaten-after-several-days product. Sigh.)
You will notice that there is no basil on my tarts. Sometimes I will go to great lengths to get a forgotten ingredient, like walking both unwilling boys up to our neighborhood market only to find that they forgot to carry my forgotten ingredient and then piling both boys – still unwilling – in the car to find a market that does carry it. This was not one of those times. I’m sure the basil would have taken these delicious tarts over the top and they certainly would have looked prettier, but I’m all right with what I got.
One Year Ago: Baba Ghanoush
Tomato & Goat Cheese Tarts
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics
Make 4 individual tarts
I find the best way to thaw puff pastry is in the refrigerator overnight. For this recipe, you will only use one sheet. Take it out, wrap it in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator. Wrap the remaining sheet in plastic and place back in the box and place the box back in the freezer. Now you have one for next time.
1/2 package (17.3 ounce) puff pastry, defrosted
4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
3 large garlic cloves, cut into slivers
3 tbsp. dry white wine
2 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
4 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese, such as Montrachet
2 large tomatoes, cut into 8 1/4-inch thick slices
3 tbsp. julienned basil leaves
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
Unfold the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface and roll it slightly to an 11 x 11-inch square. Cut the pastry into four quarters. Place the quarters on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Sauté for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper, the wine, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.
Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/2 inch-wide border around each pastry square. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on each square, staying inside the scored border.
Place one-quarter of the onion mixture on each circle, again staying within the scored edge. Crumble 1 ounce of goat cheese on top of the onions. Place two slices of tomato in the center of each tart. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil and spring with basil, salt and pepper. Finally scatter 4 or 5 shards of Parmesan on each tart.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Serve hot or warm.