Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ina Garten's Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts

Well, Ina's done it again. This recipe comes from her latest cookbook Back to the Basics. We made these delicious tarts for date night a few weeks ago and they were incredible. We had never really used puff pastry before, and boy have we been missing out. It bakes up in these beautiful layers, and is very light and flaky. It was also quite easy to work with. The hardest part is remembering to take it out of the freezer to thaw.
The filling is equally amazing. Caramelized onions, goat cheese, fresh tomatoes and herbs. I mean what's not to like about all of that.
I knew that I would like these, and figured Brian would. But he really liked them (he ate two)!
These are not low-fat, but for a special treat/occasion I think they are very nice. It is also a great way to show case fresh tomatoes from your garden.
Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts
The original recipe called for adding dry white wine to the onions. I didn't have any on hand, so I omitted it. As a result I believe that my onions took a lot longer to brown than the original recipe states.
1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted
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

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

Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11 by 11-inch square. Using a 6-inch wide saucer or other round object as a guide, cut 2 circles from the sheet of puff pastry, discarding the scraps. Repeat with the second pastry sheet to make 4 circles in all. Place the pastry circles on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute 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 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 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 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.
Place 1/4 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 a slice of tomato in the center of each tart. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil and sprinkle 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. The bottom sheet pan may need an extra few minutes in the oven. Serve hot or warm.

In other news, the children had immunizations yesterday. That was LOADS of fun!!! They have been practicing their rowing skills so they don't get stiff arms.
Today is orientation/open house for both of them. I can hardly believe that school starts next week! We are ready though... well at least I am.

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