It is Barefoot Blogger Thursday and the Barefoot Contessa recipe chosen this week by Anne of Anne Strawberry is Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts. Please visit her blog for a unique take on this recipe. The thing I like about the Barefoot Bloggers is their creativity in adapting recipes to their own tastes and situations. In my case, I chose to use oven roasted plum tomatoes rather than the slice of tomato called for in the recipe. Oven roasting gives winter tomatoes more deepth of flavor. I cut six plum tomatoes in half, drizzled them with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and a sprinkling of fresh rosemary and roasted them cut side down for 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
As usual for an Ina Garten dish, the flavors in the tart married well. The sauteed onions smelled heavenly when splashed with white wine and thyme and their mellowness was offset by the pungency of the goat cheese. I had a bit of sausage left over from another meal and added that on top of the goat cheese. The tomatoes added a rich topping to the tart.
The only problem I had with making the tarts was with the puff pastry. I have mentioned this before in another post but failed to heed my own advice. Parchment paper is oven safe to 400 degrees and the tarts bake at 425 degrees. The tarts were a little overdone and the parchment paper was toast. Fortunately, the taste was still wonderful and I will definitely make them again with a few adjustments. Using a silpat liner would be a good alternative, or baking them at a lower temperature would be good. I am open to suggestions from my fellow BBs.
TOMATO AND GOAT CHEESE TARTS
1 package puff pastry, defrosted
Good olive oil
4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions ( 2 large )
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: Mantrachet)
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, 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 1/4 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 mixtue on each circle, again staying with 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 to 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.