Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts

March 26th, 2009

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.

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.

Printable recipe

21 responses to “Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts”

  1. Your tarts looks so delicious. I know sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese had to taste incredible. Beautiful pics.

  2. Penny, question, why score a line around the pastry? Does that allow it to rise independent of the filled center? Looks Yum.

  3. Penny says:

    Hi Sharon – You are right. The picture of Ina’s tart shows the sides much higher than mine.

  4. Jackie says:

    Penny, thanks for welcoming me to the group! Your tarts turned out BEAUTIFULLY! I look forward to following your blog and reading more of your entries. Cheers!

  5. girlichef says:

    Hey Penny… smart, indeed 😉
    I actually baked mine right on a stone, eliminating the need for parchment all together. These are gorgeous!

  6. Anne says:

    Those look delicious! I didn’t know that parchment only went up to 400- I almost always use Silpats (I got mine cheap on ebay and figure with all the baking I do, it will be more economical in the long run, or at least I tell my husband that!) Great job!

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  8. Melissa says:

    Yours look great!

  9. Debbie says:

    Your adjustments sound great and your tarts are beautiful!

  10. They look and sound wonderful! I think using the silpats would do the trick. I have been wanting to get some silpats…

  11. These tarts are absolutely gorgeous. I got a silplat for Christmas but haven’t used it yet. Maybe this would be the perfect occasion.

    Drop by my kitchen when you get a chance. There’s an award waiting for you.

  12. Debinhawaii says:

    They look great. Roasting the tomatoes first is a great idea! I didn’t seem to have a problem with my parchment but I always bake for less time than Ina says becuase I think my oven gets stuff too brown. But it would be a good excuse for me to buy silpats… 😉

  13. Wow they look so good! I love the idea of roasting them with balsamic. I swear there isn’t anything in this world that isn’t made better with a little balsamic.


  14. Sara says:

    Your tarts are absolutely beautiful.

    I wonder if the tarts would have turned out better with a silpat. I actually don’t use mine much for baked goods, because I’ve noticed they bake faster and get browner…so I just take my chances with parchment!

  15. Penny says:

    Thank you all for responding. Sara, I could not leave a message on your blog for some reason.

    Sam – Thank you for the award. Your blog is awesome. Will pass it on.

  16. BMK says:

    Beautiful job! The oven roasted tomatoes sound fabulous. Thanks to your review, I used my silpat and it worked perfectly.

  17. Kim says:

    Penny, those tarts are beautiful! I questioned using a winter tomato, too. I thought it was too wet on a flaky tart. I will definitely roast them next time, hopefully one of my heirlooms out of the garden. The addition of sausage must of made it more of a meal. Sounds great!

  18. Linds says:

    Roasting the tomatoes is a great adaptation! I will have to try that next time. We really enjoyed these and I found that baking them on the pizza stone really helped with the crisping/burning issue. That said, I think yours look/sound wonderful!

  19. Kristen K says:

    Hi Penny – you know how we love goat cheese! This will be on our menu for this week for sure! David (my brother) got me a silpat for Christmas. I know they are traditionally used for pastries and cookies, but I don’t make much of either of those. Instead, I’ve used it for biscuits (cheddar-garlic), pizza, and other savory baked items. It’s been great! Looking forward to seeing you soon! Love, K

  20. Tammy says:

    Roasted tomatoes? You went the extra mile. They look delish, and I love the idea of adding sausage to the mix.

  21. disa says:

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