Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts

Two words… puff pastry.  That’s all you gotta say to hook me with a recipe.  You can seriously just throw a sheet in the oven and have it crips and warm with some butter and orange marmalade and call it comfort food.  What I love more is that you can just buy them at the market instead of making them from scratch.  You’ll always find an extra pack or two in my freezer… just in case!  When I saw this recipe from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, I was giddy for an excuse to make them.  I asked the Matador “did you want to invite anyone over for dinner tonight?”  and it was over!

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

Ingredients

  • 1-2 packages (17.3 ounces/2-4 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted
  • Good olive oil
  • 4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
  • 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
  • 2 large Roma tomatoes, cut into thin (1/4-inch-thick) slices
  • 3 tablespoons julienned basil leaves

Preparation Instructions

  1. Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11 by 11-inch square. Using a 4-inch wide round cutter, cut circles from the rolled puff pastry, discarding the scraps. Repeat with the second pastry sheet. Place the pastry circles on 2 greased sheet and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil (I used butter instead) in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions. 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.
  4. Using a sharp paring knife or round end of the cutter, 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.
  5. Place onion 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.  Sprinkle tomato with basil, salt, and pepper. Finally, place a sliver of Parmesan on each tart.
  6. 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.