Puff pastry is your friend. And if you don't know that yet, let me introduce you by making this quick and easy summer appetizer.
Frozen puff pastry is one of the greatest things you can keep in your freezer. You can make last minute appetizers with it, desserts, breakfast pastries and use it to top pot pies. You can certainly make your own puff pastry, but it is very time consuming and the commercial version in the grocery store is very good. I like making these very easy appetizers with puff pastry. You just lay out a sheet of the pastry, top it with cheese and a vegetable and bake.
In this version, I used cherry tomatoes. I have made this tart with very thin raw asparagus, just laid on top, whole. It is very pretty. And I have joined two sheets of puff pastry together to form one long rectangle and trimmed it to fit perfectly into one of my favorite rectangular serving platters. See how adaptable it is? It's so easy to use. And any leftover trimmings can be put back in the freezer and used for something else (how about nice little croutons for your soup or salad?).
When thawing frozen puff pastry be sure to give it time. Do not try to lay the flaps out until it is thawed, or it will crack. You can thaw the sheets, wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator or just lay it out on the counter for about 30 minutes. If you are in a rush you can put them in a very slightly warm oven (I use the "proof" setting on my oven) to just take the chill off.
You can use any cheeses you like with this recipe.
Cherry Tomato Puff Pastry Tart
for a printable recipe, click here
- 1 sheet of frozen Puff Pastry (I used Pepperidge Farms)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- olive oil, salt, pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped herbs (I used basil and oregano)
- 1 tablespoon good quality mustard of your choice (I used one that had horseradish in it)
- 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/3 cup grated Gruyere cheese
- 1/3 cup grated Parmigianno Reggiano cheese
Thaw the frozen puff pastry by either putting it in the fridge overnight or laying it out on the counter, wrapped, for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Meanwhile, cut the cherry tomatoes in half and toss in a bowl with some olive oil, salt, pepper and the chopped herbs.
Place a sheet of baking parchment (or a Silpat) on a baking pan.
Place the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured counter. Unfold the flaps. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the pastry and, with a rolling pin, just slightly roll the dough so the seams are not so prominent. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet.
With a very sharp small knife, score the puff pastry all along the sides about 1/2 inch, to just make a small border. Inside the border, dock the pastry with a fork. Very thinly spread the mustard on the pastry. Sprinkle the cheeses on the mustard and top with the tomatoes (make sure the cut side of the tomatoes are all facing up so that their juice doesn't make the pastry too soggy).
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until golden.
Want to try some more great puff pastry recipes?