Friday, September 9, 2011

Can I be president.....

of the Ina Garten fan club? 

Every recipe I've ever made from her tv show or from her cookbooks have been spot on.  They have all been delicious.  I love the simplicity - great flavors, few ingredients, and quality product. 

Last night we had her tomato tarts.  I didn't feel like going to the grocery store for chevre, so I used fresh mozzarella. 

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts (recipe courtesy of Ina Garten)
1 package puff pastry, defrosted
4 cups thinly sliced sweet onions (2 large onions)
3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slices
olive oil
kosher salt and ground black pepper
3 T dry white wine
2 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
4 T grated parmesan
4 ounces chevre
1 large tomato, cut into 4 lateral slices
3 T julienned basil leaves
2 ounces shaved parmesan (I used the shredded from before)

1.  Using a small bowl for an outline - cut circles in puff pastry with a sharp knife.  Place circles on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Score a 1/4 inch wide border around each pastry circle.  Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork.  Sprinkle a tablespoon of grated parmesan on each round, staying inside the border.  Put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator until ready to use.
2.  Heat three tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic.  Saute for 15-20 minutes, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture.  Add salt, pepper, thyme and white wine.  Cook for another ten minutes until the onions are lightly browned. 
3.  Place one-quarter of the onion mixture on each circle, staying within the scored edge.  Crumble one ounce of the 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.  Scatter more parmesan on top.
4.  Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. 

This may sound like a long recipe.  It's not.  Once you've worked with the puff pastry, you'll be addicted.  It is totally fool-proof.  If you have all of your ingredients assembled (including the browned onions), you can have these tarts in the oven in less than 10 minutes.  These would make a perfect first course for a dinner party.  You could make them mini-sized and serve them at a cocktail party(using cherry tomatoes).  

We loved them.  The only problem we encountered was the need for more.  I'll probably double or triple the recipe next time.  I will probably make them again in the next week, this time using the chevre.  I feel the need to eat as many local tomatoes as I possibly can. 

We enjoyed ours for dinner with roasted kabocha squash and lentil soup. 


  1. You can be president if I can be vice president. I haven't found a recipe of Ina's that I didn't like! I haven't tried this one as E doesn't like tomatoes but I'll keep it in mind for future parties. Yum!!

  2. They do look like a lovely entree dish for a fancy schmancy dinner party. Yum!

    You could do these in endless variations too...

    I just know if I ever come and stay with you Im going to put on 30 pounds.

  3. I love these sorts of tarts too so I thought I'd give you this recipe to try from Donna Hay, an Aussie chef. It's really quick and simple too - and lovely with soup.

    Roasted Tomato & Ricotta Tarts

    sheet of puff pastry
    1 cup ricotta cheese
    1/4 cup grated parmesan
    sea salt
    cracked black pepper
    12 cherry tomatoes (or just slice tomatoes if they are normal ones)
    olive oil

    * Cut 1 sheet of puff pastry into 4 and place on baking tray lined with baking paper
    * Combine fresh ricotta with grated parmesan, salt and cracked pepper
    *Spread ricotta over pastries leaving a border. Top each pastry with 3 cherry tomatoes.
    *Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with thyme
    * Bake at 180 degrees C for 25 –30 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden