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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

This is one of those quick and easy dishes that tends to impress guests. You can really use whatever cheeses you like for this one. Classic combinations are Mozzarella and goat cheese but you could also use Parmigiano Reggiano, Feta, and even good old Cheddar if you'd like. The classic combination for the herbs involves basil, however, you can also add other things. In the version I made this evening I julienned some basil and sprinkled it on the cheese, then layered some baby spinach on top and topped the whole with a sliced tomato.

This whole thing comes together in just a few minutes and then can be popped into the oven to finish. It's a perfect appetizer or side dish.

This recipe makes one tart but you can double, triple or quadruple it easily depending on your needs. I find that doing single tarts for each person works well although if you're having a big meal you can always "double up" and split the tart in halves.


1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 tomato sliced into thick pieces
1-2 cups Mozzarella or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, shredded
2-3 oz. goat cheese
several basil leaves, julienned
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
pinch kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400°. Unfold thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll very lightly to remove seams. Note: If you prefer a thinner tart or wish to stretch your pastry you can roll the pastry sheet to 12 inches by 12 inches and get two tarts from one sheet.

Cut pastry into a 6-inch circle (using a saucer or small plate works well). Lightly score the pastry 1-inch from the edge in another circle to create the shell for the tart. Be careful not to cut completely through the pastry! Using a fork, dock the pastry inside the inner circle to prevent it from puffing during baking.

Shred the Mozzarella or Parmesan and spread on inner section of pastry. Be careful not to cover the outer edge. Sprinkle basil over cheese and top with sliced tomato. Crumble goat cheese over tomato.

Bake at 400° for 10-15 minutes or until pastry is puffed and just golden and cheese has melted completely and is bubbly. Remove from oven, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and serve warm.

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