While flipping through the channels the other day, I noticed that the Barefoot Contessa was making tomato and goat cheese tarts on the Food Network. Intriguing. I set my DVR to record it and see how involved it was. Keep in mind, I have a 10 month old. Didn’t look very involved at all, I thought….as I kept eyeing the tomatoes my dad grew that were sitting on my counter. Fresh tomatoes, goat cheese…how can you go wrong?
Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts
1 package puff pastry, defrosted
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
3 large garlic cloves, I used the chopped variety
salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons white wine (I used Pinot Grigio) Edited to note: red wine works great too!
ground thyme, to taste
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus 2 ounces shaved with a vegetable peeler
4 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese
1 large tomato, cut into 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
3 tablespoons julienned basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
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 bowl as a guide, cut 2 circles from the sheet of puff pastry. Repeat with the second pastry sheet to make 4 circles in all. .
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 soft. 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 mixture 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. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Finally, scatter 4 or 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.
The Verdict: Holy mother!! I’m going to say something in all seriousness now….this is honestly one of the most delicious things I have ever had the pleasure of eating. Not many things deserve that honored ranking but this is definitely one of them. It’s fabulous and so easy to make!! I would make sure to always use fresh, homegrown tomatoes because they just always taste better than the store-bought junk and when you’re buying things like goat cheese and wedges of parmesan, you want it to turn out great. You’ve got to try this…and you might want to keep a knife handy to stab anyone who tries to steal your tart because it’s THAT GOOD!