Though I had already spent part of my morning working out at the gym, I looked forward to meeting two of my girlfriends for a walk later in the day. It had been months since the last time; the longer days means the return of our routine of meeting once or twice a week, not only to get some exercise together but to catch up with each other, too. We all have a workout schedule apart from the weekly walks/jogs but having friends with you makes any workout less of a grind. What was even better was the chance to continue our conversation over wine and dinner at a neighborhood hangout. I don’t think any of us expected to have an extended dinner but we had so much fun that we didn’t head home until 11 pm.
I meant to share this simple appetizer last night. It was something I quickly put together out of a need to use some leftover ingredients from entertaining a friend the night before. I thawed a sheet of frozen puff pastry intending to make this easy dessert but in the end I decided to serve just the fruit and mascarpone cheese.
In the time it took to preheat the oven I was able to assemble these little tarts. This would be a recipe to keep in mind for when you need a warm appetizer that would appeal to most tastes. It’s essentially a Caprese salad on a warm, buttery crust. Though I didn’t do it here, a little fig-balsamic dressing would be nice served alongside this tart but it’s not absolutely necessary.
Have a wonderful Easter weekend! I’ll be celebrating with my family and have been assigned dessert duty. I’ll be sharing something sweet with you soon.
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry thawed
- 5-6 small tomatoes
- Mozzarella cheese
- Fresh Basil leaves
- Parmesan cheese a couple of tablespoons grated
- Olive oil for brushing
- 1 egg for egg wash
- dried basil optional
- salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 375℉. While you wait, prepare the crust.
Set the thawed puff pastry sheet on a work surface that's lightly dusted with flour. Roll it out just to thin it a little then divide it into thirds. The Pepperidge Farm pastry sheets are folded in thirds so I just used the folds as my guide. I used two pieces to make long tarts here and made trim pieces out of the third piece but this is not necessary. You can use the third piece to make a third tart. If you do make the trim, just cut 1 centimeter wide pieces and set them on top of the cut sheets. Brush the surface lightly with olive oil and pierce the inside with a fork to prevent too much puffing. Bake for about 8 minutes or until the pastry is slightly golden.
Next, sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese on the pre-baked sheets then layer the tomato and mozzarella slices in an alternating pattern. Sprinkle the tops with a bit of salt and pepper (and dried basil if using) then brush the exposed with pastry (mainly the trim) with an egg wash (one egg with a little water). Bake for an additional 12-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the pastry is golden. Cut in small pieces and serve warm.