In my typical seasonal rebellion, I’m currently craving foods I have no business eating during these cold, gray days. Light as a feather deviled eggs (more on those soon), tomato-y based foods, crisp salads. We’ve had so many overcast days here in Atlanta, I think it’s actually starting to get to me. I’m even drinking white wine (still) in hopes of capturing the taste of something light and crisp. A ray of sunshine or a burst of color is what I’ve been needing the past few days to get me going.
I’ve also felt sort of remiss about the fact that I haven’t posted anything on the blog recently that’s specifically meant for dinner parties and entertaining. Sure, you could make one of the many soups on the blog or maybe one of these. With this recipe, I’ve managed to cover both bases. This antipasto tart whips together in minutes for easy or last-minute entertaining – all of the ingredients were purchases on a whim during a trip to Trader Joe’s. You can riff on this recipe however you’d like – see what’s available on the olive bar at your local market. If you’ve canned or pickled your own veggies, be a champion and use some of those.
I’ve made my tarts in a larger format to enjoy at a sit down meal – noshing on tarts while looking out the window in hopes of a sunbeam. This recipe would be great to make into finger foods or small apps for a party. Just cut the puff pastry into smaller rectangles or squares. Just be sure to leave between 1/4 – 1/2″ around the edge regardless of what size you end up making. For garnish, some torn fresh herbs or greens adds another bright touch to this – I threw on some pea shoots dressed in red wine vinegar, olive oil and truffle salt to complete the dish.
Antipasto Tarts – serves 4 as a meal-sized portion
– Preheat the oven to 375. Place thawed puff pastry onto parchment paper on a baking sheet. Cut each sheet of thawed puff pastry into two rectangles. Score a border around each rectangle about 1/4″- 1/2″ wide to create the ridge when it bakes. Pierce the botton of the tart with a fork several times so the base won’t puff up. Spread a tablespoon of pesto or tapenade onto the base of each pastry piece. Arrange an even amount of hearts of palm, artichoke, red peppers and capers onto each pastry piece. Bake for 12-15 minutes until starting to puff and turn brown. Add about an ounce of crumbled goat cheese to each tart and bake for 3-4 more minutes until the cheese is soft and the crust is golden brown. The time it takes to bake your tart will depend on your oven and what brand of puff pastry you use. Just check on the periodically toward the end of the baking time. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a minute or two – this will help get them off the parchment paper.
– To serve: In a mixing bowl, toss pea shoot (or other greens of your choice), red wine vinegar and olive oil until it’s all thoroughly dressed. Garnish the top of the tart with the tangled greens. Sprinkle with truffle salt and serve.