in search of some lightness December 15, 2010

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

  • 2 sheets pre-made puff pastry, thawed per instructions on the packaging
  • 4 tablespoons basil pesto or olive tapenade
  • 1 small jar capers, drained
  • 1 jar marinated artichokes, drained and halved
  • 1 small jar roasted red and yellow peppers, drained and rough chopped
  • 1 small jar hearts of palm, drained and sliced
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 generous handful pea shoots, washed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • a pinch of truffle salt

- 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.

Comments

Paula - bell'alimento Dec 15, 2010 01:12 pm

Swoon! Just swoon! Can you bring some of these with you next month ; ) xoxo

tami Dec 15, 2010 03:12 pm

I actually think they’d travel pretty well :)

Lana @ Never Enough Thyme Dec 15, 2010 01:12 pm

I totally agree about needing something light and refreshing! The weather here in Atlanta has been abyssmal for weeks. We get a day of sunshine and then six of grey and gloom.

This little tart seems a perfect remedy for an overcast winter day. And the photo – just wow.

tami Dec 15, 2010 03:12 pm

Glad to know there is someone else in the ATL that’s feeling this and it’s not just me! Thanks for stopping by the blog, Lana :)

Sylvie Dec 15, 2010 06:12 pm

I just discovered the pea shoots at Trader’s as well, and I can’t get enough of them. I have been putting them in sandwiches, wraps and salads. Now I have another way to use them, yay!

tami Dec 16, 2010 03:12 pm

They’ve become a staple around the house ever since I discovered them, too. So easy to throw them on sandwiches and in salads. :)

Jun Dec 16, 2010 07:12 am

I’m craving this… now…

tami Dec 19, 2010 01:12 pm

Me too – and I just made them! Thanks for the comment, Jun…your blog is beautiful! :)

Jennifer Dec 16, 2010 08:12 am

Really in need of a recipe like that right about now. I’m in Atl, too, and you’re right, this weather is totally depressing. Now if I could just get my picky husband to eat this…

tami Dec 19, 2010 01:12 pm

Thankfully this recipe is so easy to modify to adjust for picky eaters. Let me know if you try them!

Anna @ londonfoodieny Dec 16, 2010 03:12 pm

these look gorgeous! i don’t blame you trying to cling to warmth! I can’t wait for spring here in NYC and it’s not even considered winter yet!

Cookin' Canuck Dec 16, 2010 08:12 pm

I take solace in the fact that the shortest day of the year is only days away, and then we start moving towards the brighter days of spring.

These are such pretty appetizers and so easy. Puff pastry is one of my go-to ingredients for quick appetizers or meals.

tami Dec 19, 2010 01:12 pm

I’m so happy that others are feeling the same way about this winter. It usually doesn’t bother me but this year…I’m already over it. It SNOWED in ATLANTA in DECEMBER – unheard of!

The Teacher Cooks Dec 17, 2010 01:12 pm

Oh my, this is just right for the holidays. I think that it will make an appearance at a party this weekend. Wish that I had your talent. The photo is beautiful!

tami Dec 19, 2010 01:12 pm

Oh Wanda…your blog is looking great these days – all the Foopress attention! Thanks as always for taking the time to comment :)

Nicole Franzen Dec 18, 2010 11:12 pm

I totally understand your rebellion. Today I was watching Ina Garten make caprese and I was like hmmm i miss my heirlooms! Its only been a few months but I am so excited for spring to come and the large selection of veggies to follow. I love to make soups but the vibrant colors and fresh things I sure do miss :) No offense root vegetables ;)

tami Dec 19, 2010 01:12 pm

I have a habit of being completely seasonally inappropriate when it comes to my food cravings.While I’m quite a fan of the root veggies, this bright flavored tart was a welcome relief :)

zafer cetinoz Dec 29, 2010 09:12 am

I totally agree about needing something light and refreshing! The weather here in Atlanta has been abyssmal for weeks. We get a day of sunshine and then six of grey and gloom.
This little tart seems a perfect remedy for an overcast winter day. And the photo – just wow.

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