Goats Cheese, Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Tart
This was a quick last minute starter made for a casual dinner with friends. I has originally planned to make some soup but missed a vital ingredient off the shopping list. After a quick scout around the fridge and freezer I found some puff pastry and goats cheese, so the beginnings of the tart were born!
I made some basil pesto with half a bunch of left over basil, some toasted pine nuts and olive oil (no parmesan as I had none!). All were blitzed in the blender with a little salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble: Roll out the puff pastry onto a baking sheet (I didn’t line mine so it stuck a little, best learn from my mistakes!) then spread the pesto thinly onto the pastry leaving about 1cm border around the edge. Then add the toppings, I used goats cheese and sun-dried tomatoes with some extra pine nuts scattered over.
To bake: Stick it in a hot oven for 15 minutes but keep an eye on it after 10 minutes.
To serve: Cut up into slices and serve with salad (I halved some cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes and dressed them with left over pesto)
Et voila! A quick and easy starter enjoyed by adults and kids alike…
Caramelized onion, Goats cheese, Spinach, Sun dried tomato, and pine nut tart
I often start cooking and get a little carried away with the different flavour combinations. This tart is one of many examples of such cooking exploits. This started off as a goats cheese and caramelised onion tart but then I also wanted a feta and spinach tart. The end result is a layered Caramelized onion, Goats cheese, Spinach, Sun dried tomato, and pine nut tart.
Caramelized onion, Goats cheese, Spinach and Sun dried tomato tart
I didn’t actually follow a recipe, so don’t have one to share! Here’s the basic steps I took: 1) make caramelized onions 2) make bechamel sauce and add some frozen spinach 3) part bake pastry case 4) layer on the onions, then the spinach bechamel sauce 5) crumble over the goats cheese then chopped up sun-dried tomatoes 6) half way through baking add pine nuts and freshly ground black pepper I used shop bought short crust pastry (it is mid-week after all!) but sprinkled on cumin seeds and rolled them into the dough before pressing the pastry into the tin. The end result was a lovely crisp, fragrant, pastry edged tart. However all the moisture from the filling meant the base remained wet. Anyone who is a massive fan of baking (like me) will know of Mary Berry, she’s more recently better known for being a judge on ‘The Great British Bake Off’. Whenever I bake now, I always wonder what Mary would think of it. On this occasion she would say ‘good flavour combination, just a shame about the soggy bottom!’ Sorry Mary! Lesson learned: cumin seeds in pastry is delicious! Second lesson learned: self restraint, every so often, is worth observing…