The final Barefoot Bloggers recipe for the month of March is Ina’s Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts and it was chosen by Anne of Anne Strawberry. And what a great choice it was! It was easy to prepare, and most importantly delicious. BeeBop and I enjoyed it for dinner alongside a big salad. I can also see how this recipe could be the basis for all sorts of variations. If I were serving this for a cocktail party, for instance, I would cut the rounds with a 2-inch biscuit cutter, use the same toppings, except substitute either diced tomato or slices from a roma/plum tomato. Even sliced large cherry tomatoes would work. Also, you could use this basic concept for a sweet tart using berries with sweetened cream cheese or a brie and apricot preserve combination. Thanks again to Ina Garten for a great basic recipe with all sorts of possibilities.
Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11×11-inch square. Using a 6-inch wide saucer or other round object as a guide, cut 2 circles from the sheet of puff pastry, discarding the scraps*. Repeat with the second pastry sheet to make 4 circles in all. Place the pastry circles on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Sauté for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add ½ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. 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 ¼-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 ¼ 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.
*Instead of discarding all the leftover pastry, I cut it into strips, tied the strips in bowknots, brushed them with melted butter, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and baked them along with the tarts. Nice little after dinner treat!