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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tomato Tarts with Goat Cheese and Basil

Leftovers? When you are a person that genuinely loves to cook, leftovers are not your most exciting foods to deal with. Today my dilemma was how to make leftovers more appealing. I don't like leftovers and usually I don't have to decide what to do with them because I pack them up for John to take to work so he has a nice lunch. It works for both of us, he gets a nice lunch and I don't have to eat leftovers! From last nights dinner, I had leftover roasted chicken and spiced couscous. I wanted something to have something nice to go with it, so I decided to try making Tomato Tarts with Goat Cheese and Basil. I have only had Goat Cheese once before and wasn't sure if I would like it in this particular way, but it turned out to be really good. The flavors of the tomato and the cheese blended so well with the flaky pastry.
* I could not find yellow tomatoes as the recipe called for so it's made with all red tomatoes. It would sure be pretty if you could find both color tomatoes.
** I also could not find herbed goat cheese, so I bought regular goat cheese and seasoned it myself with oregano, basil, sage, garlic powder and pepper.

2 sheets frozen puff pastry
1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 Tbsp water
2 oz herb goat cheese, softened
2 Tbsp milk
8 each, red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp minced, fresh basil

Thaw puff pastry according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400.
Cut on pastry sheet into 4 even squares. Place squares on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cut remaining pastry sheet into 8 strips (3/4 inch wide each). (you will have a little pastry dough leftover, you can save it for a different time or just toss it). Cut the 8 strips in half crosswise, to make 16 strips. Place 4 strips around the edge of each pastry square, overlapping corners (over and under on each corner). Lightly brush the 4 strips around the edges and the corners of each pastry, with the egg wash. Bake until puffed and brown 22-24 minutes. Whisk together the goat cheese and the milk. Divide cheese mixture among the center of 4 tarts, spreading with a spatula and pressing lightly to gently deflate the centers. Top cheese mixture with red and yellow tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake tarts 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and garnish with basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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