April 1, 2011

By the Book Friday- Roasted Red Pepper Goat Cheese Tarts

{printable recipe here}
Ina Garten is my favorite so I figured I should start with one of her recipes for my first "By the Book Friday". I really want to focus on trying new things and actually getting through my cookbooks instead of just using them as decorations. I planned to take a nice picture of my cookbooks to show the material I would be working with for this new challenge but my hutch is just too crammed full of books (so next week, maybe?) We had Church recipe group this week and I happened to have a jar of roasted peppers, several boxes of puff pastry I scored at half off, and goat cheese, cheap from Trader Joe's. Everything else required was already in the pantry so I figured this was perfect. These tarts are so great- flavorful, crunchy, creamy, sweet, savory. It takes some time with the caramelized onions but every step is simple and the final product is stunning (even if the older women at recipe night told me the cheese smelled like goats! I think they liked it though!)

A few people asked to join up with By the Book Friday and so I signed up with Mr. Linky to get a widget, but I haven't gotten my sign up info yet so (hopefully) next week we will be good to go! Feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments if you've joined in! And please if you have a better name idea let me know!

PhotobucketRoasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Tarts
from Anne Strawberry
recipe adapted from Ina Garten's Back to Basics
{printable recipe here}

1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted {I thaw it overnight in the fridge}
Good olive oil
4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dry white wine {I used a 1/4 cup white grape juice}
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese
4 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese {I used regular goat cheese}
1 large tomato, cut into 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices {note- I used 3/4 cup roasted red peppers or sliced bell peppers in the past}
3 tablespoons julienned basil leaves

Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 12 by 12-inch square. Cut sheet into thirds each way, to yield 9, 3 x 3 squares per sheet (18 total). Place the pastry squares on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the wine, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each square (being careful to go through only part of the pastry, just use gentle pressure). Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on each tart, staying inside the scored border.

Place a teaspoon of the onion mixture on each circle, again staying within the scored edge. Crumble goat cheese on top of the onions. Place a slice of tomato (or bell peppers or roasted bell peppers) in the center of each tart. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil (not necessary with the roasted peppers) and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Finally, scatter 2 or 3 shards of Parmesan on each tart.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. The bottom sheet pan may need an extra few minutes in the oven. Serve hot or warm.


  1. This looks lovely and I love Barefoot Contessa!! Just a technical question out of curiosity, why do you have to score the pastry sheets/squares before putting the filling on top? Can't wait to make this and I think I would mess that step up so I'm curious :)

  2. I still have to get that BC book...I can't believe that I haven't!

    These look so so good! I'm so nervous w pastry sheets...but I am going to have to get over it!

  3. These look so pretty! I have pastry sheets that I'd like to use, perfect :)

  4. Melissa- When you score the squares, it helps create a border. By pricking the inside with a fork, the middle stays flatter. Then, since you've scored the border, the outside pops up to make a crust. It's easy and makes a lot of difference!

  5. ooooooooo Love that food....YUMMO! :)

  6. These look fabulous - I think they'd be a perfect starter at a dinner party.

  7. This looks so good! I think I need to make it.