The lights are still up on the tree,
the Christmas spirit is still making its
rounds, but, the gifts are unwrapped, the guests gone. It's time to start thinking of getting away from my holiday mantra of "nothing is off limits" and back to my "everything in moderation" philosophies.
For Christmas I received a foodies favourite gift of an exceptional cookbook. I received several cookbooks actually...some I won...so I will be attempting recipes from each over the next little while. You will be hearing about all the books as I work my way through them.
This recipe comes from Ina Gartens latest cookbook Back to Basics. The thing I love about Inas recipes besides her easy entertaining style is that I have never had a failure. This is the essential Barefoot Contessa cookbook focusing on the techniques behind her elegant food and style. This book offers nearly a hundred brand new recipes for us to try that will easily become trusted favourites!!
This tart made a perfect lunch with a warm potato salad and a tossed salad.
I am sending this over to Sara of I Like to Cook for this months Weekend Cookbook Challenge ...
**Barefoot Contessa's Tomato & Goat Cheese Tarts**
3 T good olive oil, plus more for brushing
4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
3 T white wine
2 tsp minced fresh thyme plus sprigs for garnish
1 package (17.3 ounces) puff pastry sheets, thawed overnight in the refrigerator. Use cold.
4 T grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces garlic & herb Montrachet goat cheese
1 large tomato, cut into 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
3 T julienned basil leaves
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-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 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the wine and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
Unfold each sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11-by-11-inch square. Using a six-inch-wide saucer or other circular object as a guide, cut 2 (six-inch) circles from each sheet of puff pastry, discarding the scraps. Repeat with the second sheet of pastry.
Using the tip of a sharp paring knife, score a circle 1/2 inch inside the edge of each pastry. Prick the pastries all over with the tines of a fork and place them on the sheet pan. Sprinkle a tablespoon of the grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.
Place 1/4 of the onion mixture on each circle, again staying within the scored edges. 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. If the pastry is warm, chill for 15 minutes.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Garnish each with a sprig of thyme and a drizzle of olive oil.