29 December 2008

Barefoot Contessa's Tomato & Goat Cheese Tarts

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.

Serve warm. Best Blogger Tips


  1. I love such tasty tartlets!



  2. I must admit, I'd never watched a full episode of the Barefoot Contessa until recently. I was impressed with her easygoing style Val...can't wait to see what else you come p with from her cookbook.

  3. Oh, the purge begins for me on Jan/2nd. The tart is minimalist yet you have some goodies like cheese and pastry to satiate the appetite.

  4. And the photo pays homage to the Contessa as well with all those greens 'casually' visible in the background!
    P.S. I've had the same mantra...hard to shake when there are still leftovers around.

  5. Hang on Val my dear. My thyme is yet to sprout; it's too cold & here's another beauty you've posted.I shall call you Contessa Val...this is just superb & right up my alley! HAVE A WONDERFUL 2009 Val!! xoxoxo

  6. these mini-pizzas look fantastic!

    PS the lights stay up on the tree in greece until 6th january (epiphany), and the presents are still under the tree because St Basil (our version of santa claus) doesnt come to greece until new years day!

  7. Simple and tasty. This is a great weeknight supper idea.

  8. Oh these look so wonderful and tasty...and great to ease back into "normal" eating (I hear you!) :)

  9. These are darling (not to mention delicious looking!!). I definitely will be needing this cookbook.

  10. This looks absolutely delicious.

  11. It looks delicious! Your blog is very interesting and I'm glad I had the chance to visit it. I'll be back!

  12. The tart is beautiful and sounds absolutely delicious! I love anything with tomato and cheese and will definitely have to make these.
    Thanks for offering to review my new cookbook. :)

  13. i don't really watch much of Barefoot Contessa but I enjoy the recipes you all chose to feature. I love these tarts! And I like the green on your site now. Looks great!

  14. I would miniaturize these and have perfect little bites!

  15. Unfortunately, we do not see Ina Garten in Greece, at least yet. All her recipes you have posted Val are exceptional.

  16. BTW what are all those links we see in your posts?

  17. I love a good savory tart! This one looks fabulous!

  18. Ina rocks!
    The tartlets look fabulous without too much fuss. I love that woman.

  19. That looks yummy!!! :)

    Happy New Year!


  20. This looks like something I would love to eat!

  21. This looks so good Val,I can't wait for your Ina recipes!

  22. I love goat cheese and these tarts look so easy to make! Something I know my friends and I would enjoy!

  23. This looks fabulous, Val! Ina has never let me down either. I got this cookbook for Xmas too and I'm really looking forward to using it.

  24. Wow isn't that adorable. If it has goat cheese, I'm in. Sounds fantastic.

  25. I'm with you Val, moderation! What I really need is abstinence! I've been sooo bad! Have a happy and healthy new year Val!!

  26. This tart is gorgeous. It almost makes me forget that it's winter time.

  27. I love the look of these tarts. What a nice fresh contrast with all the heavy food of the holiday season. Just what I'm craving right now!

  28. Just gorgeous Val. All the best for the new year! I look forward to another year of your delicious recipes.

  29. I love Ina and these look great! Thanks for sharing with me for Weekend Cookbook Challenge.


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