Tomato Tartlets

Colorful, summery and perfect when you need a little bite.

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 C grated Fontina or Swiss cheese (2-3ounces)

3 medium tomatoes, cut into twelve ¼- inch slices

Extra virgin olive oil for brushing

Ground pepper

1/3 C small basil leaves left whole or large and thin sliced

Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin and roll out the puff pastry to 14×16-inch rectangle. With a 4 inch cookie cutter, cut out 12 rounds and transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. With a fork, prick each round all over. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cheese on each, leaving a small border, and top with one tomato slice; brush with oil, season with pepper.

Bake until pastry is deep golden at the edges, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Let cool completely before garnishing with basil. Makes 12.


Savory Crustless Popovers

iStock_000015641199Large
3 eggs
2/3 C half and half
½ C plain lowfat yogurt
1 T unsalted butter, melted
1/3 C flour
½ t salt
4 oz. mild cheddar, shredded
2 T each fresh parsley and chives, finely chopped (or other herbs of your choice)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk together the eggs, half and half, yogurt and butter. Add the flour and salt, stir in the cheddar and herbs. Fill greased ramekins or mini-muffin tins until 3/4 full, and bake for 20 minutes, or until set, puffy and lightly brown on top. Let popovers cool at least 10 minutes before unmolding (they will fall slightly, this is normal!). Gently invert to unmold. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 12 standard muffins.


Marinated Goat Cheese with Citrus, Olive Oil and Herbs

Adapted from Chef Todd Knoll of Jordan Winery. Knoll likes to pair this with a good Chardonnay. This easy and flavorful appetizer can be adapted year-round by changing the citrus with the seasons.

CitrusMarinatedCheese

1/4 pound aged goat cheese (Cypress Grove Midnight Moon or a Manchego may be substituted)
4 broadly peeled rind pieces of one blood orange, pith removed (any seasonal citrus)
4 broadly peeled rind pieces of one Meyer lemon, pith removed
10 whole black peppercorns
5 whole white peppercorns
1 C candied kumquats, halved (2 Tbsp of English marmalade may be substituted)
1 blood orange, peeled and divided into segments (any seasonal citrus with minimal seeds may be substituted)
6 sprigs thyme
2-4 bay leaves, whole
¼ C olive oil
Coarse or flaky sea salt, to taste

Slice cheese into 1⁄8-inch thick triangles. Use a vegetable peeler to broadly peel citrus rinds (approximate length: 2-3 inches). In a nonreactive bowl, combine sliced cheese with orange and lemon rinds, black and white peppercorns, marmalade or kumquats, 8 blood orange segments, 4 thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Add olive oil and gently toss.

Cover and set aside to marinate at room temperature for eight hours or in a refrigerator a minimum of 24 hours (or up to three days).

To serve, bring the cheese marinade up to room and toss gently again in same bowl to refresh ingredients. Arrange the cheese slices and marinade naturally on a platter. Top with a few more citrus rinds that have not been marinated. Drizzle with additional olive oil. Garnish with a few fresh thyme sprigs and salt to taste. Serves 6 -8.

 


Fig Toasts

Sauteeing figs caramelizes and intensifies the sugars. These little toasts combine that luscious sweetness with the sharp saltiness of feta cheese.  Finishing them off with balsamic syrup, topped with a peppery fresh mint leaf, will leave you craving more.  They make a great hors d’oeuvre or first course.

Read More