{Guest Post} Asparagus, Tomato & Feta Cheese Puff Pastry Tart Recipe

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March is guest post month on How To: Simplify and I've very excited (and sad) to share with you the last guest post of the month which was written by Dara, a food blogger who shares easy, delicious recipes with step-by-step photos on Cookin' Canuck. I've been friends with her on Twitter (@cookincanuck) and I love following all of her tasty recipes and looking at all of her photos!

There are times when it is necessary to slap myself on the forehead. Last Sunday was one of those times. During a monthly cooking group meeting with some of my friends, we made individual-sized puff pastry tarts, topped with tomatoes, feta cheese and herbs. Now, I am not new to the puff pastry tart fan club. In fact, over the years I made multiple variations. Caramelized onions with Gorgonzola cheese, peaches with caramel sauce, chicken with peanut sauce. You get the picture. The point is that, after all of those incarnations of these easy tarts, it never occurred to me to cut the puff pastry in sections and make individual tarts.

While it may not seem terribly original to make smaller versions of these tarts, this method handily solved a problem that has plagued my tarts in the past. Soggy bottoms. Who wants soggy bottoms? By cutting the pastry into smaller sections, the tarts cooked far more efficiently and evenly. I added some asparagus and fresh oregano to this version because, amidst our random snowfalls, I find myself craving spring weather and produce. Serve one tart per person as an appetizer, or cut each tart into three pieces and serve as hors d' oeuvres. Either way, your guests are sure to compliment you on your crisp bottoms.

Asparagus, Tomato & Feta Cheese Puff Pastry Tart Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 30 pencil-thin spears of asparagus (less if spears are thicker)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. The puff pastry sheets are typically folded into thirds. Unfold the sheets and cut along the fold lines to form 3 long, skinny strips of pastry. Cut each strip in half crosswise to form a total of 6 rectangles. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray and place the rectangles on the sheet. Pinch the edges of each triangle to make the edges higher than the center of the pastry.
  3. Cut each tomato slice in half crosswise and place 3 to 4 slices on each pastry rectangle.
  4. Sprinkle the chopped oregano, salt and pepper over the tomatoes.
  5. Bake the tarts for 10 to 12 minutes.
  6. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and lay 5 asparagus spears lengthwise on each tart. If using thicker spears of asparagus, take the tarts out of the oven earlier to give the asparagus more cooking time when the tarts are put back into the oven, and lay fewer spears of asparagus on each tart.
  7. Using 2 teaspoons of feta cheese for each tart, sprinkle the cheese over the asparagus.
  8. Put the baking sheet back into the oven and cook until the asparagus is tender and the pastry is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately (makes 6 appetizer servings).
After reading Dara's guest post, be sure to stop by her blog, Cookin' Canuck, for more delicious recipes and photos!

13 comments:

  1. Gorgeous! Perfect for spring!

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  2. I couldn't agree more, Maria! I can't wait to give this recipe a try!

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  3. Great tart to start with for spring. Great guest post.

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  4. Great guest post! Sometimes the simplest idea, like making individual tarts, can make all the difference!

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  5. I love those "aha!" moments in the kitchen. I first discovered cutting pastry in pieces when I had a piece that seemed to break no matter how many times I tried to repair it. Aha! I thought, why not just leave it in pieces? Your more deliberate approach yields some beautiful little tartlets.

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  6. Divina Pe: I totally agree! Dara did a great job with the guest post. I'm so excited for spring!

    Fuji Mama: I can't wait to try this recipe. As you know, I'm all about making life in the kitchen simple!

    Lydia: What a great story! I love "aha!" moments in the kitchen!

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  7. Valen: I totally agree! It's perfect for spring!

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  8. Thanks for all of your kind comments about these tarts. And a big thank you to Jen for asking me to be a guest on her wonderful blog.

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  9. Cookin' Canuck: Thank you, Dara! You did a great job with your guest post! I can't wait to try this recipe!

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  10. Cherine: I totally agree! It's perfect for spring and summer!

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  11. this looks totally awesome. :)

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