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
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- 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.
- Cut each tomato slice in half crosswise and place 3 to 4 slices on each pastry rectangle.
- Sprinkle the chopped oregano, salt and pepper over the tomatoes.
- Bake the tarts for 10 to 12 minutes.
- 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.
- Using 2 teaspoons of feta cheese for each tart, sprinkle the cheese over the asparagus.
- 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).