Saturday, 29 October 2011

Easy Puff Pastry Tartlets – 20 minute meal series

Almost everyone loves pastry, especially puff pastry. It's not something I eat very often but as a rare treat or special occasion with friends who aren't so health conscious! This recipe is great for parties or drinks with friends as it's so quick – you can prepare it in advance or throw it together at the last minute.
Sometimes we need something quick, impressive and something that will
get everyone ooohhhing and aaahhhing. The beauty of this dish is all the variations that can be made. They are endless.

You can make more of a lunch snack with it but using a whole square of puff pastry and covering the whole thing. Fold the edges in to form more of a crust if you wish. Serve it with a salad and have plenty of time to catch up with friends.
Enjoy the flaky pastry and the simple flavours of the Mediterranean.

Cherry Tomato, Olive & Caper

Makes 1 large square (puff pastry size) or 16x little
You'll need a tray with shallow mini muffin or simply use a flat tray.

1x square puff pastry (vegan)
2 tbs olive tapenade
1x punnet cherry tomatoes, whole
2x medium purple onion, diced,
¼ cup pitted olives
3 tbs capers
fresh rosemary or thyme
Cracked pepper and salt for seasoning

Turn your oven onto 190-200C. Saute chopped onions until soft and caramelised in a frying pan. Add cherry tomatoes along with a generous sprinkle of good salt & lots of rosemary or thyme de-spriged and cook for a further 5 minutes or until tomatoes have popped and slightly deflated. Allow to cool a little while you prepare the pastry.

I use a supermarket vegan pastry which is quick and handy for these occasions. I take it out of the freezer moments before I need to use it. It can thaw out quickly depending on the time of year. Once it begins to thaw and is malleable but still slightly frozen, take a small port glass and cut each tartlet. Lightly oil mini muffin tin and place pastry in holes. Prick 2-3 times with a fork so they don't rise and puff off all your toppings!

If doing a large square tart, oil and place on a flat baking tray. Fold in each edge to create a 1cm thick border. You can fork the edge to create a pretty pattern if you like. Then prick inside the border with a fork many times to prevent the pastry from puffing (I’m letting the air out by pricking it!).

Then brush the pastry with olive tapenade (not the borders). Spoon the onion & tomato mix over the top of that. Scatter with lots of capers and pitted olives. Place in the oven for approximately 10-15 minutes or until the edges have turned golden brown.

With more time up your sleeve try adding the following variations:

Mushroom, Spinach & Olive – saute some onion until soft, then add some mushrooms and a pinch of dried mixed herbs and cook for 1-2 minutes so the mushroom softens but not until they are fully cook. Place in a bowl. Gently sauté some spinach until it just wilts but is still bright green. Baste pastry with Tapenade (green or black), then add spinach followed by mushroom mix

Potato, Rosemary & Spinach
Cook the potato until al dente, saute onion until soft, add spinach and gently wilt, keeping the lovely bright green colour. Layer spinach and onion on the bottom, them add the potato. Scatter with fresh rosemary, good salt and Cracked pepper and cook for 10-15 or until pastry is golden brown.

Roast Pumpkin, Eggplant and Red
¼ -½ small pumpkin, diced, de-skinned
1x medium eggplant, diced
1x large red pepper
Roast in olive oil, rosemary or thyme, sea salt and cracked pepper.

No comments:

Post a Comment