A quick and easy little pupu (appetizer) that is perfect for the holidays, and localized with a couple of special ingredients. At I Heart Cooking Clubs we are celebrating tarts and pies this week. I fear crusts. They intimidate me. Sad, I know. ;-) It's not even about having a bad experience with them--the few times I have attempted pastry crust it has turned out fine. I just don't like the stress and hassle. So, I looked for the most simple Donna Hay "tart" recipe I could find and came across these Tomato + Goat Cheese Squares from the December/January 2011 holiday issue of Donna Hay Magazine.
In the Short Cuts: Cheats + Quick Fixes section, the crust is puff pastry, scored and baked with cherry tomatoes, then topped with pesto, goat cheese and baby arugula leaves. In between rainstorms this weekend, I headed to the little farmers market by my house and was 'sampled' to death ;-) by the sea asparagus (aka samphire) guy--with bites of salad dressing, salsa verde, pesto and the briny little fronds themselves. The Ocean Pesto, made with sea asparagus and macadamia nuts, is one of my favorites so I thought it would be fun to use it on these little squares and add a bit of sea asparagus on top instead of the arugula leaves.
Tomato + Goat Cheese + (Sea Asparagus) Pesto Squares
Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 54
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. (400 degrees F.)
Using a small, sharp knife, score 1 sheet thawed store-bought puff pastry with 36 x 4cm squares (36 squares total). Top squares with halved yellow and red cherry tomatoes, brush with oil and bake 20-25 minutes.
Top with goat cheese, store-bought pesto and baby arugula leaves to serve.
Notes/Results: These are fun little bites of crispy, buttery pastry with the sweet local baby tomatoes contrasting nicely with the pesto, tangy goat cheese and the briny bits of sea asparagus. I think they would be equally good as the recipe was written with regular pesto and the slightly bitter arugula. Easy to pop into your mouth and very tasty without a lot of effort to put them together making them an excellent addition to the holiday pupu platter. I will make these again.
You can check out the different tarts and pies the IHCC participants made for the "Are You Calling Me a Tart?" theme this week by going to the post and following the links.