I always keep a few packages of frozen puff pastry in my freezer and one in my refrigerator, thawed, ready to use. I don’t want to have to wait for the pastry to thaw if I have spontaneous inspiration or last minute guests.
This is a recipe that came from one of those inspirations. I had a box of gorgeous organic multicolor tiny tomatoes, a ball of whole milk mozzarella cheese nearing its expiration date, some roasted garlic and free time — and this recipe was the result.
It makes a dazzling presentation and can be served at an elegant party or for Monday night football. Sports enthusiasts may think it’s fancy pizza, at a family dinner, it will be a delightful appetizer. —At Home with Friends
1 large tart
all purpose flour for work surface
frozen puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator overnight
large egg, beaten
grated Parmesan cheese
tiny multicolored organic tomatoes, cut in half or quarters
cloves roasted or fresh garlic, finely minced or mashed
extra virgin olive oil
whole milk mozzarella, sliced
fresh ground pepper, to taste
fresh basil, shredded
In This Recipe
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sprinkle work surface with flour.
Unwrap both sheets of pastry dough. Brush one short side of one sheet of dough with egg and overlap second piece of dough to form one large piece of dough. Press the seal together using a rolling pin. Smooth out dough and roll piece into 18 X 19-inch size. Transfer into a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper
Using a sharp knife, cut a 1-inch strip from each of 4 sides. Brush sides with egg and place one strip on each side, or if you want a more rustic look, simply fold a 1-inch edge up on all 4 sides.
Using a fork, poke holes in the entire sheet. Sprinkle with half of Parmesan cheese and bake 13-15 minutes and then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake 13-15 minutes longer, until crisp. Remove from oven. (This can be done early in the day and set aside.)
Either the day before or while pastry is baking, cut up tomatoes and toss with olive oil, garlic and salt. Set aside.
Just before serving, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over the tart. Top with tomatoes and garlic mixture. Top with half of Parmesan cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Remove from oven. Top with fresh basil, cut and serve.