Mid to late summer is the season for exquisite produce at my local farmers’ market. There are bins at each stand brimming with vegetables in vibrant hues. This irresistible produce was the inspiration for the following recipe for savory vegetable tarts. The tart shells are made with purchased puff pastry sheets that are cut into squares. A creamy spread of goat cheese and Parmesan is smoothed over bottom of each pastry shell and topped with sautéed shallots and garlic. Then, thinly sliced tomatoes and zucchini are added as a final layer. When baked, the puff pastry becomes golden and crisp, and the roasted vegetables tender and sweet. Fresh julienned basil is the only garnish needed.
Summer Vegetable Galettes
2 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for drizzling over tarts
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
5 ounces creamy goat cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Generous pinch of cayenne pepper
2 sheets puff pastry from a 17.3 ounce package, defrosted
1/2 pound small zucchini, about 2 to 3 zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices
1/2 pound grape or small Roma tomatoes, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, cut into julienned strips, plus 8 additional springs for garnish
1. Arrange a rack at center position and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet set over medium high heat. When hot, add shallots and sauté, stirring, until softened and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
3. In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese, Parmesan, and cayenne pepper and stir with a fork to blend well.
4. Place one puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured work surface, and with a rolling pin, gently flatten the seams. Cut each sheet into four equal squares. With a sharp knife, lightly score a 3/4 inch border around the inside edge of each pastry square, taking care not to cut all the way through the dough. (You simply want to trace a frame within each square, which will rise around the filling and form the sides of each tart.) Repeat with the second pastry sheet. Transfer squares to 2 baking sheets.
5. Divide cheese mixture evenly and spread within borders of each square. Top with shallot mixture and refrigerate for 5 minutes. Arrange alternating zucchini and tomato slices, slightly overlapping, on top of filling in each square.(You may not need to use all the vegetables.) Season each tart with salt and pepper, then drizzle lightly with some olive oil. Bake tarts until sides have puffed and are golden brown and filling is hot, about 20 minutes. Reverse baking sheets after 10 minutes. Watch carefully. (The tarts can be baked 4 hours ahead; leave at cool room temperature and reheat in a preheated 350 degree oven until hot, about 10 minutes.)
6. Garnish each tart with julienned basil and with a fresh basil sprig if desired. Serves 8.
© Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2012
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