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July 11, 2010

Goat cheese (Recipe: grilled vegetable and goat cheese puff pastry tart with zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and onions) {vegetarian}

Grilled vegetable and goat cheese puff pastry tart, perfect for lunch or dinner. 

When I first opened the doors of The Perfect Pantry, I put Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese up on a pedestal (as well it should be), and lumped all of the other cheeses together as, well... assorted cheese.

I apologize for that.

I apologize to you, and to the cheese: to the salty bite of feta; to the nutty smoothness of Gruyere and Swiss; to the creaminess of brie and camembert; and to the tangy acidity of goat cheese.

Goat cheese does things few other cheeses can do -- it spreads and melts -- and for that it's earned its own place on my refrigerator shelf.

Goat cheese 

What is goat cheese?
Also called goat's milk cheese or chevre, a soft or semi-hard cheese made from the milk of goats. The flavor will be influenced by what the goats eat. Goat cheese produced in areas with limited refrigeration is salted as a preservative measure.

How/where to store:
In the refrigerator for a few days; in the freezer for up to six months. Let cheese come to room temperature before serving or cooking.

Grilled vegetable tart 

Grilled vegetable and goat cheese puff pastry tart with zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and onions

You will wow your friends with this elegant and oh-so-easy tart. A package of puff pastry from the freezer (I use Pepperidge Farm), a bit of goat cheese, and any vegetables you can toss on the grill: that's all there is to it. Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

1 package frozen puff pastry (2 pieces)
1/2-3/4 cup goat cheese, at room temperature
1 large or 2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed, sliced lengthwise
1 red pepper, core and seeds removed, cut in half
2 portobello mushroom caps
1 red or sweet onion, peeled, cut into large rings
Olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
A few Tbsp of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Gruyere cheese
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water

Directions

Set the puff pastry on the counter to defrost while you prepare the filling for the tart. Bring the goat cheese out of the refrigerator. Preheat the grill to high. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Place the vegetables on a platter, brush on both sides with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. When the grill is heated, cook the vegetables for 2-3 minutes per side, until they are cooked through. Set aside to cool slightly.

Sprinkle a counter top with flour, and roll out one sheet of puff pastry. Place it on the prepared baking sheet.

Spread the goat cheese over the pastry, leaving a half-inch margin all the way around. Slice the red pepper and mushrooms, and arrange all of the vegetables in layers on top of the goat cheese. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top. Paint the edge of the pastry with the beaten egg.

Roll out the second sheet of pastry, and fit it over the top of the vegetables. Make sure to press down all around the edge to form a tight seal. If needed, use a sharp knife to trim the edge to make it even. Press down on the edge with the tines of a fork, all the way around the pastry, to complete the seal.

Brush (with a pastry brush) the egg wash over the top of the pastry. Wait for one minute, then apply a second coat. With a sharp knife, make three diagonal slits in the top of the pastry; be sure to cut all the way through the pastry.

Place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the pastry is browned and puffed. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Goat cheese and basil bruschetta
Goat cheese-olive empanadas
Stuffed pepper tapas

Other recipes that use goat cheese:
Smoked salmon, dill and goat cheese quiche, from Simply Recipes
Balsamic beet greens and goat cheese crostini, from White on Rice Couple
Goat cheese custard with strawberries in red wine syrup, from David Lebovitz
Quick asparagus and goat cheese pasta, from Ezra Pound Cake
Green chile, cheddar and goat cheese croquettes, from Use Real Butter


Need more creative ideas for using zucchini? Get 23 Zucchini, my e-book packed with fantastic recipes, full-color photos and a few fun videos. With the FREE Kindle Reading app, delicious zucchini recipes will always be just one click away on any computer, tablet or smart phone. Click here to learn more.

Comments

This looks lovely - I can't think of two better things in life than goat cheese and puff pastry - both pantry staples!

I love goat's cheese, whether gooey and soft or well matured. It has a flavour all its own. One of the nicest cheesecakes I ever made featured a soft goat's cheese, it's so versatile. Love you little tarts, they look the bomb.

This looks absolutely mouth-watering! I'm a big fan of goat cheese, need to make something with it.

Thank you for such a great easy vegetarian recipe! Minus the onions and mushrooms this is something I can make for my mom and she would actually eat! She is an extremely picky vegetarian eater!

Good for you for breaking out the cheeses! I've also seen goat cheese as a hard cheese -- like gouda or other traditional cow milk cheeses made with goats milk. Definitely more tangy (and delicious!)

These look divine! Goat cheese and fresh vegetables just screams summer. Thanks for the recipe!

This dish looks fantastic, I was just thinking of what to do with some goat cheese I bought over the weekend. Nice alternative to crackers.

Those little puff pastries are so pretty. Isn't goat cheese the best stuff? I adore its creaminess.

TW, there's nothing better than a well-stocked pantry (and a CSA share to provide a supply of vegetables).

Neil, a goat cheese cheesecake sounds divine.

Kalyn, I love goat cheese in scrambled eggs (sounds South Beach friendly, I think).

Carol, you can use any vegetables your mom likes. It's the cheese and pastry that really make this dish.

Julia, Trader Joe's sells a great goat milk gouda, a hard slicing cheese, that's one of my very favorite cheeses.

Michelle, I agree. Hope you try it.

Sherri, definitely try this tart; the warm vegetables soften the cheese and it's just delicious.

Andrea, I love goat cheese too, though it's a fairly recent (10 years?) addition to my pantry.

Great looking snack. I would add cooled caramelized onions instead for those who don't like onion or those who love them.

This looks incredible! I've never (yes, I said never!) tried goat cheese and have to admit that while reading through, I was trying to think of something I could substitute but I think I need to just stop being a wuss and try it!

Seriously, what did we DO before we could buy goat cheese. LOVE it in everything!

Dgrub, caramelized onions would be a lovely addition here.

Renae, you can definitely substitute another cheese -- any other cheese, really, like Swiss or Gruyere or Fontina -- but of course you need to try goat cheese because it is a wonderful cheese.

Donna, can't imagine. It's so good in salads, on burgers, in sandwiches, in scrambled eggs....

exactly how do you slice the zucchini? sliced length-wise, into how many slices? then do you slice smaller after grilling? I am really looking forward to this!

GBS, any way you slice it, as long as it's fairly thin, will work in this recipe. I do hope you try this; always a hit at my house.

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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