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August 2, 2011

Recipe for puff pastry tartlets with zucchini and slow-roasted (or sun-dried) tomato filling

Zucchini-tomato-tartlets

Some people possess the elegance gene. Clothes, hair, pastry -- effortlessly elegant. I didn't get that gene, not even a tiny portion of that gene, and especially not the pastry portion of that gene. So, whenever I manage to make something ever so slightly elegant, like these puff pastry tartlets, it rates a celebration. Last week, I wanted to create a pretty vegetarian appetizer, and my pantry came to the rescue with store-bought puff pastry and the last of last summer's slow-roasted tomatoes, excavated from the freezer. A mandoline made the paper-thin zucchini toppers, but a good, sharp knife and a steady hand can do the same.

Zucchini-tomato-tartlets-1

Puff pastry tartlets with zucchini and slow-roasted (or sun-dried) tomato filling

From the pantry, you'll need: puff pastry, slow-roasted tomatoes, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, fresh thyme, extra-virgin olive oil.

Makes 12-14 tartlets.

Ingredients

1 package (2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted according to package directions
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup slow-roasted tomato halves (or oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes)
4 tsp whipped cream cheese
14 thin slices of zucchini
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Fresh black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a Silpat (silicone liner) or parchment paper, and set aside.

Remove defrosted puff pastry from its wrapping. Dust your countertop with some of the flour (a tablespoon or two), and unfold one sheet of pastry. With a rolling pin, roll the pastry just slightly thinner than it comes; don't worry about repairing the seams, as you'll cut around them. Add flour as needed to keep the pastry from sticking.

Using a 4-inch round cookie cutter, pastry cutter, or drinking glass, cut out 6-7 pastry circles and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the second sheet of pastry. Do not reroll the scraps; discard, or sprinkle with sugar and bake for a treat for the cook!

With a fork, prick lots of holes in the pastry rounds, MAKING SURE to keep a 1/2-inch border unpricked all the way around.

In a blender, combine the slow-roasted tomato halves and cream cheese, and process into a smooth paste. Spread this mixture in the center of each pastry round. (You'll have leftover filling; freeze it for another time, or spread it on a sandwich.)

Top each round with a slice of zucchini, a few leaves of thyme, a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, a bit of black pepper and a drop or two of olive oil. (At this point, you can refrigerate until ready to bake.)

Bake at 400F for 10 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and lightly golden. Serve hot or at room temperature.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Turkey and cheese in puff pastry
Asparagus and cheese tart
Easy fruit and Nutella puff pastry tartlets
Grilled vegetable and goat cheese puff pastry tart with zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and onions
Goat cheese and basil bruschetta
Pasta salad with shrimp, feta, basil and slow-roasted tomatoes

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Strawberry crossover Danish, from White on Rice Couple
Cherry tomato puff pastry tart, from The Italian Dish
Slow roasted tomato hummus, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow roasted organic tomato bisque, from Black Girl Chef's Whites
Slow roasted tomato salsa, from A Veggie Venture

 

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

They do look elegant, and delicious! I love using puff pastry, because it can make anything look and taste so good!

Those tartlets look delicious! Perfect with a summery salad.

Cheers,

Rosa

Sounds and looks delicious!

Zucchini never looked so good!

I didn't get the elegant gene either! I love the sound of these, and I didn't know that's what made puff pastry puff (from tip of the day!)

I love this! For days I have been thinking about a zucchini tart with puff pastry, but I was pondering what else was going to go in it and now I know - I love your rich tomato foundation. Thanks for sharing!

Lyndsey, puff pastry is one of my secret weapons. I use it to dress up leftovers or whatever I find in my fridge.

Rosa, exactly! A couple of tartlets and a green salad would be a great lunch or dinner.

Deena, Mary: Thanks. These are easy and delicious (in other words, if I can do it, anyone can do it!).

Kalyn, so glad you're enjoying Tip of the Day.

Trina, the blend of tomato and cream cheese sounds a bit odd, but believe me, it's delicious. You could substitute goat cheese for the creamed cheese.

Very pretty! I've wanted to make something like this for the last several dinners I've hosted - the beautiful photos should motivate me now. And I think you're really underrating your natural elegance!

I find that good knife skills and ring molds go a long way to help me look more elegant.

Isn't it fun to use the last of last year's tomatoes! :) I just finished canning this year's supply.

Thanks!

oh puff pastry... how many ways do I love thee!!

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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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