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Barefoot! Tomato & Mozzarella Tart

March 26, 2009


It’s Barefoot time again!  This week’s pick is from the lovely Anne of Anne Strawberry.  

The Husband actually likes goat cheese but like a mean wife, I deny him the opportunity to eat it in our house.  I’m not really being mean… I’m being safe.  For some reason I have an insane allergy to goat’s milk.  One bite and my throat decides to play a game with me.  It’s called: How Long Can Cat go Without Air!  

Knowing that I love tomato tarts, I knew I had to make this.  I also knew I had to make it cheesy in order for The Husband to eat it.  I’d love to say I stuck to the recipe, but we all know that’s impossible for me… allergy or not.  

I used the puff pastry against my better judgement.  I thought it would give the tart another dimension that I would be missing if I used a plain ‘ol whole wheat pie crust.  The flavor was great.  It was just a little too rich for our dinner.  Of course I used the caramelized onions, which I caramelized in 1 T olive oil.  

For the cheese I made a little concoction that turned out to be something that I’ll be keeping in my arsenal for all sorts of upcoming recipes.  I have these perfect little mini tart pans that I should have used but decided against it at the last minute.  Using the tart pans would have made the dinner a little easier to eat.  Without further ado…

Tomato & Mozzarella Tarts
Adapted from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa

2 sheets puff pastry
1 T olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 t dried thyme (because I didn’t have fresh)
2 t dried basil (again, didn’t have fresh)
2 T white wine
Salt & Pepper, to taste (go light on salt)
1/2 c cottage cheese, patted dry with a paper towel
1/4 c shredded mozzarella 
1/4 c grated Parmesan
2 T Dijon mustard
1 1/2 c cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise


Heat olive oil in a skillet set to medium low.  Add onions, garlic,basil and thyme stirring occasionally for about 15 to 20 minutes until caramelized, stir in wine and cook off excess liquid.  Season with salt and pepper.  

Meanwhile, unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11 by 11-inch square. Using a 6-inch wide saucer or other round object as a guide, cut 2 circles from the sheet of puff pastry, discarding the scraps.  *I used one sheet and cut 3 circles*  Repeat with the second pastry sheet to make 4 circles in all. Place the pastry circles on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper *I used a silpat*.  Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork.  Refrigerate until ready to use.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the cottage cheese, mustard, mozzarella and Parmesan.  Set aside until ready to assemble.


Once the onions and garlic are caramelized, arrange a small amount in the center of each pastry circle.  I used about 3 T of the onion mixture.  Careful to stay within the perforated line, top with the cheese mixture, patting down on the onions,  Top with sliced tomatoes and a little extra mozzarella if you have it.  


Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry has turned golden brown. Silently weep because you didn’t listen to that voice in your head telling you to use the mini tart pans so the cheese wouldn’t spread.   Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.   


We enjoyed this with sauteed zucchini.

So… you aren’t a fellow Barefooter yet?  Come join us!

23 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2009 09:01

    Oh Cat, your tarts look amazing! I love the little puff pastry cut outs, too cute. I thought the puff pastry with these would be too rich for me too, and I bet we have the same little tartlet pans that I decided to use and you didn’t! We should have chatted about this recipe before hand and swapped ideas, I would have added your mozzarella and did the cut outs 🙂

  2. March 26, 2009 14:21

    i love that you baked the little left-over scraps. my mom makes the most fabulous pie crust, and there’s always a little leftover whenever she makes pumpkin pies (just for me and my lactose intolerance!). i steal the scraps and bake them like cookies. pie crust is my favorite dessert.


  3. juju73 permalink
    March 26, 2009 14:30

    I love the substitution you made!!!!

  4. March 26, 2009 14:51

    Those look delicious! It’s funny how the change in cheese can make such a difference with the spreading and all. I can’t believe you are allergic to goat cheese- that breaks my heart! I’m glad you had a good dinner anyways and always love to see what’s going on in your kitchen!

  5. March 26, 2009 14:57

    Your tarts look great. Personally I think cheese that spreads out always makes whatever you are eating look that much more tempting! 😉 I love the little shapes. (I just twisted my leftover “scraps and sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar–tasty but not “cute”!)

  6. March 26, 2009 15:41

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love the fancy edge you put on your tarts and how clever to use the leftover pastry to decorate the top. Very nice job!

  7. March 26, 2009 17:05

    Cat, those look beautiful and absolutely delicious! I just love the crimped edge.

  8. March 26, 2009 18:30

    Don’t be too sad about the cheese spreading. I think those toasty bits of cheese that get stuck to the pan are unbelievably delicious – nearly worth engineering a disaster for!

  9. March 26, 2009 18:45

    Beautiful! What lovely pictures. The modifications you made sound delish. Good call on the mozzarella, I am happy to hear you’re still breathing 😉

  10. March 26, 2009 21:20

    I’m impressed. Yours look great. And I totally would have used the death by goat cheese as an excuse if I didn’t have time to make it or something. I’ll have to remember that next time I don’t have time.

  11. March 26, 2009 22:17

    It’s a bummer about the goat cheese….I’ll remember not to bring that for our playdate.

    Your changes look great! I love that you did something with the extras.

  12. March 27, 2009 07:47

    You’re so creative with the pastry cutter! I thought these were just terrific and fun, too. Smaller ones would definitely be more manageable, especially if using them as an appetizer.

  13. March 27, 2009 08:17

    What a great idea to cut shapes out of the scraps. Duh! Wish I would’ve thought about that.

    I made smaller ones earlier in the week (2″) and they were difficult to top. The next day, I made them 4″ and it seems like the perfect size.

    Have a great day!

  14. March 27, 2009 08:23

    Love your tarts! We loved these as well. I had to substitute on the goat cheese, but I’m curious about your allergy. Are you allergic to other cheeses? If not, I wonder what it is about the goat cheese. I have a lot of allergies myself so I know the misery they can cause!

  15. March 27, 2009 09:48

    Your tarts look delish! I definitely think of these more as an appetizer than a meal – so smaller makes sense. Love your mods. I should have thought to use my silpat – mine slightly stuck to the sheet pan.

  16. March 27, 2009 11:41

    Oh, I am so sorry that you are allergic to goat cheese, but WOW, did you ever do a great job coming up with a cheese combo that works equally well!! These looks delicious! I agree that they are rich; I am more likely to make them on whole wheat pitas/tortillas most of the time, and save the puff pastry for special occasions. But they sure were good!

  17. March 27, 2009 13:44

    Ooo looks delicious and I love your cheese concoction! What a great idea adding the dijon!

  18. March 27, 2009 20:35

    Great substitutions! I bet the zucchini is a great accompaniment!

  19. March 27, 2009 21:59

    Aww, Jeff would love that. He thought I was chintzy with the cheese.

  20. March 28, 2009 08:15

    Like a few others here … I drew a total blank with what to do with the scraps of puff pastry. For a fleeting moment (as I was throwing them in the trash) I did wonder how I could have used them! I just have to have one of the fancy edge cutters! Your tarts look heavenly!

  21. March 28, 2009 08:30

    Great tart. The mozzarella is a good alternative, I need to remember that for the future!

  22. Christine permalink
    March 28, 2009 09:03

    Love the pastry cut outs and your tart looks amazing! I like your substitutions but goat cheese all the way in my house baby!!

  23. March 28, 2009 15:02

    I love your cheese adaptation! Making these in a little tart pan is a great idea. I will take your suggestion and make these again with mozzarella.

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