Thursday, January 05, 2006

Fancy-Pants Pizza

That’s what Cooper called our dinner last night. The idea for this savory tart literally came to me in a dream, which is once again proof of how dorky I am with my love for food. It was super simple, thanks to Pepperidge Farm, and really quite attractive:

savory tart
Originally uploaded by Kit Pollard.

But yes, fancy-pants. Fortunately, though he is a big, strong, manly guy with grease under his fingernails and oil spots on his clothes, Cooper likes fancy food. He is a real man, and yet he loves quiche. Which is nice.

Plus, we didn’t dine on just FP pizza alone. I also made a quick green salad with radishes and a champagne-honey vinaigrette and added a smoky potato chipotle soup from the Neopol Smokery in the Market. The soup was, as promised, smoky and subtly peppery, and a perfect complement for the tart’s flaky crust, fresh tomato, sweet onions and tangy cheese taste. Plus, it all looked so cute, jammed together on a plate:

soup salad and tart
Originally uploaded by Kit Pollard.

(serves 4-6 as an appetizer, 1 for lunch, 2 for dinner as a side)

1 sheet Pepperidge Farm puff pastry, defrosted
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
Olive oil
1 cup chopped tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes, because I had some)
2 tbls.. crumbled chevre
2 cups grated gruyere
2 tbls. Chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 400. As the oven preheats and the puff pastry defrosts, slice the onion thinly, then sauté it in a little olive oil until soft and starting to caramelize. Set aside to cool.

Once the puff pastry is defrosted so it’s malleable, but not too squishy, roll it out on a floured board – just a little bit, so it’s smooth and still square. Fold over each edge, twice, to form a border, giving the edges a little height. You might want to score the edges with a fork during the middle turn – I found that makes it easier to make a clean edge. Doesn’t have to be too clean, though.

Scatter the onion across the pastry, making sure it’s even. Top the onion with two pats of butter, each divided into quarters and scattered around, and a little pepper – maybe a teaspoon.

Scatter the tomatoes across the top, again, evenly. Follow with the gruyere (yes, again, evenly). Then add the chevre, then the parsley. Now admire your work. It’s pretty with all those colors.

By now, the oven should be preheated. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the pastry edges are puffy and a golden brown. Don’t take it out too early, or it will be raw in the center of the crust.

Once it’s out of the oven, let it sit for a minute, then cut into as few or many pieces as you’d like. I think this could be a nice appetizer, when cut into bite-sized pieces. Or, perfect with soup and a salad, how we had it. I’m such a fan of puff pastry, and it really works well here, next to all the other textures and flavors. Plus, so, so pretty.

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