I think I could put goat cheese in almost anything and enjoy it. It’s surprisingly good on pizza, so I knew I couldn’t go wrong slathering puff pastry with it then topping the whole things with roasted vegetables. A touch of balsamic vinegar, some fresh cracked black pepper, and some herbs brought the whole thing home.
You can use any kind of roasted or grilled vegetables. You don’t even have to grill them yourself! I bought some jars of grilled vegetables in oil at the grocery store–things like eggplant, zucchini, red pepper, and mushrooms. I also picked up a pint of cherry tomatoes, cut them in half and roasted those with some olive oil. I had a slight preference for the sections with tomatoes on them, but the eggplant was a close second. The great thing about having a mixture is that if someone doesn’t like the flavor of a particular vegetable, there are still several others to choose from.
If you keep the jarred vegetables on hand and some puff pastry in the freezer, this recipe can almost be made at a moments notice. All you need is some goat cheese–those logs seem to last a while anyway. You can even use ricotta in place of the goat cheese. (I did encourage experimentation yesterday, so try it!) I actually combined the goat cheese with a bit of ricotta to tame the flavor a bit and make it a bit more spreadable.
It’s also great for a crowd because the puff pastry can be baked ahead of time and the rest can be assembled later in the day. In fact, the entire thing can be made several hours ahead and just kept loosely covered on the counter. To further reduce the prep time, you can go ahead and make the cheese mixture a couple of days ahead and keep it covered in the fridge. Allow it to come to room temperature or warm it very gently on low power in the microwave to make it spreadable again. I thought they were great at room temperature. If you wanted to serve it warm, you could just reheat it in the oven for 10 minutes at 400F.
The only prep work to do is to roast the tomatoes and mix the goat cheese and ricotta. The tomatoes are easy; Cut them in half, toss with oil, and bake for 15 minutes. Mixing the cheeses isn’t difficult either, but it does help to have a stand mixer or a food processor. Mixing it with a wooden spoon works just as well, but machines were invented for a reason. Any way you do it, simply mix the goat cheese and ricotta together with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to help make it spreadable.
Roasted Vegetable Tart
Serves about 12-15 as an appetizer. Recipe can be halved.
two sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
11 ounces goat cheese
5 ounces ricotta
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 or 2 jars roasted/grilled vegetables (in oil) (red pepper, zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, or anything else) – or – fresh roasted/grilled vegetables
1 pint roasted cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. If your vegetables are packed in oil, drain them, then pat the excess oil off with paper towels.
3. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place them in a large bowl. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, a few cracks of black pepper, and a pinch of salt. Toss to coat. Place the tomatoes, cut-side up, in a baking pan, and roast on the top shelf for 15 minutes.
4. Place a sheet of parchment paper in a sheet pan and lay the puff pastry on it. Place another layer of parchment paper on top of this, then another sheet pan. The puff pastry should be sandwiched between the two layers to prevent excess rising. Bake on the lower rack for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove the top pan and the top parchment paper. Bake for 10 more minutes, until the dough is a golden brown (check after 5 minutes).
5. Remove the baked pastry to a cooling rack and allow to cool.
6. In a mixing bowl or food processor, add the goat cheese, ricotta, tablespoon of olive oil, herbes de Provence, and black pepper. Mix thoroughly to combine until smooth.
7. Using a nonstick spatula, spread half the cheese mixture onto the baked puff pastry. Top with roasted vegetables. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar if desired. Cut into bit size portions and serve.
-repeat everything with the other sheet of puff pastry-