Puff Pastry Tart with Roasted Veggies
It's about time to dust off the grill and see if it made it through the winter. You might want to take this opportunity to replace any rusted parts, such as, for gas grills, the heat plates (the A-frame plates that sit over the gas flames and distribute their heat) and the tube burners. Also, take time to clean out any debris at the bottom of the grill to prevent fires.
Make sure you have a proper metal can or other heat-safe container affixed underneath to catch grease so it doesn't stain or damage the surface the grill is sitting on. And, lecture almost complete: Don't just throw rusted parts into the trash, especially cooking grates. If you can't get them clean with a ball of foil and elbow grease, at least take them to a scrap yard and keep them out of the landfill.
Now that you're ready to grill, of course, you'll want a slab of meat or two, but don't forget to roast some vegetables on the side. This simple recipe will dress them up for spring parties so that they're delicious and barely recognizable as "good for you."
To roast these vegetables on the grill, it's probably easiest to pick up a grill basket, so none of the small pieces fall through. Chop them up and toss them in olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper and place the basket over a medium-high flame, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until slightly charred and softened.
Of course, if you just don't feel like dealing with the grill, the oven is a perfect place to start this recipe, since it's going to wind up in there anyway. Either way, you'll be glad you dealt with the veggies when you sink your teeth into this.
Puff Pastry Tart With Roasted Veggies
Recipe courtesy of www.parents.com.
1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then into 1/4-inch slices (about 2 cups)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups diced eggplant
1 pint grape tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 large egg, well beaten
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed but very well chilled
Place one rack in the upper third of the oven and the other in the lower third. Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
Put the zucchini, red onion, red pepper, eggplant, tomatoes and garlic on a baking sheet. Combine the olive oil, rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, drizzle the mixture on the vegetables, and toss them. Roast the vegetables until they have softened and browned around the edges, about 30 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the vegetables cool, about 5 minutes.
While the veggies roast, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, feta, egg, green onion, and the remaining salt and pepper in a medium bowl and set aside.
Spray the counter with cooking spray and pat down a roughly 14-inch square of parchment paper so it doesn't slip around. Roll out one piece of pastry on the parchment into a 13-by-11-inch rectangle. (Cover the other pastry with a clean towel while you're working so that it doesn't dry out).
Transfer the parchment to a baking sheet and cut 1-inch strips from all 4 sides. Create a border around the tart by brushing the edges of the rectangle with water and laying the cut strips on top, trimming to fit. Poke holes in the bottom of the pastry with a fork. Repeat the process to make a second tart crust.
Place one baking sheet on the upper rack and one on the lower and bake the pastries for 5 minutes; rotate the pans, swapping the one on the bottom with the one on the top, and bake 5 minutes more.
Remove the pastries from the oven, poke them with a fork once again, and use a spatula to carefully press down the puffed centers. Return the pastries to the oven to cook for 5 minutes more, then cool the pans on wire racks for about 5 minutes.
Divide the cheese mixture between the pastries and spread it evenly, then top evenly with the vegetables. Bake the tarts until the cheese is set, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking time.
Cool the tarts on racks for a few minutes, then slice each into 6 squares and serve warm or at room temperature.
Jennie Geisler can be reached on Twitter: @ETNGeisler.