Tomato Caprese Tarts With Chive Oil
Makes 6. Recipe is from “Savory Pies — Delicious Recipes for Seasoned Meats, Vegetables and Cheeses Baked in Perfectly Flaky Crusts” by Greg Henry, who says, “Make these with the freshest small tomatoes. Roasting them into this caprese-inspired tart amplifies their sweet flavor.”
½ cup fresh chives, coarsely chopped
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Flour for rolling
1 (17.3-oz.) pkg. puff pastry sheets OR 2 (14-oz.) pkgs. frozen all-butter puff pastry, thawed or in the refrigerator (See note)
3 ozs. chilled low-moisture mozzarella cheese, coarsely shredded, divided
18 large cherry tomatoes or small sweet ones
1 egg yolk lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water for egg wash
Fresh whole basil leaves, for garnish
1. Half fill a small saucepan with unsalted water and bring to a boil. Add the chives and blanch for about 10 seconds; they should be very bright green. Drain in a colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking. Pat dry with paper towels.
2. Put the chives and half the extra virgin olive oil in a blender. With the machine running add the remaining olive oil in a slow stream until completely puréed. Let the chive oil stand 1 hour and then strain through a fine mesh sieve lined with a double thickness of damp cheesecloth. Discard the solids.
3. For 17.3-ounce package of puff pastry: Stack the 2 sheets together and roll out per these instructions for the 14-ounce packages. You will have a little extra pastry leftover. On lightly floured work surface, use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll 1 package of puff pastry to 10- by 15-inch rectangle, a scant ¼-inch thick. Use a 4-inch cutter to make 6 pastry rounds. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. On a freshly floured work surface, use a freshly floured rolling pin to roll the second package of puff pastry to a 10- by 15-inch rectangle, a scant ¼-inch thick. Use a cutter to cut 6 more 4-inch rounds. Then use a 3-inch cutter to cut out the centers of these rounds, creating rings. Save the trimmings for another use.
4. Brush the outside edges of the rounds with egg wash. Carefully lay the rings on top, aligning the edges. Use a fork to prick the pastry at half-inch intervals inside the raised border. Refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes.
5. Set oven rack in the center position and preheat to 425 degrees.
6. Divide the mozzarella among the pastry rounds, about 2 tablespoons each, keeping it inside the borders. Lay 2 to 3 tomatoes on top of the mozzarella. It’s OK if they touch or overhand a little. Give the tomatoes a spritz of cooking spray (preferably olive oil). Brush the tart edges with egg wash and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
7. Bake until the pastry is golden and the tomatoes are just beginning to crack and blister, 15-20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with lots of fresh basil. Serve chive oil and balsamic vinegar on the side as a dressing.
Testing notes: Corinne Cook suggests using saucers or plates for a pattern if you don’t have large cutters to make the tart shells. She made them in different sizes. She found Dufour-brand puff pastry in the frozen section at specialty stores.
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