Appetizer: Goat Cheese, Roasted Tomato & Balsamic Reduction

December 19, 2012 , In: Appetizers , With: No Comments

For Christmas this year my parents are flying out from Western Canada to spend Christmas with us.  Before I had a baby I always vowed to avoid flying at Christmas as much as possible, and now with a baby the thought of the delays, crowds, and misery makes my toes curl.  I hate to say it but it’s the passengers that drive me up the wall the most.  It’s not your usual airplane crowd and when I see someone going through the scanner ten times forgetting to empty their pockets, take off the belt, or whatever else it drives me bonkers.

I’m so excited at the thought of baby’s first Christmas, although I am sure he won’t have a clue what’s going on.  Still, I am sure he will feel the excitement – right?

I’ve bought most of my gifts, participated in the annual cookie swap, and decided on the meals.  Fresh ham, a fondue and crepes are all on the list.  I can’t wait to dig in.

We are invited to a few family events, and I am always on the look out for appetizers that can be easily transported.  This one was adapted from a Rick Stein recipe, and certainly wowed.  I switched the infused basil olive oil for a balsamic reduction, and it was delicious.  Most of all it transported well, and was easily assembled.  Although it requires some planning ahead and a little work, I’ll be making it again. I doubled the recipe, and 14 people ate it all quite quickly so plan accordingly.

Oven Roasted Tomato & Goat’s Cheese Tarts
adapted from Rick Steins recipe in the December 2009 BBC Good Food Magazine

500g small tomatoes (not baby)
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
1 pack frozen puff pastry
flour for dusting
100g goats cheese
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar reduction

  1. Heat oven to 250F.  Cut tomatoes in half and place in a single layer on a lightly oiled baking sheet, cut side up.  Sprinkle with thyme and salt.   Roast for 2 hours until shrivelled.  Let cool and then store and chill until needed.  Can be done the day before.
  2. To bake the tart bases, heat oven to 375F.  Roll out the puff pastry until about 1/2cm – 3/4cm thick.  Cut into 5cm x 5cm squares.  Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet, prick each one twice with a fork, and bake for 12-14 minutes.  Remember, they will be going back in the oven again so no need to overdo it.  While still warm flatten down with the back of a spoon.  Let cool, and store until ready to use.  Can be done the morning of.
  3. To serve, heat oven to 375F.  Top each pastry square with two overlapping tomato halves, and a bit of the goat cheese.  Bake for 5-6 minutes until goats cheese has just melted and then drizzle with the balsamic reduction.
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Michelle Little

Writer & Photographer

Originally from the prairies and now in Montreal, I love exploring new places, eating great food and modern design. I'm mom of two wild things and paper and cake make me happy. Photographing your cutie family would make me very happy.

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