Here’s another of those incredibly easy recipes – thanks to the wonderful Nigel Slater – that involves nothing more than some ready-made puff pastry, a log of goat cheese and a sprig of fresh herb, such as thyme or rosemary.
It makes a wonderful appetizer, light lunch or vegetarian main course and I find something deeply satisfying about warm, crisp, flaky pastry, brimming with oozing goat cheese.
I don’t know anyone including me, who has time to make their own puff pastry from scratch, so here’s one of the few instances where I’ll ‘cheat’. This recipe takes no more than 20 mins from start to finish.
I always keep the ready-rolled variety in my freezer as it comes in handy for so many last minute sweet or savory dishes, such as little wild mushroom (duxelles) pastry parcels; another delicious appetizer.
I make duxelles in batches and freeze it in ice cube trays; for that recipe, check the blog archives: ‘It’s Hunting Season’, August 2010 – that way you’ll always have something you can assemble quickly to offer any unexpected guests; an impressive alternative to the ubiquitous frozen pizza.
Serve these warm with a green salad tossed in a lemony dressing.
WARM GOAT CHEESE TARTLETS with FRESH THYME
12 oz (375g) of ready rolled puff pastry
A goat cheese log measuring 12 inches (30 cm), cut into six 2 inch (5 cm) thick slices
Fresh thyme or rosemary
1 egg beaten
Preheat the oven to 425F (220C).
Roll out the pastry if necessary and cut into six 5 inch (13cm) approx squares. Place a slice of goat cheese in the center of each pastry square; top with a sprig of fresh thyme or rosemary and brush the pastry edges with beaten egg.
Gather the pastry edges and bring them together around the cheese, leaving the top open. Brush the pastry with a little more beaten egg.
Slide them onto a baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes or until the pastry is puffy and golden and the cheese is soft and bubbling.
Serve while they’re still warm.