Crisp and flaky individual tomato, spinach and goat cheese puff pastry tarts can be served as an appetizer or as a pretty side dish at your next social gathering.
Tomato, Spinach And Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Tarts are a delicious appetizer that you are going to love. I took them to a friend’s dinner party recently where the hostess served them during cocktails before sitting down to dinner. I was happy when I saw our friends going back for second helpings of these flaky tarts. I also prepared them on Father’s Day and the men in our family went back for more as well. I believe that I can safely say the savory pastries have been well tested and approved by family and friends.
The individual tarts are made with store-bought frozen puff pasty, frozen spinach, a container of goat cheese and a package of small tomatoes on the vine, all bought at my local market. Being able to do the prep work ahead of time with easy to find ingredients, makes the tomato, spinach and goat cheese puff pastry tarts perfect for entertaining.
Tomato, Spinach And Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Tarts
- 4 small tomatoes, sliced (12 slices needed)
- 1 10 oz. box frozen chopped spinach
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large clove of garlic, minced
- 1/8 tsp. more or less, freshly ground black pepper
- 6 oz. softened goat cheese
- 2 Tbsp. grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
- 1 sheet (9 x 9) frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, whisked (egg wash)
Optional Seasoned Olive Oil Topping:
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
- pinch of oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
Slice the tomatoes, place on a rack over a tray and let drain. Blot with paper towel before assembling the tarts.
Place the frozen spinach in a microwave safe bowl, cover and cook on high for 5 minutes. Drain and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Sauté the garlic and spinach in 1 Tbsp. oil for a minute or two. Remove from heat and let cool. Combine the spinach, pepper and cheeses and mix well. Form the mixture into 12 round discs about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Refrigerate until needed.
Thaw the pastry at room temperature for no more than 40 minutes. Unfold and place on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 9 x 12 inch rectangle. Using a pastry wheel, cut into 12 three inch squares. Staying within 1/2 inch of the edge, prick the pastry with a fork four times down the center. Dust off any excess flour from the bottoms of the squares and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until needed. (To puff up properly, the pastry needs to be very cold.)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. To assemble the tarts, brush the squares all over with the egg wash. Place a spinach round on each pastry square and top with a slice of tomato. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, rotating the pan if necessary, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush the tomatoes lightly with the (optional) seasoned oil, if using. Serve warm garnished with julienned basil, if desired.
- I used Campari tomatoes on the vine. They were a good size to fit on the 3 inch pastry squares as you need to leave at least a half inch border or more of pastry.
- I did not add salt to this recipe because both cheeses have salt in them. Taste the spinach and cheese mixture and season to your own taste.
- The spinach and cheese mixture can be prepared up to two days ahead of time, covered and refrigerated.
- I used a 1 1/2 inch biscuit cutter to form the mixture into 12 round discs. I made them early in the day, covered them with plastic wrap and refrigerated them until needed.
- I sliced the tomatoes and put them on a rack an hour before assembling the tarts then blotted them dry with paper towels right before the tarts went in the oven.
- The puff pastry comes in two sheets and I only used one. If you use one sheet in its original 9 by 9 inch size, you will get 9 slightly thicker tarts. I rolled the puff pastry to a 9 by 12 inch rectangle and got 12 tarts.
- When I took the tarts to a dinner party, I started baking the tarts an hour before we left, let them cool 15 minutes then put them in paper lined, open top containers. They arrived safely and were warm and crisp when they were served with cocktails.
- I have also made them two hours before serving. Once baked, I turned off the oven and left the door ajar until my guests arrived. They were still crisp when served at room temperature.
- Keep in mind that the longer the tarts sit, they will start to lose some of their crispness.
These easy to make puff pasty tarts can also be adapted to your and your guests tastes and dietary preferences. Instead of goat cheese, you could use feta or cream cheese. If you are planning a Mediterranean dinner, you might want to add some black olives to the recipe. If you would like to serve the tarts as a light meal, you could prepare the recipe, cutting the rolled pastry dough into four or six portions or make a single large tart. I do hope you try these savory tomato, spinach and goat cheese puff pastry tarts, all my friends and family thought they were delicious.