When I am a tad poorly I still like to take something yummy along to Sewing. I saw quite a lot of little puff pastry variations in recent magazines: some with pesto, some with olives or sun-dried tomatoes, some with all three. I decided on a simple combination of pesto, goats' cheese and half a cherry tomato on top. Wow, look at all those pastry layers.
The cherry tomato sweetened even more after baking, and I think it is an important part of the taste as a whole. To try and stop the tomatoes sliding off, I cut a little slice of the bottom of each half to make a nice flat base.
I bought my pesto, and goats' cheese. I used frozen butter puff pastry sheets. One sheet makes 12 5cm (2 inch) squares with some edges left over, or 16 small rectangles. The secret to getting the puff is to score about 1/2 cm inside the pastry, with a nice sharp knife. Try not to cut all the way through, just score firmly. I try to keep the pesto and cheese inside the scoring lines.
I also like to preheat my oven tray so that as soon as the pastry hit it and is in the oven, it is cooking from the top and the bottom. I do not know if this actually works, or helps, but in my own happy little world of cooking I believe it does.
Pesto Goats' Cheese Puffs makes 24-32
- 2 sheets frozen butter puff pastry, almost defrosted
- 200g pesto (approx)
- 150-200g goats' cheese
- 12-16 small cherry tomatoes, or Roma or whatever you can buy
Preheat the oven to 200*C, line a tray with baking paper and put it in the oven as it heats.
Cut the pastry sheets into 5cm squares, or to use it more efficiently, 16 small quadrilaterals. Carefully score 1/2cm inside each square with a sharp knife.
Cut the cheese into thin slices. If it is crumbly, you can just creatively strew the cheese over the pesto. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and then slice a small piece off the bottom to make a nice flat surface.
Remove the tray from the oven, carefully. I say this because I always burn myself. Arrange the pastry squares in rows, leaving room for puffing. Quickly dollop a little pesto inside the scored lines, smoothing out with the tip of the spoon. Then top with some cheese and half a tomato.
Bake for about 15 minutes. You want the pastry to be puffed up so you can see the layers and a nice golden brown. Tomatoes may still slide off, but just put them back where they belong.
And there you go, hey pesto!!!! These are good eaten hot, but also very tasty warm and quite presentable later on when they are cold. And they have a great posh to preparation time ratio!!
I am trying out some new free photo editing sites, so please bear with me and my lacy borders.