Making savory tarts doesn't require a specific recipe. The basic dish consists of a puff pastry shell filled with your favorite mixture and topped with vegetables. I had Baby Bella mushrooms on hand, so I made a version using them along with an artichoke pesto.
The pesto is a combination of artichoke hearts, lemon, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil. To soften the pesto, I added mascarpone cheese. I topped the tart with the Baby Bella mushrooms and roasted red bell peppers. Cheddar cheese was the finishing touch so the filling formed one piece.
Servings: 10 savory tarts
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
¼ cup pine nuts, slightly toasted
1 lemon, zested and freshly squeezed
1 clove fresh garlic, finely minced
1-½ teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
6 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
10 baby Bella mushrooms
1 small roasted red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
10 (5" x 5") squares puff pastry dough (store-bought), thawed
2/3 cup cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
4 tablespoons sweet basil, finely snipped
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Cooking the onions: In a non-stick pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add the onions. Cook until nicely golden and tender (it may take 5-7 minutes). Transfer to a plate, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan. Set aside.
Prepping the mushrooms: In the same pan, add the baby Bella mushrooms and sauté until softened. Add the roasted bell peppers and 1 tablespoon basil. Set aside.
Making artichoke pesto: Place the artichokes, onions, pine nuts, lemon zest, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until it forms a paste. Slowly add the remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Prepping the puff pastry shells:
Cut and place the puff pastry dough into oiled individual tart molds (you could also use a large tart mold). Prick the dough with a fork to prevent it from rising too much. Cover with parchment paper and top with ceramic pie weights (or dried beans).
Place the molds on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes at 400°F, then lower the temperature to 375°F and bake for another 10 minutes, rotating them half-way through so they cook evenly. The texture of the puff pastry should be very flaky. Remove and discard the pie weights (or dried beans) and the parchment paper.
Using a spatula, mix the artichoke pesto with the mascarpone cheese. Set aside.
Place about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the artichoke pesto mixture in each mold. Top with slices of baby Bella mushrooms and bell peppers. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 375°F.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool at least 10 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Before serving, garnish with more Cheddar cheese (if you like) and basil.
I used shredded cheddar cheese. You could replace with any "stringy", melty cheeses such as Gruyère, Emmentaler or mozzarella.
Baby Bella mushrooms are young, smaller-sized Portobello mushrooms. They're also known as Crimini mushrooms.
You can create a large tart if you don't have individual molds.
Don't discard the pastry remnants. Make some cheese twists the next day!