On FB a fellow food blogger commented that by 5pm she’s so exhausted by her day in the kitchen that she can barely come up with a single thing for dinner. Oh, the irony. Truth be told, at my house there are typically 3 (or more) desserts on the counter, along with several loaves of homemade bread, but when it comes time to eat dinner I am scrambling around to cook something, anything. On any given night I would not call my meals inspired. I love to cook, but after a day of “working” (baking all the desserts and breads that are sitting on the counter cooling), I don’t always leave myself enough time to make something creative, tasty, and healthy. I have vowed in the past to widen my savory repertoire and as a result have made Julia‘s Beef Bourguignon, The Smitten Kitchen‘s meatloaf and short ribs, American Masala‘s lamb burgers and The Splendid Table‘s lasagna to wild raves from my family, but I mostly find myself trying to answer my kids’ hungry requests for dinner, with a blank stare. I tell them we have a “European” eating schedule, since I usually manage to get a meal on the table by 8pm, ok usually later. I know this isn’t ideal and I am saying it in front of all of you, “I will try at least one NEW savory recipe a week (this is so doable) AND I’ll get it on the table by 7pm (8pm at the latest).
Here I go, a tasty beginning to a more savory life. I admit, this isn’t exactly a meal, but we have to start somewhere and appetizers are a great way to keep my kids happy until I can get the rest of the meal figured out. A sheet of puff pastry, an onion, some herbs, cherry tomatoes, French olives, and a very soft feta all happened to be in my refrigerator and came together in a beautiful little treat. Try this combination, but really these tarts are a quick and easy way to clean out the little jars of yummy morsels in your cupboards.
4 tablespoons olive oil
12 small thyme sprigs
24 olives, cut in half
12 cherry tomatoes
1 medium onion – try to find small ones that will fit in the bottom of the muffin tins, cut into thin circles
1 sheet Puff Pastry
1/2 cup soft feta, goat cheese or ricotta
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar – the sweeter the better
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F
Divide the olive oil, thyme, olives, and tomatoes in the bottom of 12 muffin cups.
Cover with a slice of the onion.
Using a round biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out circles of the puff pastry (the circles should be slightly bigger than the top of the muffin cup since they will shrink in the oven) and place over the onion.
Gently push the pastry over the onions, so they are a snug fit.
Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown…
and well puffed.
Allow to cool for just a moment before inverting onto a tray.
Add the cheese, drizzle with balsamic, add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.