Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Tarts

These little tarts make one of the fanciest entrees that could adorn your Christmas table. An Australian Christmas can either be a traditional turkey, chicken, pork, roasted vegetables and all of the trimmings, or as is more popular in the last few decades, BBQ’s and seafood, casual and laid back, a trait that Aussies are famous for.

This is yet another dish utilizing what I have growing in the garden, and whilst the tomatoes are a little while off from being ready to cultivate, the basil is winning by miles. Last year my basil crop was just OK, so I covered myself this year and planted nearly double the amount of seedlings. As it would be, every single plant has flourished and I’m already freezing pesto for the ensuing winter doldrums.

basil pesto tarts 2

Baby Bocconcini & Roast Tomato tarts with Pesto
Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 110g plain flour
  • Pinch of icing sugar
  • 60g cold butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tub of baby bocconcini, drained
  • 1 1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil pesto
  • Fresh basil leaves, to garnish
  1. Sift flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt into a food processor, add butter and process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and 1-2 tablespoons of cold water. Process until mixture forms a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  3. Bring pastry to room temperature, roll out on a lightly floured surface and use to line four 1 x 4cm tart pans with removable bases. Refrigerate for 10 minutes (in really warm weather, I usually freeze the pastry to hasten the chilling process).
  4. Line the pastry lined pan with aluminium foil and fill with pastry weights or rice. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes in the oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place on a baking tray.
  6. Remove tarts from oven and remove foil and weights. Return to oven with the tomatoes for 5 minutes or until pastry is golden and the tomatoes have softened slightly. Spread a little pesto over base of each tart and fill with bocconcini and tomatoes. Place in oven for 5 minutes to warm through. Serve with remaining pesto and basil leaves.

Source: Delicious Magazine January 2002 from Valli Little

Chriesi of Almond Corner has kindly given her time to host this weeks installment of Weekend Herb Blogging, an event founded by Kalyn, that has been one of the most successful food blog events in history, now capably overseen by Haalo from Cook Almost Anything at Least Once.

basil pesto tarts 1

Bon Appetit and Buon Natale to all.


Kalyn said...

All I can say is Wow. This is gorgeous and sound like it would be spectacularly delicious!

Cindy said...

This is a great idea! Cute Christmas colours, but much more seasonally appropriate for those of us down under. :-)

Pam said...

Thanks Kalyn, they're kinda like a capresi salad tart aren't they? They did taste great.

Pam said...

Hi Cindy, the colours were great together, and served with a leafy salad, they make a very easy and delicious first course. If only we knew what the weather was going to do on the day!!

The Food Hunter said...

The tart looks delicious. What a great idea.

Pam said...

Hi Food Hunter, the tarts were delicious and quite "fancy" for my standards!