I hope everyone had a wonderful Cinco de Mayo! It was absolutely beautiful this weekend, in Seattle (we’re talking 85 and sunny here, people!), making it the perfect weather for hanging out outside with good friends and good food. At this time of year, it’s the simplest food that is the best. You don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen while all your friends are soaking up the sunshine! This recipe is relatively painless to make, and can even be prepared ahead of time (prepare the puff pastry and roast the tomatoes and then allow to sit at rom temperature for up to 8 hours), ensuring that you get just as many rays of sun as your pals :]
These tartlets are a perfect one-bite, warm weather appetizer. The crisp, buttery puff pastry base is slathered with silky smooth ricotta (thanks to a quick puree in the food processor), and topped with beautifully roasted and juicy, herbed cherry tomatoes. The key to this dish is proper seasoning—make sure you salt this dish well if you really want the flavors to sing. Taste and adjust seasoning every step of the way!
I served these little mouthfuls at an hors d’oeuvre party, and they were thoroughly enjoyed. While the recipe may make 60 pieces, it’s not exactly difficult to pop a dozen of ’em on your own, so I wouldn’t recommend making any less.
recipe slightly adapted from here
makes 5 dozen
- 1/2 lb all-butter puff pastry
- all-purpose flour, for rolling
- 30 cherry tomatoes (roughly 1 lb), halved crosswise
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leave + more for garnish
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 lb fresh ricotta
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to a 9 1/2 inch x 17 1/2 inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife, trim the rectangle to 9 x 17 inches. Transfer to the baking sheet and poke all over with a fork. Top with another sheet of parchment paper and another baking sheet. Bake on the middle rack for 25 minutes, until golden. Remove the top baking sheet and parchment paper and bake for an additional 10 minutes until dark golden and dry. Transfer to a rack to cool.
- In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour onto a baking sheet and bake in the top third of the preheated oven for 15 minutes until slightly softened; let cool.
- In a food processor, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, and ricotta and puree until creamy. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- Spread the ricotta mixture over the puff pastry. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, in 5 rows of 12. Sprinkle with fresh thyme. Using a long, sharp knife, cut the pastry between the tomatoes into 60 squares. Serve immediately.