One of the greatest kitchen tricks I know, that is a must for quick entertaining, snappy but elegant desserts, and last minute dinner, is frozen puff pastry. Is there anything this wonderful stuff can’t do? From tarts to turnovers, pot pies to spanakopita, it’s a wonder ingredient. You can find sheets of puff pastry in any grocery freezer case (Pepperidge Farm is good, Dufour brand is pricey but amazing) and there should always be at least one box in your freezer. It will save your life.Today I was going to make a faux banana tarte tatin using sheets of frozen pastry but someone ate my bananas. So instead I’m going to share my other favorite, a savory tart that’s like a fancy pizza, but you don’t need to wait for the dough to rise and it tastes good without any sauce, just your favorite veggies and cheese.I found the initial recipe in the essential cookbook The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper. They call it a supper tart, because it’s savory, but I’ve served it for lunch on many occasions…and it would be great for Father’s Day brunch too!
Recipe for Summer Puff Pastry Tart (adapted from Splendid Table)
-All you need is 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry (from one package) that have been defrosted.
-Preheat the oven to 500 and put the rack at the lowest possible level.
-Toss together 1 pint of halved grape or cherry tomatoes with 1 cup of fresh or frozen corn.
-Lay puff pastry sheets on ungreased baking sheet, side by side, slightly overlapping in the middle. Press the overlapping center to seal and then create a border all the way around by folding the pastry edges up, pinching the fold as you go (you should have a rectangle that’s about 7 1/2 by 17 inches).
-Fill the center of the tart with the vegetable mixture, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle with one minced garlic clove, zest of one lemon, 8 shredded basil leaves (if you like), salt and pepper to taste, a drizzle of a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, and a zig zag of heavy cream or a few small dollops of creme fraiche.
-Bake the tart on the bottom rack for 15 minutes.
-Remove pan from oven and sprinkle 1 cup of goat cheese or mozzarella over the vegetables. Put it back in the oven and bake for about another 5 minutes (check to see the crust is not burning, it might cook more quickly). Pull it out and let it rest on the counter for for a few minutes before serving. Cut into large squares and serve with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese ( I use kitchen shears, and cut the squares smaller for play date portions or appetizers).