Puffed Up; Goat Cheese Tart

24 May

Week Three of the Compass Plant CSA came in like a lion; wind, a downpour, and even a moment of hail, before fading away into complacent stormy clouds.  Inside the barn next to boxes of newly hatched chicks we had out pick of yet more crisp lettuces, cooking greens and more rhubarb than I care to count.

This week’s recipe is inspired not only by the fresh produce we picked up in the rain, but also by someone who has been inspiring me to cook for a long time.  Of course it’s my mom.  This weekend, I went home to Minnesota to see my big sister officially get her Master’s Degree in Library Science.  Of course there was a party to celebrate, and I got a chance to help my mom a little with the preparations.  One dish she made stuck with me; a tart of goat cheese and roasted cherry tomatoes on a puff pastry.  Like a lot of my kitchen experiments, I’d only ever tried puff pastry once, and it ended in disaster, so I wanted to give it another shot.

After I got the email today reporting there was more asparagus and baby leeks in our share, I knew what I wanted to make.

Goat cheese tart with grilled asparagus, baby leeks and radishes:

Follow directions for 1 package of puff pastry (thaw 30-40 minutes prior to use)

Mix 2 4 oz packages of goat cheese (I used one plain, and one herb) let sit at room temp.

Grilled veggies:

Adjust based on on how much filling you want.  Coat in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt

8-10 asparagus spears cut into thirds

10 small radishes, cut into slices

5 baby leeks cut into large chunks

One of the best gifts we got for our wedding was a panini press.  It’s not only awesome for making grilled sandwiches in a snap, but makes grilled veggies easy without having to fire up the actual grill.  After I coat the vegetables in oil and whatever else I want to use, I pour the whole shebang into the hot press, close it, and wait.  Depending on how you like your veggies grilled, you can wait any amount of time.  I’d say around 5 minutes is usually good.  Before I had this press, I just used a sauce pan on the stove, and that usually did the trick.

Once the veggies are grilled and the puff pastry thawed, place one puff pastry sheet in a baking pan and cover with goat cheese.  Leave some room around the outside.  Place the veggies evenly across the goat cheese.  Whisk one egg.  Brush the sides of the bottom puff pastry with egg.  Place the second sheet of puff pastry over the top, and press the sides down to seal.  Coat the top layer with egg, and make several slices with a sharp knife.  Place in the oven preheated to 425, and cook for 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy with friends and watch out for this guy:

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