Summer Garden Tarts

Published 4:07 pm Thursday, July 6, 2017

Written by Carol Lynn Jackson

Whatever tartlet vehicle you chose, be it cut-outs of puff pastry, phillo cups, or homemade flaky pastry dough, you can ensconce a wide array of garden bounty within these edible plates and bowls. Perfect at room temperature, savory tartlets work well for picnics or snacks on the sunset pontoon ride across the lake.

On the short list for these Summer Garden Tarts are shiitake mushrooms, sweet onion, and nutty zucchini strips, all local and organic, and lightly sautéed until tender. The sweetness of each simple garden ingredient comes out after a slow simmer with fresh extra virgin olive oil and herbs and spices of one’s choosing. •

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Unfold a thawed sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Using a cookie cutter size of your choice, cut circles from the sheet of puff pastry. About a ¼ inch in on the pastry circle, score with a sharp knife around the circle. Place the circles on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and place in the fridge until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Heat 3 tablespoons of good olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add thinly sliced onions and garlic. Caramelize for 15 to 20 minutes, then add sliced shiitake and sliced zucchini strips. Add salt, pepper and fresh thyme and cook for another 10 minutes until all items in the mixture are soft.

Place a small amount of the veggie mixture on each circle, staying within the scored edge. Sprinkle top with your choice of cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the pastry and cheese topping is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.