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Cherry Tomato and Pesto Galettes

November 15, 2011

Photo by Pat

There is something about puff pastry that makes it so very delightful to eat. It’s almost indescribable to those of you who have never experienced it.

Union Market use to have a master baker, long since retired, that made puff pastry from scratch. Our bakery featured a delectable dessert called Napoleons at least once a month. Flaky wafers of pastry alternated with cream pudding and chocolate. Of course it had that classical Napoleon decoration on top. . . . white icing with stripes of chocolate across the icing and then the crowning touch, a toothpick drawn through the stripes of chocolate to make the design.

I enjoy making all kinds of things with the pastry but this weekend I used it to make Cherry Tomato and Pesto Galettes as appetizers for a party. I love the flaky pastry punctuated with the dab of concentrated flavors of the tomato and pesto. It’s kind of like eating chips and dip in a new way.

This choice of appetizer for your table is really a good one. They can be made ahead of time and stored at room temperature. Before the party, a quick warm in the oven, or not if you want to serve them at room temperature. What could be quicker than that?

Puff pastry is not as delightful to make as it is to eat. But you can purchase puff pastry in the freezer section of your grocery store so that flaky goodness can be made at home with ease. It’s worth every penny for the product so buy some and at least make the apple or cherry strudel recipe on the back of the box. Yummy!

Cherry Tomato and Basil Pesto Galettes
~adapted from my favorite appetizer book: “hors d’oeuvres” by Eric Treuille & Victoria Blashford-Snell

Photo by Pat

Makes 20

1 cup basil leaves
1 clove garlic
2 T pine nuts
1 T olive oil
4 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 pkg Pepperage Farm puff pastry
20 cherry tomatoes, each cut into 3 slices
salt, seasoned pepper
2-inch fluted or plain pastry cutter (I made mine a little larger)

For pesto, place basil, pine nuts, oil and Parmesan in a food processor or blender; pulse to a thick paste. I usually make pesto late in the summer with the last of the basil in the garden. I line small storage containers with plastic wrap and fill them with pesto. When frozen, I remove the pucks, wrap up tightly and freeze in a zip lock bag to be used for winter and spring recipes.

Photo by Pat

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out each sheet to iron out the creases. Cut out 20 rounds with the pastry cutter. With a sharp knife, score a circle about ¼ inch in from the edge and about half way through the pastry. Dock or prick the inside circle with a fork.

Warning: do the above in small batches to keep the dough from getting too warm. Warm dough does not puff well.

Place the pastry rounds on a floured baking sheet. Spread ½ tsp pesto on each inside round and top with 3 cherry tomato slices. Sprinkle with salt and seasoned pepper. Bake until crisp and golden, 10 minutes. Serve plain or with more pesto and a sprig of fresh basil on top.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 15, 2011 5:05 pm

    Those are yummy little works of art.

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