My mother gets all the credit for this recipe, as for one thing I recently found it in a cookbook of hers, that I have on a long-term loan, and I have adapted it here to share with you. In making these vegetable and cheese tarts I used some veg that Mum gave me from her garden and most of the other ingredients I already had at home, which made it easy to whip up an inexpensive and satisfying snack meal. They contain sun-dried tomatoes, which are one of my current culinary passions! I took some of these tasty pastries over to Mum when I visited recently, and she was impressed with them, hence all the reasons are why her name is on this recipe! These tartlets are great as snacks, for lunch, party food, for picnics – endless possibilities really.
Ingredients (Makes 12 mini tarts)
14 oz./400 g vegan puff pastry, chilled or frozen and thawed
1 cup/200 g sun-dried tomatoes in oil (or 1 small jar of sun-dried tomato paste)
7 oz/200 g vegan cheese, mozzarella-style, crumbled or shredded
1 small aubergine (eggplant), thinly sliced
4 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 handful rocket (arugula) leaves, trimmed, to garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Preheat the oven to 400 ° F (200° C/Gas Mark 6). Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment.
2) Slice aubergine, place in a colander, sprinkle with around 1 tbsp of salt and leave for around 20 minutes. Rinse well and drain.
3) Toast pine-nuts in a dry skillet until golden-brown.
4) Finely chop the tomatoes, adding a little of the tomato oil, until they resemble a paste (or simply use a small jar of paste).
5) Roll out the puff pastry and cut out 12 circles using a 3-inch round (8 cm) round cookie cutter. Spread some of the tomato paste on top and season with salt and pepper.
6) Top with the shredded cheese, and then the aubergine slices. Sprinkle with a few toasted pine-nuts and drizzle lightly with olive oil
7) Place tarts on the baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, around 15 minutes. Garnish with the rocket leaves and serve hot or cold.
Delicious with a green salad and fries or crusty bread, and a glass or two of red wine (or a bottle or two! If you are entertaining, that is!!)
Enjoy, let me know what you think! Your votes and comments are much appreciated.
Photo courtesy of www.stockfood.co.uk