It’s always a good idea to have a box of puff pastry in the freezer, especially when you can throw together in a moments notice this super scrumptious cheese, caramelized peppers and onion tart. I know puff pastry may sound more like a holiday ingredient, but puff pastry makes the best tarts during any season. Right now sweet peppers are hitting the markets with a bang, and they couldn’t taste better, especially when sauteed with onions, until their sugars concentrate – it’s like natures candy. The cheese I selected is Taleggio — a cow’s milk cheese with a washed rind that actually smells a bit stinky, but tastes earthy with fruity notes. Taleggio is a great melting cheese and you can find it at most upscale grocery stores, or from a cheese shop. It’s not overly expensive and a little square goes along way.
I love the idea of always having a great appetizer or main course with a salad option on hand for company, or for me and my husband when I didn’t plan anything for dinner. Puff pastry defrosts on the countertop in just a few minutes, about as much time as it takes to caramelize those onions and peppers. I did add a touch of green by sprinkling some arugula and its flowers on it, but you can use any fresh soft herb or leafy green like basil, watercress, oregano or baby spinach. One bite of this tart and you’ll be in heaven – I promise. The richness of the cheese lightens magically in your mouth with the sweet peppers and onions. It’s great with a glass of crisp white wine, or champagne.
1 sheet puff pastry, any size or variety – defrosted
1 large sweet bell pepper or 8 mini bell peppers, red or orange – sliced
1 white onion – sliced
5 ounces taleggio cheese
salt & pepper
handful of fresh arugula or other soft greens or herbs
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a sauté pan over medium heat, add 2 teaspoon olive oil, peppers and onions. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until edges are slightly caramelized. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Slice taleggio cheese, into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Remove puff pastry from packaging and place on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.
- Score edges of puff pastry about 1/2 inch from edge. Be careful not to cut through.
- Drizzle puff pastry with 2 teaspoons olive oil and brush all over top and edges. Add cooled peppers and onions in center, spread out evenly.
- Sprinkle top with salt and pepper and place cheese about 3-inches apart on top. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until edges haven risen and are deep golden brown.
- Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing. Slice and sprinkle with arugula or other fresh greens or herbs. Serve and Enjoy!