Cooking one Friday evening with friends resulted in the really pretty and super yummy Tarte Soleil! Sundried tomatoes and kalamata olives in puff pastry, artfully cut and twisted to yield this show stopping appetizer. What does Pinkie’s Farm have to do with it? Well, it comes with a yogurt cheese dip which complements the tarte’s strong flavors. Pretty easy to make: you just need a friend that is careful with her hands. 🙂
We got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen, one of our favorite cooking blogs. Because her blog entries contain A LOT of information, we’re reprinting her recipe here (with our comments in italics):
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes in oil, drained
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 teaspoon dried oregano or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves; thyme and rosemary would work too (we used dried rosemary)
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil or reserved oil from tomatoes, plus more to loosen if needed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes to taste
(We weren’t too strict in following the quantities, and it turned out delicious. This tarte is pretty forgiving. We’ll probably try a nutella one and drink it with our milk 🙂 )
2 packages puffed pastry (leave in fridge overnight to thaw) – We used Pampas puff pastry, in sheets already, from Santis.
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)
1 tablespoon sesame or poppy seeds to sprinkle (optional)
We totally skipped this and made our labneh, using our yogurt cheese, lemon juice, EVOO, smoked Maldon Salt and ground pepper.
6 ounces feta, crumbled
2 ounces cream cheese, cold is fine
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Coarse or kosher salt, to taste (changed from 1/2 teaspoon, which could be overkill if your feta is very salty)
Freshly ground black pepper
Make the filling: Blend ingredients in a food processor until finely chopped and spreadable. Mixture will be thick. You can thin it with more olive oil if needed, but no need to make this thin like a sauce. Adjust seasonings to taste. Set aside.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Assemble the tart: Roll first package puffed pastry flat on a large piece of parchment paper or reusable baking mat into a 12-inch circle; use a 12-inch round plate or bowl to mark the size for a clean cut. Repeat with second dough, setting one aside in the fridge until needed.
Place first round on a parchment- or nonstick mat-lined baking sheet. Spread with filling to all but 1-inch from edge. Dab edges with water and place second round on top. Set a small glass upside down in the middle. Being careful not to cut through parchment paper or baking mat, cut away from glass (i.e. not through center) in quarters, or at the 3-, 6-, 9- and 12 o’clock marks. Cut through each quarter again, making 8 strips, and again, making 16 strips, and one last time so that you have 32 “rays” of pastry emanating from the center. If at any point in the cutting the pastry feels annoyingly soft and hard to cut, just pop the tray in the freezer for a few minutes to firm it back up.
Remove glass. Place finger near center of each ray (where it is most likely to break off prematurely) and gently twist each strand a few times. Beat egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water; brush it over pastry and sprinkle with seeds, if desired.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown all over.
Meanwhile, make whipped feta dip: Blend all filling ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste. Place in bowl for dipping.
Remove tart from oven, let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a serving platter. Tear off rays of sun, dip in whipped feta; repeat as needed.