Puff Pastry Rocks My World

If there’s one thing for which I have consistently had a weakness for as long back as I can remember, it’s puff pastry.  Its flaky, buttery, crunchy-ness is irresistible and can be used to make anything from savory hors d’oeuvres to delicious desserts, and even works amazingly well as a crust for cheese (ie. Brie), or even meat and fish in so many different ‘encroute’ style entrees (salmon and filet mignon are great options for this).  It comes in the form of shells that can be filled with saucy goodness, or in sheets to be cut up in any shape desirable.

When I was invited to take part in another friendly ‘BBQ and sides’ cook-off at a get together last weekend, this crowd pleasing and simple appetizer came to mind immediately: Puff pastry rounds topped with tomatoes, basil, melted mozzarella, arugula, and Parmesan cheese.  Not only is it a dish I could prep everything for in advance and easily assemble at my friend’s place, but it involved Puff Pastry – enough said.

It turned out to be a hit, and it actually received 2nd place which allowed me to walk away with a super soft and comfy Fuzzy Wuzzy “Snuggie” type blanket! I thought I’d share the recipe so that others can enjoy this super easy dish that works great as an appetizer when entertaining, or even as a snack for yourself!

Puff Pastry Rounds with Tomatoes, Basil, Mozzarella, and Arugula

[Makes 8 Rounds – each about 4 inches wide]

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 2 Puff Pastry Sheets – defrosted per package instructions
  • Small Handful of Flour
  • 2 Table Spoons Tomato Paste
  • 2 Table Spoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • A Handful of Fresh, Chopped Basil
  • 3-4 Roma Tomatoes Cut into Thin Slices
  • Fresh Mozzarella (Bufala or Burrata recommended) – 8-10 thin slices
  • Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • Pinch of Sugar
  • Handful of Arugula
  • Parmesan Cheese – to grate
  • 2 Heavy Bottom Baking Sheets and 2 sheets of Parchment Paper

WHAT TO DO

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 F
  2. Lightly flour a surface where you can lay out the defrosted puff pastry sheets. Choose a round item in your kitchen to use as a guide to cut your pastry sheets into circles – a large coffee mug works great, and should allow you to get about 4 rounds per sheet.
  3. Vigorously poke each round with a fork.  Lay the rounds on a sheet of parchment paper placed on a baking sheet. Cover the rounds with another sheet of parchment paper, and then place the second heavy bottomed baking sheet on top – this will keep the rounds flat by preventing them from rising.
  4. Bake the rounds for 16-18 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the tomato paste, basil, and olive oil in a bowl.  Add about half a teaspoon of freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of sea salt to taste.
  6. When the rounds are done baking, remove from the oven and add the tomato spread you just made on each one – like you would on a pizza.  I like to add a little extra black pepper at this point.
  7. Lay 2-3 slices of the Roma tomatoes on top of the spread and sprinkle some sea salt on each one.
  8. Place 1-2 slices of Mozzarella on the tomatoes.  Add a pinch of salt, and a pinch of sugar on the cheese.
  9. Put the rounds back in the oven (uncovered) for about 5-10 minutes – or until the cheese melts and slightly bubbles.
  10. Once the rounds are out, top them each with a few leaves of arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese, and these crispy, flavorful bites are ready to be enjoyed!

Puff Pastry Round with Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella, Arugula

*Adapted from a recipe in No Fuss Dinners: Deliciously Simple Recipes for Cooking After Work by Caroline Marson

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: