Need an appetizer that can be both sophisticated or homey? These tarts are for you! They would be equally perfect to take to a ladies luncheon or to serve at an elegant cocktail party! The fabulous combination of goat cheese and caramelized onions coupled with the flavors of fresh herbs and balsamic vinegar dance on your tastebuds and melt in your mouth.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese (herbed if possible)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until sizzling hot. Add the onions, vinegar, sugar, and rosemary and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low and cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the onions are caramelized. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
While the onions are cooking, flatten the pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll several times, smoothing the folds, to create a 12-inch square. Cut into 3-inch rounds using a biscuit cutter, round cookie cutter, or even a water glass. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, and using a 2 3/4-inch round cutter (or smaller glass) make an indented border on the cut pastry rounds, being careful not to cut all the way through the dough. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Combine the goat cheese and parsley in a small bowl or mini food processor and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bake the pastry rounds for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and depress the top layer of the puffed centers. Spread a heaping teaspoon of the goat cheese mixture into the center of each. Return to the oven and bake 5 minutes more, until the pastry is golden brown and the cheese is warm. Remove from the oven and top each tart with the caramelized onion mixture. Serve warm.
Makes about a dozen tarts.
Recipe adapted from Southern Kitchen, by Sara Foster.