Super easy to assemble and even easier to eat, these festive tarts feature garlicky pesto, tangy tomato slices, and melty Parmesan atop buttery golden puff pastry squares. Plus, salty prosciutto for the meat-eaters! One nice thing about this recipe is you don't have to wait for the puff pastry to thaw all of the way before you unfold it. You cut along the fold lines, so if it breaks, no big deal!
Yield: 4-5 as a main; 9 as an appetizer or side
For the pesto:
2cupspacked fresh basil leaves
1/4cuproasted unsalted sunflower seeds
1medium garlic clovepeeled and roughly chopped
2tablespoonsgrated Parmesan cheese
1/8teaspoonkosher salt + more to taste if desired
One-third cup olive oil + more if needed
For the tarts:
1sheet store-bought frozen puff pastrythawed at room temperature for about 30 minutes
1/2cupof your favorite pestoI used a homemade basil and sunflower seed pesto; recipe below
2medium tomatoessliced) (about 1 pound) (the more flavorful the better!
1/4cupshredded Parmesan cheese
5 - 6fresh basil leavesrolled and sliced into strands) (chiffonade
If adding optional prosciutto:
2 - 3slicesprosciuttoeach tart takes about one-third to a half of a slice
To make the pesto:
To the bowl of a food processor, add the basil leaves, sunflower seeds, garlic, Parmesan cheese, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and one-third cup olive oil.
Pulse until the mixture comes together in a rough paste. Add honey and pulse again until incorporated. Stream in additional olive oil if necessary to make a slightly loose, spreadable pesto.
Taste and add additional salt if desired.
Keeps refrigerated for up to 2 days. It'll still taste great, but it will lose its vibrant green color. Or add a teaspoon or two of lemon juice to help it stay green.
To make the tarts:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
On a large floured cutting board or mat, unfold the puff pastry. If it breaks along the fold lines, no worries! You want to cut it into thirds along the folds anyway, then cut again into thirds the opposite way to create nine squares. Think tic-tac-toe board.
Divide the pesto between each square, about 2 teaspoons per square, spreading carefully with a spoon to about 1/2 inch from the edges. Lay one tomato slice in the center of each. Sprinkle Parmesan over the tarts.
Bake for about 12 minutes, until the puff pastry is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.
Remove from oven and, if using the prosciutto, lay about 1/3 to 1/2 of a slice over the top of each tart.
Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve.
I'm not always in the mood for pine nuts, so I like to substitute walnuts, pecans, or sunflower seeds in my pesto. This recipe features an unconventional ingredient - honey - and I really like the added touch of sweetness.Adapted from Pepperidge Farm