IWANTED to include a few recipes today that use the same base ingredients but can be adapted quickly and easily to make use of many different combinations.
The premise is that with a sheet of puff pastry, ricotta and another soft cheese, topped with a tasty combination of ingredients you have a tart that can be served as a starter for a dinner party or as a tasty lunch. You can use various vegetables or add some leftover smoked fish or bacon. These tarts are a handy way to use leftover roasted vegetables or boiled potatoes. It is about getting the right combination; beetroot, red onion and nutmeg; tomato, mustard and thyme; sliced potato, rosemary and sea salt. There are endless combinations and once you source a good quality puff pastry most of the work is done.
I always bake tarts on a metal tray that I have preheated in the oven. It gives a crisper base as the underneath starts to bake straight away. You can par-bake the pastry first and then add toppings, but I find it difficult to spread the ricotta if I do it this way. I tend to fill the pastry with the toppings while it is cold. At times I fashion some tinfoil to sit over the centre and bake for the first half hour. I then remove the tin foil and turn the oven up for the last 10 minutes.
It is best to use the pastry straight from the fridge. If it is sitting out at room temperature it will not crisp up as nicely.