Disclosure: I write sexy murder mysteries and “tarts” describe a goodly number of my heroines. Although I prefer to call them feisty. But I’m on a “tart” rampage. One that appeals to my other obsessions: cooking and eating. (I’m convinced that sex and food are, or should be, integrally related.)
On to tarts. My trusty NYT’s April food columns declared in so many words that sheet pan dishes were the “must make” recipes of the month (all elements of the meal are baked on a single sheet pan). My guy and I made a series of concoctions that you’d never guess would work in one humble pan.
Come May, I was thrilled to see that “tarts” were the recipes of the month. Remember Pepperidge Farm puff pastry from years ago? Guess what? It’s baaack. And it is now the foundation for every kind of tart you can imagine.
After making dessert tarts and meat and fish oriented tarts, I ended up with my favorite—vegetable tarts. If you want to impress everyone from the most discriminating gourmand to grandsons who could care less about fine dining, win them over with this recipe I conceived. Try it. I promise everyone will be fighting for whatever leftovers exist.
Taylor’s Sumptuous Vegetable Tart
Crust: Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry (in frozen food section of your supermarket)
Cheese filling: 8oz ricotta cheese, 6 oz crumbled Feta cheese, salt, pepper, fresh herbs (your choice). Combine in a food processor to a “spreadable consistency”.
Vegetables: My favorites – (you choose yours)
Multi colored carrots, bright red pepper, asparagus (thin), broccolini, sliced cremini mushrooms, red onion.
Slice vegetables in thin strips. Generously drizzle with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer and roast in a 425° oven. Different vegetables will require different roasting times. Cool and set aside.
Thaw one sheet of puff pastry. Line a 12 x 16 baking sheet with parchment paper (essential for scooting the finished tart onto a snazzy serving tray.) Generously sprinkle the parchment paper-covered cooking sheet with parmesan cheese. Roll out the puff pastry and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Using the point of a sharp knife, score a ½ inch line around the edge of the pastry. Spread the cheese mixture over the pastry leaving the ½ inch crust uncovered.
Decorate the puff pastry with your roasted vegetables. I used multi-colored carrots as placeholders (see image above). Then arranged the other vegetables to fill out the canvas. Note in one recipe I used multi colored heirloom tomatoes drizzled with pesto (see image below). Yum. Bake in a 400° oven for 25-30 minutes until pastry is crisp and puffy.
Present to your wowed guests. You and they will never think about “tarts’ the same way again. Promise!
And Now For The Book Tarts
If you’re ready for a seriously tarty young woman, grab Tanya: Book 1; The Trouble Sisters Saga.
She’s a brash deputy. He’s an undercover agent. When sparks start to fly, a murderer might be the death of them.
If you like smart characters, tough-talking cops, and scorching passion, you’ll love this sizzling thrill-ride.
AND for seven more equally tarty heroines check out: BRAZEN PROTECTORS: PROTECT AND DESIRE Volume 4. Engaging tales of heroes and heroines taking command in unlikely situations. These champions are as provocative as they are brave.
My book in the compelling collection is: Line of Fire: Passion Meets Politics. Discover how challenging elections can be when sex and violence are in the mix.
USA Today Best Selling author Taylor Lee writes Suspenseful Mystery Thrillers – with a heavy dose of Sexy to Sizzling HOT Romance.
In the five years that she has been writing, Taylor has written more than forty books. Her eight, series track her Special Operatives, Covert Agents, Cops, Firefighters and other iconic heroes and heroines, through the harrowing situations that make up their lives. From human trafficking rings to corrupt politicians, Taylor investigates the underbelly of society and the criminals who flourish there.
Taylor says: “From the residue in my personal blender of mixed races, cultures and world views, my characters emerge. It comforts me to know that while evil slinks in the shadows, the “good guys and gals” of the world sniff it out – and snuff it out.
My characters are arrogant alpha males and the feisty women who bring them to their knees – and vice versa… They fight hard, love hard and don’t mince words. They are dangerous men and women in dangerous times. Love, passion and ridding the world of evil? What’s not to like?