Asparagus Vine Tomato & Bocconcini Tartlets with Balsamic Drizzle
The rustle of the morning newspaper was long replaced by browsing twitter and the internet on my cell phone and as of the past few months delving into an array of magazine, newspaper and internet articles, all available at the swipe of a lazy but curious finger across the iPad screen. I’m besotted with an array of food-related magazines, columnists at The New Yorker and some utterly delicious and frivolous finds on interior decor, travel, fashion and psychology (if this can ever be classified as frivolous..or fun!?).
On one such daily browse, my eye caught sight of a triangle shaped pastry topped with slices of fig (one of my very favourite late summer fruit) and drizzled with a thick chocolate sauce. I didn’t quite note which magazine featured the pastry, but the visual stayed with me. An adaptation of a sweet tartlet, these savoury asparagus, mini vine tomato and fresh bocconcini pastries use ready rolled butter puff pastry and are drizzled in a thick and rich sweet and slightly tangy crema di balsamico which I love using with sweet fruit as well.
Use either buffalo or cow’s milk bocconcini or even regular fresh mozzarella and allow to rest in a colander over a bowl at room temperature, in a cool part of the kicthen. This allows the protein in the cheese to relax, the extra brine to drain away and the full flavour of the cheese to be enjoyed. Drizzle with good extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt.
These are ideal pastries for a brunch, or to serve with sweet treats at tea time. If you make these into bigger tarts, it makes a good vegetarian starter or main served with a salad.
Makes 8-12 mini triangles
1 roll butter puff pastry, kept cold in the fridge
30 ml milk for brushing (or beaten egg yolk)
8-12 tender asparagus tips, steamed for 1 minute
8-12 mini vine or rosa tomatoes, sliced in half
handful thyme, stalks removed
3 T extra virgin olive oil
sea salt flakes, to taste
4-5 bocconcini, torn
Remove boconcini from container, drain liquid and add cheese to a bowl. Drizzle with some of the olive oil.
Grease or spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Slice 3 x one cm strips of pastry off.
Cut the remaining puff pasty into rectangles (I got 8 and a bit left over).
Fold one of the short ends so that the edges touch, much like a ‘triangle’ except the tip will not be sharp. Attach an extra strip of pastry to the bottom and place on baking tray.
Brush with milk when all the triangles are done.
Leave in fridge for 10 minutes to chill- butter puff pastry tends to droop and stretch with the slightest bit of heat and benefits from chilling. In meanwhile heat oven to 210 degrees Celsius. Do this a few mintes before, if your oven takes a little longer to heat up.
Remove tray from fridge and work quickly.
Lay one asparagus tip, two tomato halves, thyme leaves and salt over the triangle tartlet.
Repeat for remaining tartlets. Add a few droplets of oil to each tomato half, if you prefer.
Bake for 10 minutes at 210 degrees Celsius, lower the heat to 180 degrees Celsius and bake for a further 10 -15 minutes until the tartlets start to brown.
Allow the tartlets to cool slightly, then scatter over broken bits of boconcini and more sea salt (depending on preference).
Drizzle with crema di balsamico and serve still warm.