Monday, April 23, 2012

Caramelised Red Onion, Fig & Mozzarella Tarts with Rocket & Parma Ham Salad

Hands up who loves ready-made puff pastry sheets!!! Oh my god, it’s a total life saver! I love it as there is an endless list of sweet and savoury treats that can be made in less than 30 minutes!!!
I know a lot of people out there frown on using ready-made pastry, but being realistic I’d much prefer using my time for something else, such as eating!!!! Life’s way too short if you ask me to fret over pastry making.
Don’t get me wrong, hats off to anyone who does make their own pastry and enjoy it, I’m not one of those people though. Most supermarkets do frozen sheets and blocks of ready-made pastry that are more than adequate for home cooking. I’ve noticed recently that Tesco do a ‘light’ puff pastry, though I’ve not compromised with it yet.
If you’re really in a tizzy and can’t wait for the hour or so for the pastry to defrost, supermarkets have gone the extra step again, and have chilled ready-made pastry in their fridges, meaning you’ve never been so close to those (practically) home-made sweet and savoury tarts!!!!

I think pastry is a fantastic go-to staple when making things like mini tarts for elegant dinner parties. I made just such tarts the other day. My rule is, if using ready made puff pastry, I must use best quality ingredients then for every thing I use with it. Ok I fib a little, I cheated a little further by using store bought caramelised red onions, but in my defence they were a high quality brand. This actually just goes to show how easy these tarts are, there are simply no excuses.

(Tip: These didn’t turn out totally amazing, although they tasted so great, I over-filled them with every ingredient, so they collapsed a little. I’m still coming to terms with the ‘less is more concept’ so below is my scaled-back version)

So here they are my Caramelised Red Onion, Fig & Mozzarella Tarts with Rocket & Parma Ham Salad

Serves 6, as a starter


·         1 sheet of puff pastry, defrosted
·         ½ a ball of good quality buffalo mozerella cheese, divided into 6
·         3 tsp of good quality store-bought caramelised onions
·         3 figs, cut into quarters
·         Rocket to serve
·         6 sliced of parma ham
·         Honey, to drizzle
·         Balsamic syrup, to drizzle


1.       Preheat oven to 200 degrees
2.       Lay out the sheet and using a round pastry cutter, cut into 6 round circles, cut through an inner circle around the circles just a cm inside the edge. (this ensures they rise)
3.       Place the 6 circles on baking paper on a baking tray
4.       Place ½ tsp of the onions in the centre of circle
5.       Top with 2 quarters of figs each and a piece of mozerella
6.       Bake for 25 minutes in the oven.
7.       To serve scatter a plate with rocket and parma ham, place each tart in the centre and drizzle with balsamic syrup and honey.

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