Seasoning: 1 tbsp caster sugar
Ingredients for the cake at the bottom: 320 gr puff pastry, a handful cherry tomatoes or plum tomatoes, 220gr Galbani Italian mozzarella
Herbs: 2 tbsp oregano
I have literally no idea where the time has gone! It seems yesterday that we were celebrating the New Year and here we are only few days to go until Easter. C-R-AAAA-Z-Y! The good thing is that days are getting longer, London is blossoming and being surprisingly warm and sunny (finger crossed that it will stay like this in the weeks to come) and this week I am flying off to Poland for the holidays, yay. Life is good.
Today I wanted to introduce you to the brilliant world of the torte salate, that is savoury cakes or tarts in Italian. I have actually no idea if this is the right translation, but I kind of like the way it sounds so I have decided to name them that way. Those cakes are usually made with puff pastry and they are extremely popular in Italy, as they are served at lunch time or as part of the aperitivo. They are possibly the easiest thing to prepare and they are very versatile in terms of choice of ingredients, a little bit like pizza: you can fill the tart with whatever ‘topping’ you like and fancy eating and they can satisfy every dietary requirements! Not to mention that they are ready in half an hour.
Today I made two of my favourite ones:
the mushrooms and goat cheese cake with caramelized onion
NOTES BEFORE READING THE RECIPES
- I usually use the 320gr Jus Roll Puff Pastry for a cake tin of 21” diameter. A 22” / 23” would work as well with that amount of pastry. You can also use a square one if you don’t have the round one at home.
- The servings may vary depending on … the amount of food you usually eat! 😛 I could easily eat one entire tart by myself, but that just me of course!
- Although is always better to serve it fresh out of the oven, it will taste also deliciously the following day.
the 5 senses method:
serves 4 – 8 (as appetizer) – serves 2 (as main dish)
- Preheat the oven to 180º C, fan.
- Unroll the puff pastry and make sure to keep it on its baking paper. Line the base and the sides of the tin with the pastry and ease it gently with your hands into the tin, as shown in pictures below. Use the excess pastry to create a sort of crust around the tin (see picture 2).
- Once the puff pastry is evenly lined, prick the base with a fork.
- Fill each tin with its respective filling (recipes below).
- Place in the oven for 30 / 40 minutes until the pastry turns golden brown and crispy.
MUSHROOMS, GOAT CHEESE AND CARAMELIZED ONIONS FILLING
- Heat a small pan in olive oil on medium heat. Cut the onions into slices and add them to the pan.
- Once the onions are soft, add 1 tbsp of caster sugar and 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and stir well so that the onions are evenly coated. Cook for another 5 minutes on medium heat and, if needed, add more vinegar until you reach your desired level of sweetness. Set aside and let it cool down.
- Wash the mushrooms and cut them into quarters or into slices.
- Place the caramelized onions at the base of the tart (make sure that they’ve cooled down properly, otherwise the vinegar will spread on the pastry and it will not cook properly).
- Add the sliced mushrooms and crumble the goat cheese.
CAPRESE STYLE FILLING
- Wash the cherry tomatoes and cut them into quarters.
- Cut the mozzarella into cubes.
- Place the mozarella cubes as base and cover evenly.
- Add the cherry tomatoes.
- Finish off with oregano,as per your taste.