Sunday, 27 March 2011

Caprise de Femme Tartlets

These tartlets do not take fancy ingredients or hours of preparation. They are simple to make and your guests will never know how quickly you put this h'orderve together. I love the contrast of textures and flavours in each tartlet. Crispiness of toasted bread and softness of cream cheese, sweetness of tomato and delicate tang of red wine vinegar... Perfect balance in small bites of tasty, elegant delight.


8 slices white bread, 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon dried basil, fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper,
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced, 4 ounces fresh mozzarella (approximately 2-inch ball), thinly sliced, red wine vinegar, for drizzling, optional, 8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade.


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the crusts from the bread and using a large spoon or rolling pin, gently press the slices of bread down flat until they are thin and almost doughy. Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. Press the slices in the muffin tin, to form tartlet shells. Set aside.

In a small bowl, using a fork to combine, mix together the cream cheese, garlic powder, dried basil, salt, and pepper until smooth and creamy. Drop about a teaspoon of the cream cheese into the bottom of each muffin tin. Bake the tartlets until golden and crusty, 12 to 13 minutes.

Meanwhile, liberally salt the tomato slices. Once the tartlet shells are golden, remove them from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Place a slice of mozzarella on top of the cream cheese, then layer on a tomato slice or two. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste and a drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar, if using. Garnish with basil chiffonade.

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