We picked up so many colorful peppers in our weekly share that we just had to figure out a way to show them off in a meal. What would be the fun of having nice bright colors, only to hide them away in a sauce? Instead, we decided that we’d make something reminiscent of those confetti cakes. Only savory instead of sweet. We just thought it would be fun to take a bite of a “cake” and find it studded with bright confetti colors.
We immediately thought of the Goat Cheese Tartlets. Infinitely modifiable, yet making nice cupcake-sized tarts, this would be the perfect recipe to use for our Savory Confetti Tartlets. So, let’s get scratchin’ and make up a quick batch for dinner.
Use brightly colored vegetables that you like. We happened to have red, yellow, and orange peppers, so we added a bit of purple onion and some nice green peas. You don’t want too many vegetables, about 1 cup at most. Goat cheese. Many people don’t like goat cheese and we think it’s because they’ve had bad goat cheese — the kind that tastes goat-y. If that’s the kind you’ve had, be aware that there are good goat cheeses available, too. We get ours from Black Mesa Ranch through our CSA, and we like it a lot. Eggs, search out those true free-range eggs. Check with neighbors, farmers’ markets, or CSAs. Real free-range eggs are a treat, and you don’t want to miss treats, do you?
Procedure in detail:
Make crust. This is an easy, no-fail, tart crust. Mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Now add the butter and rub it in with your fingers until you have a crumbly texture. Add the egg, stir it in, and follow with enough cream to get it to hold together.
Refrigerate. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for about an hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 6-hole muffin tin.
Boil water. In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add the salt and bring back to a rolling boil.
Blanch and shock. Add the vegetables — ideally, the water will not stop boiling — and let them cook for about a minute. They’ll be tender, but not mushy. Drain immediately and rinse with cold water. If your water isn’t very cold, you can use ice water. Then drain again — very thoroughly.
Mix filling. We like this recipe because you just put all the ingredients (except those blanched vegetables) for the filling into a bowl and stir until it’s mostly smooth. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth; chunks of cheese are okay.
Add vegetables. Stir in the vegetables and set aside the filling.
Roll dough. On a lightly-floured work surface, roll the dough into a sheet about 1/4-inch thick. Cut 3-inch circles (we use the open end of a glass), and press into the muffin tin, forming cups. It’s okay if the crust doesn’t come up to the top.
Fill. Divide the filling among the cups. If it looks as if you have more filling than cups, you can quickly butter a ramekin or two and make crustless tartlets. Those will be good, too.
Bake. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the tartlets are golden and puffed. Serve immediately.
How can you go wrong with such an easy dish? The crust is simple and fast, the filling is stir together. The hardest part is the blanching and shocking, and even that isn’t so difficult. To tell the truth, we thought about foregoing the blanching, but we didn’t want to bite into raw-ish onions, so blanch it was. Even though these are really easy, they’re quite tasty, and we think you could serve them as part of a nice meal for a holiday. After all, Thanksgiving is coming up. Five stars.