Garlic & Chives Goat Cheese and Pesto Puff Pastry Tart with Arugula, Watermelon, and Strawberry-Balsamic Drizzle is a good recipe to have on hand for summer entertaining!
Ahhh, summer. That elusive, lovely time of year that evades much of the country for so long, and then seems to leave almost as fast as it arrives. Let’s make the most of it with as many pool parties, block parties, potlucks, and barbeques as we can.
In addition to making memories with people we care about, the one thing that all gatherings like these have in common is food. Maybe it’s your grandfather’s recipe for baked beans, your mom’s taco salad, or your cousin’s chocolate sheet cake; no matter what it is for you or your family, I’m guessing you have a few heirloom recipes that always make it to the party. Those dishes are the mainstays of social gatherings, but if you’re anything like me, you’re probably also looking for a few fresh new ideas to liven things up a little, and that’s where this puff pastry tart comes in.
Frozen puff pastry is one of those kitchen staples that is so easy to transform into about a hundred different things with extremely minimal effort. Here the pastry is literally just unfolded (no need to cut it or roll it out), and topped with pesto (homemade if possible, but store-bought is fine in a pinch) and crumbles of Laura Chenel’s Garlic & Chives Goat Cheese before being baked. Goat cheese is an idea choice here because of the slight tang; Laura Chenel’s goat cheese logs are smooth and rich, and have a bright, citrusy flavor that is beautifully accented by the flavors of garlic and chives, and I also thoroughly enjoy it smeared on crackers by itself.
Because it’s (nearly) summer and we’re all craving fresh, bright flavors, I added a bit of peppery arugula and sweet watermelon to round out the flavor profile of this tart. Lastly, a ridiculously easy strawberry balsamic reduction adds a little sweet tartness that takes this pastry to the next level.
I typically slice a pastry like this up into 9 or 12 squares, but you can go even smaller if you want little bites. This recipe is a great one to have up your sleeve; it makes the perfect little summer nibble!
- ½ (17.3 oz/490 g) box frozen puff pastry (you will only need 1 sheet of puff pastry), thawed
- 3 tablespoons pesto (homemade or store-bought)
- 4 oz (115 g) Laura Chenel’s Garlic & Chives Goat Cheese Log, crumbled
- 1½ tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar
- 1½ tablespoons strawberry jam
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 2 cups fresh arugula
- ½ cup thinly sliced fresh seedless watermelon
- Thaw the puff pastry according to the package directions; preheat the oven to 375F.
- Unfold the pastry out onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat liner. Spread the pesto onto the pastry, leaving about a ¼-inch rim all the way round. Dot the crumbled goat cheese on top. Use a sharp paring knife to poke a few holes in the pastry.
- Bake the pastry until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes, and then cool the pastry to room temperature.
- While the pastry bakes, make the strawberry-balsamic drizzle. Combine the jam and vinegar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil and then cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Cool to room temperature (it will thicken more as it cools).
- To serve, top the cooled tart with the arugula and watermelon, and drizzle on the strawberry-balsamic sauce.
Disclosure: I received the Laura Chenel’s goat cheese that I used in this recipe for free, and I also received compensation for this post. I am happy for the opportunity to share brands that I believe in with my readers, and I hope you enjoy my recipe. As always, opinions stated are my own.