I adapted this from a recipe I came across many years ago (20??) in an issue of Victoria Magazine. Don’t be daunted by the number of steps. The roasted tomatoes look after themselves, and you can substitute lightly toasted, thinly sliced baguette if the puff pastry seems like too much bother. Either way, it makes an elegant and flavourful starter course. It always receives rave reviews.Print
An elegant and flavourful starter – it always gets rave reviews.
- 12 plum tomatoes, roasted (makes 24 halves)
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 16 extra large shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1/2 c plus 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/8 c balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 4 bocconcini, each sliced into four slices
- Dill sprigs for garnish
Make the Roasted Tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Slice the tomatoes lengthwise and place cut side up on an oiled rimmed baking sheet or gratin dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake for 2½ to 3 hours until cooked and concentrated, but still retaining their shape, albeit collapsed. Let cool to room temperature.
Make the Puff Pastry Rectangles
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut out four 6 x 3” rectangles from the sheet of pastry and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Prick the pastry, cover with another sheet of parchment paper and another baking sheet, to keep the pastry flat while baking. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and cooked through. Remove top baking sheet and parchment paper and transfer the pastry to a rack to cool.
Cook the Shrimp
- In a skillet over moderate heat, heat 2 tbsp olive oil until hot. Add the shrimp, salt & pepper and saute until pink and firm (about 2 minutes).
Make the Vinaigrette
- Combine the ½ c olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, chopped basil, salt & pepper in a small lidded container and shake vigorously until combined, or place all ingredients in a small bowl and blend with an immersion whisk.
Assemble the tarts
- Arrange two tomato halves on each plate, and top with a pastry rectangle. Alternate four bocconcini slices and roasted tomato halves on top of each rectangle. Top with four shrimp and garnish with dill sprigs. Drizzle plate with vinaigrette.
- The tomatoes can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge, which reduces your overall preparation time on the day you wish to serve the dish.
- Serving Size: 4