Question. What can you do on a weeknight for dinner with left over goat’s cheese, a leek, a rapidly ripening pear and some dairy odds and ends from the weekend? How about making a light tasty tart? For this, I used store-bought frozen pastry (as this was a weeknight meal not a lazy Sunday afternoon!). So to jazz this up a bit, I rolled crushed walnuts into the pastry case (for extra flavour and texture) and added some fresh breadcrumbs drizzled with olive oil before baking. This tart is perfect for a mid-week light supper or as a starter. It’s lovely and light with the sharpness of the goat’s cheese offset by the sweetness of the pear. Another use for left-over goat’s cheese is this fabulous little snack. Did I mention bacon? Bacon makes everything better.
Goat’s cheese tart with leek, pear and bacon
Makes: 4 mini tarts
- 1 sheet frozen shortcrust pastry
- 25 g walnuts, toasted then crushed
- 1 large leek, thinly sliced
- 2 rashers middle bacon
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 75 g single (35% fat) pouring cream
- 50 g cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons white vermouth (or dry white wine)
- Few sprigs of fresh sage and a handful of chopped fresh chives
- Salt and ground white pepper
- 100 g goat’s cheese
- 1 pear, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced).
- Defrost pastry on bench then scatter the crushed toasted walnuts over the pastry, fold in half and in half again (to make a square), then roll out to the same thickness as you started with.
- Line four mini (8 cm) loose bottom tart tins with pastry and blind bake by covering each pastry case with baking paper and filling with dried rice or pie weights, then baking for 10 minutes before removing the paper and baking a further 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and turn oven up to 200°C (180°C fan forced) while making the filling.
- In a wide pan, sauté the leek and bacon with the butter over a medium heat until soft (but not browned). Add the flour and stir over a medium heat for a minute until the flour is cooked.
- Add the cream, cream cheese, vermouth and fresh herbs and cook for a minute or two over a medium heat until sauce is thickened.
- Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
- Crumble over the goat’s cheese and gently fold through with the sliced pear.
- Spoon filling into individual mini tart cases and cover each with breadcrumbs and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
- Bake tarts in the middle of preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the top is crisp and browned.
- Allow to cool for five to ten minutes before removing from pie cases and serving.