Warm Goat Cheese Tarts
with Fig Jam and Rosemary

Serves 4

This savory and sweet appetizer has great textural contrast, with the crisp pastry and the soft, warm goat cheese. The combination of fruit and cheese makes a satisfying light lunch, perhaps with a fresh green salad, or an elegant first course.

Fig Jam

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium shallot, finely chopped
3/4 pound fresh figs (5 to 7 figs), diced
1/3 cup ruby port
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar plus extra for drizzling over tarts
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


1 sheet purchased puff pastry (8 to 9 ounces), thawed
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
Kosher salt
4 ounces soft goat cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper
2 figs, thinly sliced

To make the jam:

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and cook the shallot, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the diced figs and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the port, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the port has reduced to a syrupy consistency and the figs have broken down, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool. You should have about 1 cup—more than you need; save the remainder for another use. It can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

To make the tarts:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Cut out 4 rounds, using a 4-inch round cutter; a clean, dry empty can; or a sharp knife. Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll each piece of pastry out to about 6 inches in diameter. (The tarts will shrink while baking.)

Carefully transfer the pastry rounds to an ungreased baking sheet and pierce them all over with a fork.

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk with the water. Brush the tops of the pastry rounds with the egg wash, sprinkle lightly with salt, and bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, mix the goat cheese with the rosemary and season well with salt and pepper.

Preheat the broiler.

Spread the fig jam over the pastry rounds, leaving only a very narrow border, and crumble the goat cheese mixture over the top. Place the tarts back on the baking sheet and broil until they are heated and the goat cheese is nicely browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

To serve:

Place a tart on each of 4 plates, top with the fig slices, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.


Buy the Book!


Big City Cooking
Recipes for a Fast-Paced World
by Matthew Kenney
and Joan Schwartz
Photographs by William Meppem
Chronicle Books
$24.95 Paperback
208 pp
ISBN: 0811832228
Recipe reprinted by permission..


Big City Cooking



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