I made the following recipe for our California Wine Country dinner as an appetizer for us to enjoy. Being that Miachael Chiarello specializes in wine country cuisine with an Italian influence, this was a great dish to prepare as my guests arrive, paired with a nice glass of wine! I adapted the original recipe by dicing mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and basil and stuffing the mixture in puff pastry cups. Let’s be honest, anything inside on top of a puff pastry crust is all that much better!
recipe inspired by Michael Chiarello
4 puff pastry tart shells
2 medium-sized round vine ripened tomatoes, diced
1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, cut into dice
handful of fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded/sliced thin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
basil leaves, for garnish
Bake the puff pastry tarts as directed on the package; remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Sprinkle the tomato slices with salt and pepper to taste. Chop up the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Season with salt and pepper; toss with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Stuff this mixture inside the puff pastry tarts. Right before serving, garnish top with fresh basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.