I’ve got a super-easy and delicious appetizer that is great for potlucks, parties and calls like these:
“We picked Grandma up from the airport and she said she wants to come see the kids first, so we’ll be there in about an hour.”
“We’re on our way down to San Antonio from Dallas for holidays. Mind if we stop by? We have some presents for the kids.”
Puff pastry to the rescue! All you need to keep on-hand is a box of puff pastry (in the freezer), a jar of olive tapenade (I like Kalamata for this), feta cheese and cherry tomatoes (which we always have around for kid snacking). In less than an hour (30 minutes of that is the pastry thawing), you can serve a tasty appetizer to whomever happens to call.
(Recipe adapted from Puff Pastry Perfection by Camilla V. Saulsbury.)
1 sheet puff pastry from frozen package (usually has 2 sheets)
1 jar (3.5 ounces) Kalamata olive tapenade
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Set sheet of pastry on a plate and let thaw for 30 minutes on the countertop (could thaw overnight in fridge, covered).
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Unfold pastry onto lightly floured cutting board. Using a pizza cutter if you have one, or a knife if you don’t, cut the sheet into 16 equal squares (about 2 to 2 1/2 inches). Place each square in the cup of a mini muffin pan. Put 1 teaspoon tapenade in each. Top with half a cherry tomato and a few crumbles of feta. (This picture shows just before adding the feta — I spaced them out in my 24-count muffin tin so the corners weren’t touching.)
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until pastry is puffed and golden brown. Let cool in pan for a few minutes before removing to plate. Serve warm. Makes 16 appetizers.
Note: I made mine in the morning, then put them, covered, in the fridge for serveral hours. I put them on a tray in my toaster oven to warm them up and liked them even better — that got rid of the doughiness that you get right after cooking them.
Written by: Shannon Oelrich