There's something about puff pastry

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Puff Pastry Tomato Tarts. (Cathy Pollak / August 13, 2013)

By Cathy Pollak for Oneforthetable.com

These! Are they not gorgeous? I think they kind of scream summer in their own not-so-subtle way. They are certainly eye-catching on a platter together.

There is something about puff pastry. It has this way of making everything so darn cute, elegant and fancy all at the same time. If you have never used it, please give it a try. It's so easy to make something beautiful with it. No skills necessary.

I saw a container of different colored tomatoes at the market and had to get them. This tart recipe was definitely the perfect dish to show off the diversity of their colors. However, using only red tomatoes would be as equally striking.

Remember, tomatoes are one of the top food sources for daily doses of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, potassium and fiber. So eat up!!

Filled with goat cheese and herbs, there couldn't be a better appetizer. However, these make a great side dish too.

Puff Pastry Tomato Tarts

Makes 4 tarts.

2 sheets frozen puff pastry (17.3 oz. box)

1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water

3 ounces goat cheese, softened

1 tablespoon minced fresh basil, more for garnish

1 tablespoon minced fresh chives, more for garnish

2 garlic cloves, pressed

2 tablespoons milk

20 small tomatoes any color, grape or cherry

Thaw puff pastry overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 400 F.

Using a ruler, cut one of the puff pastry sheets into 4 even squares and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. With the other sheet, cut into 8 strips, each 3/4 inch wide (you will have leftover puff pastry). Cut the 8 strips in half crosswise to make 16 strips.

Place four strips around the edge of each square, overlapping the corners. Lightly brush the edges and corners with egg wash, bake until puffy, about 22 minutes.

In a small bowl, use a fork to gently mash together goat cheese, basil, chives, garlic and milk. Stir until creamy. When puff pastry is done, remove from oven. The middles will be puffy; push them down gently with a fork and divide cheese mixture among the four tarts, spreading evenly with a spatula. Top with tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.

Bake for another 5 minutes and garnish with basil and chives. Serve immediately.

(Cathy Pollak runs her own vineyard and winery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. She shares her love of food and wine at noblepig.com. One for the Table is Amy Ephron's online magazine that specializes in food, politics, and love. http://www.oneforthetable.com)

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