I often get asked what happens to all the food I make. This ranges from people being curious, to aggressively accusing me of being 'incredibly wasteful' (isn't the internet fun sometimes?). It all gets eaten - we eat some at home, give some to our doormen, take it to friends, or Rich takes it to the Studio. It usually gets eaten at varying speeds, depending on what it is, or how many times I've tried to feed it to people before (fourth time round of a recipe test they tend to get pretty sick of it), but nothing goes to waste. Sure, I've creeped out the guy fixing our balcony a couple of times by offering him a cookie out the window, but everyone always appreciates it. These tarts? They were gone in about half an hour of me arriving at the studio with a box full. Which has got to be a good sign, right?
This is the second post of four in partnership with Filippo Berio! Last week we had a Roasted Garlic, Tomato and Ricotta Brioche knot, which went down super well, and now I'm back with another recipe inspired by their Pestonality Tour - Chili Pesto, Mushroom, Roasted Red Pepper and Halloumi Tarts, with a homemade puff pastry. They look and sound a teeny bit complicated, but I promise you all the components are super easy to make, can be prepared ahead, and come together so amazingly into the perfect little handheld flavour party.
Last Saturday Rich and I took the train up to Riverhead on Long Island to visit Filippo Berio at the Rose and Bubbly festival. It was an amazing wee day out (I always forget how much I love getting out of the city), and we had an amazing time tasting all of the pestos, right in the middle of a beautiful vineyard! Guests were able to try the pestos, along with taking the Filippo Berio Pestonality quiz, which will be available very soon on their website! I popped a few of my fave photos from the day at the bottom of this post.
Back to these wee tarts! I wanted to come up with something to incorporate the Hot Chili version of the pesto, and these tarts do just that! I started with some homemade puff pastry, which, if you are up for it, is a super fun wee project, and actually not as hard as most people think. If you like, you can absolutely use store bought puff here too. I then rolled it out, cut it into rectangles, then spread with a thin layer of hot chili pesto, before topping it with a mushroom and garlic mixture, and some roasted red pepper strips. Once baked, it was topped with some fried halloumi cubes, and finished with a wee sprig of thyme.
A few wee tips:
- If you aren't keen on making your own puff pastry, you can definitely use store bought! I used 700g for this recipe. I have added a link to the recipe here
- Most of the components for this can be made ahead - the peppers can be roasted ahead, and the mushroom mixture can also be done ahead.
- You can add the halloumi on before you bake if you like, but I prefer it fried so added it once it was already baked. Feta would work great too.
- Feel free to customise these to your liking! They could be done with any type of filling that you like!
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Chili Pesto, Mushroom, Roasted Red Pepper and Halloumi Tarts with Homemade Puff Pastry
- 453g (1 lb) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 71g (⅔ cup) Bread Flour
- 397 (3 3/13 cups) bread flour
- 198g (1 ⅔ cups) All-purpose flour
- 6g (1 ½ tsp) fine sea salt
- 113g (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 287g (1 cup plus 3 Tbsp) cool water
- 4 large red bell peppers
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 300g button mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 jar Filippo Berio Hot Chili Pesto
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 x 200g block halloumi, Sliced
- Fresh Thyme Sprigs to garnish (optional)
- 1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp water
- To make the butter block, combine the butter and bread flour and mix until well combined. On a 13" x 18" piece of parchment paper, spread the butter into a 6" x 9" rectangle that is approximately ½" thick, using an offset spatula to square off the edges. Fold the remaining parchment paper down, using a bench scraper to square off the edges again (very square butter is very helpful!). Place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes, until it is between 60˚f and 70˚f (15˚c to 20˚c).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the bread flour, all-purpose flour, and salt. Add the butter and vanilla, and mix on low until the butter is fully incorporated into the mixture. Add the water, and mix until a dough forms, 5-6 minutes. Increase the speed, and mix on high for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
- Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap, and pat into a rectangle with your hands. Wrap in the plastic and rest in the refrigerator for 40-50 minutes.
- Once it has reached the ideal temperature, bring both the butter block and the dough out of the fridge. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a rectangle approximately 12" x 10". Place the butter block on the bottom half of the dough (you should have about half an inch space around the edges), and fold over the dough to 'lock' in the butter, pressing down the edges to seal it in. Tuck any excess underneath. Wrap in plastic wrap, place on the baking sheet, and rest in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the fridge. You are now going to begin the folding process. You will do a four fold, a three fold, a four fold, and another three fold.
Turn #1: 4-fold
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 13" x 18" rectangle, using a bench scraper to keep the edges tightly squared off. Turn the dough so a long edge is facing you. Take the left edge of the dough, and fold ¾ of the way across the dough, lining up the edges. Fold the right edge to meet the left, about ¼ of the way across. Fold the dough in half, left side over right. Transfer to the baking sheet, brush off extra flour, and cover with plastic wrap. Rest for another 30 minutes.
Turn #2: 3-fold
Remove the dough from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, repeat the rolling process - roll to 13" x 19", and square the edges. Turn so a long edge is facing you. Fold the left side of the dough ⅓ of the way across, then fold the right side of the dough over the left (so you have 3 layers of dough). Place on the baking sheet, brush off flour, cover and refrigerate. Rest for 30 minutes.
Turn #3: 4-fold
Repeat the process for a 4-fold as explained above, taking care to square the edges. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
Turn #4: 3-fold
This is your final fold. Roll out, square off, and repeat the instructions for a 3-fold above. Cover, and rest for 30 minutes.
Divide the pastry in half. Wrap each half tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to use. You will only use one of the pieces for this recipe - store the other piece, tightly wrapped, in the freezer or fridge for another project.
- To make the roasted red peppers, preheat the oven to 400˚f / 200˚c. Line a quarter baking sheet with tin foil. Place the peppers, whole, on the baking sheet and lightly drizzle with oil. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the skin is starting to darken and lift away from the flesh. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet before peeling the peppers and removing the skin and stalk. Divide the flesh from each pepper into 3 or 4 pieces, and cut into strips. Place into an airtight container until ready to use.
- To make the mushrooms, heat a skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add a good drizzle of olive oil, then add the onions and garlic, and cook for one minute, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms and thyme, and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently and adding more oil if needed, until the mushrooms are cooked and beginning to go golden brown. Season well. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to use - store in an airtight container in the fridge if preparing ahead.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your puff pastry to a rectangle 5mm (¼") in thickness. If you are using pre rolled store bought pastry, lightly roll to remove any creases. Using a pastry cutter or very sharp knife, cut rectangles 8cm x 12cm (3" x 5"), and transfer to the baking sheet, leaving a little space between each. You should get approximately 12 rectangles. Transfer the baking sheet to the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400˚f / 180˚c. Using a sharp knife, score a rectangle 1cm in from the edge of the pastry, taking care not to cut right through. Repeat with the remaining rectangles of pastry.
- Spread about 1 tsp (or a little less if you do not want them too spicy) of Hot Chili pesto on each tart, keeping inside the scored border. Top with 1 Tbsp of the mushroom mixture, and a few of the strips of roasted red pepper. Brush the outer exposed edge of pastry with egg wash.
- Bake the tarts for 15-18 minutes, until the pastry is puffy and golden brown. While the tarts are baking, fry the halloumi in a skillet or frying pan over medium heat, until golden brown on both sides. Cut into cubes.
- Once the tarts are baked, remove from the oven, and top each with a few cubes of halloumi. Garnish with a sprig of thyme if desired. Serve warm.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container. Best eaten on the day that they are made.
Puff Pastry Recipe from The Fearless Baker
Thank you so much to Filippo Berio for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.