Every now and then it’s fun to create something in the kitchen that’s more than just food, even more than just healthy food. Sometimes it’s nice to make something that’s artistic, too! I found a recipe for these Paleo goat cheese mini tarts in a cookbook my husband brought home for me. Healing Foods, Cooking for Celiacs, Colitis, Crohn’s and IBS is a great cookbook for those who want to avoid grains and heal their gut through delicious, healthy food. These little tarts were just too cute not to try…even though we didn’t have any sort of event to try them for. Turns out, they go great with a salad for lunch and make an ordinary meal just a little bit more festive!
The crust is made of almond flour, grated sharp cheddar cheese (raw, organic is best), a little baking soda and some organic dried thyme leaves. After trying the recipe, I found that the baking soda can be left out without any problems. You just process the cheese, almond flour, and thyme in a food processor until it resembles corn meal, then add a few tablespoons of cold water and pulse until a dry dough forms. Let the dough chill in the fridge for a few minutes (I used this opportunity to chop the garnishes). Then, press the dough into an oiled mini-muffin pan and bake.
While the shells are baking, mix together the goat-cheese filling. You can use soft goat cheese (feta) or homemade cow’s or goat’s milk yogurt cheese. Just add an egg and some cream to the cheese and mix well. I couldn’t resist adding a few cloves of organic garlic and some parsley to the mixture, but that’s optional. Fill the baked tart shells with the cheese mixture.
Then top with chopped organic olives, sun dried tomatoes, green onions and chopped fresh basil. Return the tarts to the oven, and bake until the cheese is firm. So pretty, and surprisingly filling!
These goat cheese mini tarts would be a great addition to a brunch buffet, or a fun appetizer for a dinner party. We found that they were a great addition to a salad for lunch, the extra protein was just what was needed to get you through the afternoon. The next batch I make, I will try freezing a few so that they can be thawed out when a little something fancy and filling is in order!
- 2 cups of organic almond flour
- 2 cups grated raw milk sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 6 Tablespoons cold water (I found that I needed closer to 8)
- 1 organic, cage-free egg
- 1 tsp. raw milk, organic cream
- ½ cup soft goat's cheese or organic yogurt cheese (here's how to make it)
- 1-2 small cloves organic garlic, pressed (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried organic parsley flakes (optional)
- ½ cup chopped organic sun dried tomato
- ½ cup chopped organic olives
- 2 tablespoons chopped organic green onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped organic fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- In a food processor, blend together the almond flour, cheese, and dried thyme until the mixture looks like course corn meal.
- Slowly add the cold water, a tablespoon at a time, and watch the dough. When it starts to form a ball, it's ready.
- Oil a mini-muffin pan well. Press the dough into the muffin cups (about 3 mm thick). Bake at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes (check for browning at the edges). Remove from oven.
- While the tart shells are baking, combine the egg with the cheese, cream, and garlic and parsley (if you're using them).
- Fill the tart shells with the cheese mixture, then garnish with the chopped sun dried tomatoes, olives, green onions, and basil.
- Return the tarts to the oven, and bake for an additional 15 minutes (or until the cheese is firm, mine needed 20 minutes).
- Let cool, and serve! These are great chilled, too.
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