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Blue Cheese, Tomato and Green Onion Tartlets (2002)
These tiny tarlets, filled with a mixture of blue cheese, tomato, scallions and pine nuts, take less than 15 minutes to make, start to finish, and are irresistibly delicious.
(makes 30 tartlets, or enough to serve 10 to 12)
1/2 cup (about 20 small) grape tomatoes, stemmed, rinsed and dried (see note)
one 3 1/2 - to 4-ounce piece of creamy blue cheese, such as Saga Blue, broken into dime-size pieces
1/3 cup chopped green onions (3 to 4 green onions with roots and all but 2 inches of green stems cut off)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (see note)
30 frozen mini phyllo dough shells (see note)
2 1/2 tablespoons chopped chives
To prepare filling, quarter tomatoes lengthwise, but do not remove seeds or pulp. Place in nonreactive mixing bowl along with cheese. (If using blue cheese with rind such as Saga Blue, do not cut off the rind.) Add chopped green onions and pine nuts to bowl, and toss gently to mix well. (Filling can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature 30 minutes before baking tartlets.)
When ready to bake, remove phyllo shells from freezer and arrange them on a large, heavy baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Let stand for 10 minutes to defrost. Spoon filling into shells, dividing mixture evenly and mounding it generously in each shell.
Bake tartlets on center rack at 350 degrees until cheese has melted and filling is hot, 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle tops with chopped chives. Arrange tartlets on serving platter. Serve hot.
Notes: Delicious little grape tomatoes, which are smaller and sweeter than cherry tomatoes, are best used in this recipe. They are available in most markets in the produce section.
To toast pine nuts, heat medium, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add nuts and cook, stirring, until golden-brown, 5 minutes or longer. Remove and cool.
Mini phyllo dough shells are available in most markets in the frozen-foods section. Fully baked, they need only 10 minutes to defrost and then can be filled and baked to heat the filling.
December 10, 2002