It seems that I go through phases in my love affair with puff pastry, and much like rediscovering the joys of again reading a favourite book, I fall in love all over again.
There are very few pre-made grocery store products that I couldn’t live without, and puff pastry is one of them. Adaptable to both savoury and sweet dishes, it really is indispensable in my kitchen. It should be in yours – especially if you want to appear at all chef-fy looking with your creations, not to mention how much fun it is to experiment with! (fyi trying to replicate this delicious apple pastry I had near the Ponte Vecchio, when most recently in Florence!)
If you’re not a pork eater, you could always substitute something like some thinly sliced turkey – either one would add a lot to the flavour. A good quality mustard is spread on, initially.
Almost any melting cheese would do, and for this batch I used mozzarella – because it’s what I had. Use it grated or sliced but if it’s the latter, don’t go be heavy-handed with it. You do want the puff pastry to do its thing, and rise as gloriously as it can.
Very enjoyable paired with soup or salad for a delicious and light lunch, these would also make a splendid first course, perfect for any type of dinner party entertaining.
Before serving, give them a sprinkle of something fresh and green. It’ll really make the colours pop, and add a hint of freshness as well. Basil would be great, when it’s in season course, but one of my favourites to use is fresh arugula. Whatever you use, if the leaves are small enough just scatter them on whole, otherwise give them a rough chop.
- 1 sheet 10” x 10” puff pastry
- 2 - 3 tablespoons Dijon or other quality mustard
- 4 - 6 slices deli ham, depending on size (Black Forest, etc)
- 2 - 4 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced (depending on size, use 2 - 3 slices per)
- 1 1/2 cup approx. grated cheese (mozzarella, Gruyere, old cheddar, etc)
- Salt & pepper to season
- Preheat oven to 400°
- On a clean work surface, either lightly floured or covered with parchment, place the defrosted pastry. Cut it into 6 pieces and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Spread with some mustard, add ham and tomato slices, season with salt (lightly) & pepper.
- Top with cheese, letting some hang over to the parchment - it’ll get nice and crispy in the oven.
- Bake for approx. 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and pastry is golden. Cool slightly before serving.
- *equally delicious served warm or at room temperature.