Today is a sad day. Back from France not three weeks and I’ve just realized how low my store of goodies is running. If your obsession with French ingredients matches mine, or if you happened to read this post about last year’s France trip, you get how disheartening a time this is (and it doesn’t help that ‘A Good Year’ is on the tube right now).
Save or use? That’s always the nagging question with the long-shelf-life ingredients we haul back from France. Relying on my formidable will power (I hide things from myself), I usually manage to forget for a time the glass jars safeguarding their various forms of yum. But the fresh stuff, those darlings of the bunch like crème fraîche, canciollotte, the fromages bleus—these require constant attention to expiration dates to thwart any bacteria uprisings.
The last of the chevrè rounds is expired. Not by much, and no way I’m tossing it, but it needs to be used asap. While cradling the precious disk in my hand, I remembered an appetizer served at the alpine B&B we stayed in last month. This is my interpretation of Les 5 Saison‘s tomato & chevrè puff pastries.
1 roll of pasta brisè or puff pastry dough (use store-bought; no one’s judging)
1 small round of chevrè (about 150 grams)
2 or 3 medium round tomatoes
Heat the oven to 180° C (about 350° F). Cut the pasty dough into rectangles about 3″ by 1.5″ and score them lengthwise with a small sharp knife. Slice the tomatoes into thin rounds and gently shake out most of the seeds and liquid. Slice the chevrè into small pieces about the size of a nickel. Layer each piece of pastry with tomato, then cheese, then tomato and so on until each piece is covered. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the cheese gooey. Sprinkle with herbes de provence if you have some. Fresh thyme or chives would also be good on these. If you’re not fond of goat cheese, you could make these pastries with mozzarella or ricotta forte, in which case garnish instead with fresh basil.