Tomato and artichoke puff pastry with pesto ricotta cheese

Or

Using up my leftovers in a fun Italian recipe way to put on my blog

I kind sorta fell in love with puff pastry after having used it for the first time (at least that I could remember) for a recipe I did for Gusto di Roma not long ago. I was so impressed by it’s flavor and texture as a base for creating that I couldn’t wait to use it again. So, with an appetizer needed, half a box of puff pastry in the freezer, some random open items in the fridge and the fact that I have never liked to waste food, I decided that this night would be the night to try that buttery deliciousness again. I knew that the puff pastry was going to be the ingredient that all other ingredients would compliment and if it turned out as I expected (hoped) we would have a lovely start to our meal and I would have the additional bonus of sharing it with all of you too. The items that stood out to be used that evening were a half container of ricotta cheese, the rest of the marinated olive and basil pesto from a blog post a few weeks ago (link here), half a can of artichoke hearts and one tomato….perfect!

This recipes’ flavors are more Italian themed because my life is more Italian themed and that happens to trickle down to the food in my fridge and the things I like to prepare, but you could easily take the basic ideas here and turn them into any flavor combination you like. With the light, buttery and flaky base of the puff pastry the creative options are endless. It compliments both sweet or savory dishes (I have included ideas below) nicely and for being something that seems very elegant and possibly finicky to use, it is actually incredibly easy to work with. It can be used whole in the sheets or cut into circles or squares for individual items. Cut pieces can be baked in cupcake tins to give fun little cup shapes or cut into triangles, filled and rolled like little croissants. It is the perfect staple to keep in your freezer for moments when something quick and easy but very fancy feeling needs to be made.

If you have extra time the puff pastry could be made from scratch instead of purchased but that would of course add an additional level of difficulty, and I mean, if we wanted to do that we could make our own ricotta cheese while we are at it right! And even though I actually do plan (I think) on doing both of those things next time….tonight recipes is the “I need something quick and fancy version”!

Ingredients and pretty pictures below!

The Recipe

  • Sheet puff pastry

  • 3/4 Cup ricotta cheese

  • 1/4 Cup basil pesto or my marinated olive and basil pesto

  • 1 Medium tomato, sliced

  • 5 - 6 Artichoke hearts, quartered

  • Salt & pepper to taste

1.Thaw the puff pastry according to the box direction. When thawed, place the pastry on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

2. Score a line 3/4 of an inch away from the outer edge of the pastry with a knife, making sure to not slice all the way through. Using a fork, poke all through the center part of the pastry.

3. Mix ricotta, pesto and salt & pepper together and smooth inside the scored border of the pastry.

4. Layer with tomato slices and artichoke pieces and bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 min or until the puff pastry is golden brown.

Let cool slightly on baking sheet before cutting. This dish is delicious eaten warm or at room temperature. This makes a great appetizer, addition to a picnic or buffet style meal.

Serves 4-6 for an appetizer and 2-3 for a light lunch or dinner.

More Puff Pastry recipe ideas

Ricotta and basil pesto (like above) with sun dried tomatoes

Ricotta and basil pesto with sliced zucchini and mushrooms. Salt and pepper to taste - Add optional cooked sausage

Drizzle of Olive oil with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and salt & pepper. Add optional prosciutto

Drizzle of Olive oil with prosciutto and mozzarella, salt and pepper to taste. Top with fresh arugula after baking

Drizzle of Olive oil with cooked spinach, feta, kalamata olives and pepper

Diced up tomato with cooked corn and black beans. Top with chevre cheese - Add optional jalapeno peppers

Chevre cheese with asparagus, capers, and salt and pepper

Chevre cheese with marinated vegetables

Chevre cheese with prosciutto. Top with fresh arugula after baking

Brie cheese with asparagus. Top with cooked bacon pieces after baking

Brie cheese with dried cranberries and pecan pieces. Top with fresh arugula after baking

There are so so many options! Just get creative and remember that all of the above recipes go good with wine!

Buon Appetito!