Impromptu entertaining can be a fun way to get together with friends or family without the pressures of hosting more formal affairs. But hosts will still need to provide some refreshments for their guests, and having some easy recipes at the ready can make it easy to pull together a few bites in a hurry.
An arsenal of appetizers and small plates at the ready can feed a few or a crowd. By sticking with simple fare of readily sourced ingredients – including staples kept in the refrigerator and pantry – it’s a snap to entertain. This recipe for “Flaky Tomato and Mozzarella Tart” from “Real Simple: Easy, Delicious Home Cooking” (Time Home Entertainment) by the editors of Real Simple, is a recipe that can be pulled out time and again for anytime entertaining.
Flaky Tomato and Mozzarella Tart
All-purpose flour, for the work surface
1/2 sheet frozen puff pastry (one-quarter of a 17.3-ounce package) thawed
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes,
halved if large
1/4 pound mozzarella, grated (1 cup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
Heat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry into a 9-by-6-inch rectangle. Place on the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
Prick the pastry all over with a fork, then top with the tomatoes and mozzarella. Drizzle with the oil; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Bake the tart until golden brown and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into pieces before serving.
Tip: Be sure to use commercially packaged mozzarella in this recipe. Fresh mozzarella loses its water during baking and will leave the pastry soggy.