Quick Rosemary, Fig, and Goat Cheese Tarts

by Julie Ruble on February 23, 2011 · 51 comments

I’m a simple girl. I like complicated poetry and intricate novels and things like that, don’t get me wrong. But for the most part, I’m the sort of girl that puts my hair up so I don’t have to fiddle with it, forgets to wear earrings, and floats about in flip-flops whenever possible. (By the way, not to brag, but we’ve almost made it to flip-flop weather in North Carolina lately!)

I love a cute high heel every now and then, but for the most part (besides middle school dances), they sit in my closet.

But one day I bought these shoes. I cannot explain it.

These shoes were unlike anything I’d ever owned (or ever wanted to own). First off, they were bright flippin’ gold. And they were pointy-toed. And they had 4-inch heels. And, um, they might have been faux snakeskin.

Any one of these characteristics on its own (well, except maybe the snakeskin) might have worked for me. But all together?

What was I thinking?

Well, I know what I was thinking. I was thinking of how hot they’d look on, say, Cindy Crawford. And then my brain went off to the food court for FroYo while my imagination thought, “Hey, maybe they’d make you look like Cindy Crawford!” So I shelled out way more cash than appropriate on my then-college-student budget, and ta-da, they were mine.

Can you guess what happened next?

If you guessed that those hot gold faux-snakeskin pointy heels sat in my closet until I finally tried to sell them online, you would be correct. If you guessed that no one bought them because everyone else has prohibited their brains from frolicking off to the food court, you would be correct.

If you guessed that I do not look like Cindy Crawford, you would be correct.

Why do I ever forget that simpler is usually better? In honor of simplicity, here’s a fantastic and fantastically simple tart to serve with your next meal (I ate it with Cream of Mushroom Soup!)

This recipe originally called for just rosemary and goat cheese, but the reviews said it needed more flavor. I added a generous layer of fig jam and that really knocked it right out of the park! It’s a sweet and savory, buttery-but-light combination that will complement many meals and be ready in 20 minutes flat. If you’re feeling a little rebellious, though, feel free to make your own homemade puff pastry — and perhaps go buy some faux snakeskin heels?

What’s the silliest thing you’ve bought in recent years?

Quick Rosemary, Fig, and Goat Cheese Tarts



Recipe by: Adapted from Fine Cooking
Yields: about 8-9 servings

Ingredients:
3 ounces Bûcheron goat cheese (or fresh goat cheese)
4-5 tablespoons fig jam
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (or use homemade puff pastry!)
flour, for dusting
1 lemon
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, only very roughly chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a small bowl, mash the goat cheese (crumbled) and cream with a fork together until combined.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry sheet out into a 12 x 17-inch rectangle. Using a pizza cutter (and a ruler for a straight edge, if desired), cut the pastry in half lengthwise to form two rectangles. Measure off a 3/4-inch strip on each side of each rectangle and use a straight edge to cut each strip off. Use a pastry brush to brush water around the edges of the rectangles that will act like a “glue” to hold a border on. Now stack each 3/4-inch wide strip onto the damp area of the dough, creating the raised border.

Spoon the fig jam inside the border of each rectangle and spread it. Then spoon and gently spread the cheese mixture inside the border, over the fig jam. This is a little hard to spread, but it’s okay if some areas have more cheese than others. Remember, it’s supposed to be rustic, y’all. Then evenly grate lemon zest over the cheese, scatter the rosemary leaves on top, and grind some pepper evenly over everything else. Bake until the tarts are puffed and deep golden brown, rotating the pan about halfway through baking. The original recipe said this would take around 17 minutes, but they were a tad overdone around 15 minutes, so keep an eye on them! Cut the tart into pieces and serve while hot.

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Kaitlin February 23, 2011 at 8:53 am

Mmmm… This sounds so good!

I’ve gotten pretty good about not buying things I’m not going to use, but I haven’t been able to hold back 100% of the time. I think the worst thing is my bad habit of buying dresses that are SUPER CUTE on the hanger but look awful on me. Even though I try them on, somehow I convince myself that they’ll miraculously look better on me at some point in the future… And they never do :P

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking February 23, 2011 at 10:43 am

I’ve done the same SEVERAL times! Dress twins :)

Thanks, Kaitlin.

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Meghan @ nestMeg February 23, 2011 at 10:48 am

Oh. My. Goodness. YES, PLEASE. I’m really not sure how many days I can go before I cave in and make this…

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking February 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Do it!! DO IT!! :)

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karen d February 23, 2011 at 11:50 am

Wow, this looks and sounds great. Except for the rosemary. First attempt at home made pasta was a rosemary pasta. Recipe called for fresh rosemary but since I didn’t have fresh, I decided to use dried. BIG mistake. It was like eating dried pine needles :} NOT good, not good at all. Worst impulse buy would have to be shoes as well. Hey, I’ll be tall and willow-ie, and super sexy. But they hurt. I wobble. Give to daughter who wears the same size and can pull off sexy high heels.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking February 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Even though this was fresh, I was worried about it as well, Karen! I gave it a rough chop even though the recipe said to use it whole — but it turned out fantastic :) I feel ya on wanting to be tall and willowy sometimes. Oh well!

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Lori Lynn @ Taste With The Eyes February 23, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Hi Julie – I am a fan of this one…preferring savory to sweet, this really caught my eye. Great photos too.
LL

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking February 23, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Thanks, Lori Lynn!

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Amanda February 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Hello! I followed the link over for livejournal…

This looks absolutely fantastic! I’m looking forward to making it at home. I’ll most definitely try your fig jam version, and I think I might try a variation with finely chopped balsamic roast beets instead of the fig jam. Thank you for sharing this!

As for the question, I think the silliest thing I’ve bought in recent years is a vest made entirely out of fake fur. 0__0 I do wear it however….

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking February 23, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Ooh, let me know how the beets go!! MMmm!

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Joanne February 23, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I think most of us have a pair of shoes like that in our closet. Actually for me it’s this blue dress that I bought from Express. It’s skin-tight and kind of insane. I don’t know what I was thinking.

Simple things like this tart are what suit me best. Especially when they are delicious, to boot.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking February 23, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I think we should have a “wear that thing in your closet you bought and have NEVER WORN, EVER day”! Maybe when you go on vacation and no one knows you anyway ;)

Thanks, Joanne!

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Meggie Wallace February 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm

You know? It’s always dresses with me, too. I buy these dresses, and they just look silly. I can never wear them because I feel too goofy! They make me longingly yearn for my jeans.
I can’t wear heels because of my ankles.. what a drag! My Fred Flintstone feet thank me, though :)

This looks really good!!!! I haven’t actually ever had goat cheese, but love fig and rosemary!! Definitely going to have to try this.
What is goat cheese like?

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking February 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm

I have a dress or two like that! I have one that I’m trying to make myself wear :)

Goat cheese is one of my absolute favorites! It’s creamy, with a texture similar to cream cheese but a little less smooth. It’s got a tangy flavor that just rocks!

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Megan February 23, 2011 at 5:17 pm

I have plenty of things sitting in my closet that I never should have bought. I have some fig jam in my fridge that now has a purpose!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking February 23, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Hurray!!

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Jennifer-The Adventuresome Kitchen February 23, 2011 at 11:55 pm

I bought a see-through tank top that I thought made me look hot for about 6 seconds… when I tried it on at home I cringed…. now it’s in my daughters’ dress-up box….
Love the tart- I love figs with everything!! A fruit straight from The Garden if you ask me..

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking February 23, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Ha, I love it! Thanks Jennifer :)

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Mariko February 24, 2011 at 3:28 am

Love the idea of that fig jam. I am super into savory/sweet combos.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking February 24, 2011 at 8:21 am

Me too! Love ‘em!!

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canalcook February 24, 2011 at 11:17 am

Mmmm, love the fig/goat cheese combination, definitely have to try this. I once bought shoes so high that following the one occasion I wore them, I woke up the next morning to discover I’d pulled the muscle in my thighs so badly I couldnt walk properly for several days. Thank god I didn’t dance in them..

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking February 24, 2011 at 11:57 am

Oh my goodness! That brings new meaning to “no pain, no gain!”

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Maria @ Scandifoodie February 25, 2011 at 4:49 am

I made a very similar tart recently!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking February 25, 2011 at 9:43 am

The flavors are so great together, aren’t they, Maria?! Love this thing!

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Tori (@eat-tori) February 25, 2011 at 9:39 am

This looks stunning- perfect ladies who lunch fare…. I have a habit of buying hats. I always think I could wear hats. I could be that jaunty lady who wears hats! But really, my face is way too wide, and I just end up looking ridiculous. Maybe I should swap to buying scarves…

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking February 25, 2011 at 9:42 am

Thank you! I hear ya on hats — it would be so fun to be that lady who wears hats! Scarves are fun too, though!

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Kate February 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm

These look absolutely marvelous. By the way, I’m the girl who bought your shoes on ebay, and, if you guessed and said “I bet you didn’t wear them either and you resold them later, using my picture from the original auction” … you’d be correct!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking February 25, 2011 at 10:40 pm

HAHA, I love it, Kate!

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Erin Binford February 25, 2011 at 8:43 pm

This look delicious!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking February 25, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Thanks, Erin!

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Rosemary@Sprigs of Rosemary February 26, 2011 at 9:02 am

I bought a pair of shoes twenty years ago that I’ve never worn, sit in my closet, and I just can’t let go of them! They’re a metallic cream and taupe with 4 inch heels and ankle straps. My husband thinks they’re seductive and calls them CFMs (you figger it out!) so I keep them thinking maybe, just maybe. . . . but there’s no maybes about this tart. It’s a definite. And I’m making it this weekend!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 1, 2011 at 12:21 pm

HA, they sound pretty but dangerous! :) Hope you love the tart!

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Peggy March 1, 2011 at 11:53 am

This tart looks fan-damn-tastic! Definitely decadent and classy!

You’re not the only one that makes rash decisions. About 2 or 3 months ago, I shelled out $20 for these spiky balls that you put in the dryer that claim to make the clothes wrinkle free. Umm, what was I thinking? Yeah… I still have to iron! =)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Thanks, Peggy! I totally bought one of those bra balls for the washer at one point. Yeah, broke the second time I used it! Drat!

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Maranda March 1, 2011 at 4:50 pm

That’s awesome. I may have bought those shoes too. This tart looks exquisite. I love rosemary and goat cheese. Thanks for sharing!

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Lindsay March 3, 2011 at 10:22 pm

I have bought so many things that I NEVER wear. I am a very “simple” dresser. I like quality things, but I am not too dressy when I get dressed in the morning. I usually wear a pair of jeans, and a t-shirt /sweater/long sleeve shirt. I also wear a north face fleece everyday in the winter. When I go shopping I try to find things that will make me look more girly, but I buy dresses and high heals and they sit in my closet for years or until they no longer fit. I recently go rid of a dress that I had sitting in my closet since 5th grade. Woops! It still fit, but it was not very appropriate! :/

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Katherine March 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Mmmm, this looks absolutely fantastic! I’m adding it to next week’s menu. I just bought a metallic pale gold purse– I haven’t decided if it is silly or perfect yet, but I’m hoping it falls into the latter category!

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Aleia March 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I got super-excited seeing this post bc I LOVE goat cheese and ran to the store after picking my kiddo up…. and couldn’t find fig jam ANYWHERE, I tried 3 stores. :( So I ended up using apricot jam and it was pretty terrific. Small towns in NC I’ve discovered don’t want me to have food that is not fried lol.
My buy is a long sleeved completely sheer blouse I thought was amazing….. in store and it’s been hanging in my closet for years waiting on something that will look good UNDER it. It’s never going to happen… Oh well, the buying high lasted for at least three days….

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 10, 2011 at 12:13 pm

My friend couldn’t find fig jam in CO either, so you’re not alone! I’m so glad to hear the apricot was also delicious :D

I have that EXACT same blouse problem! And a skirt I CANNOT find a shirt to go with.

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sheila @ Elements March 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Looks beautiful and sounds divine!!! I would love some this morning for breakfast! :)

I hate shopping for shoes! My feet are so huge, and it’s rare for me to be able to find a pair of shoes that fit well…especially heels! I do have a couple of pairs and wear them occasionally…but not if I have to walk in them. I’ll wear them to the cinema and proceed to take them off once we’re watching the film. Or I’ll wear them to a wedding and walk around in my stocking feet at the party.

The one time I did wear them for any extended period of time was when we went to this party at a bar. I was in so much pain, had blisters all over my toes, and hobbled around for days afterward. *sigh*

Wish they made high heels comfortable like they do Crocs! :)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 23, 2011 at 1:06 pm

I know what you mean! I don’t care what anyone says, I love my Crocs ;) I used to wear high heels to my teaching job every SINGLE day — until I finally realized that I was insane. Ha.

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Pretty. Good. Food. March 28, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Oh. My. Goodness.
Where is the scratch and sniff option for this recipe?!!! :)
This looks and sounds AMAZING!!!

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Karen April 17, 2011 at 7:12 pm

I’ve been keeping this recipe in the back of my mind since you first posted it, and tonight I made it. It was definitely a hit! Thanks for posting it!

Next time, I might try it with apricot jam, instead. Or make two, one of each. :)

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Cindyana Jones May 6, 2011 at 2:56 am

This looks yummy as is, and I’m also wondering how it would taste with pepper jelly or onion jam. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to make this (at least) 3 times. ;)

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Sarah June 3, 2011 at 4:25 am

I just stumbled across your blog – and your recipes look amazing! I was wanting to make something quick but delicious to take to friends this evening and this looks perfect! Can’t wait to try it!
(shoes – *sigh* – So pleased it isn’t just me. If I love them, they are in the sale and regardless of whether or not they are in my size, I buy them. Hoping one day I’ll wear them. I don’t. It’s just a massive shoe closet of guilt!)

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Libby Dy April 6, 2012 at 11:25 am

Ms. Ruble – this sounds absolutely amazing and i CAN’T WAIT to try it – I looks delicious

LD

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking April 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Why thank you, Libby! I hope you enjoy it!

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AliGThang July 15, 2012 at 8:11 pm

I made this in some mini pastry shells and made a simple recipe even simpler. I opted to use creamy spreadable goat cheese from Trader Joe’s so I didn’t have to buy cream. My fig spread also came from TJ’s – the Fig Butter. A dab of fig jam, a dab of goat cheese, shavings of lemon rind and pepper and sprinkle of fresh rosemary leaves and 6 minutes in the oven at 350 and we were done. Literally took 7 minutes from start to finish.

This was a great, easy appetizer that is still refined. The rosemary and lemon rind give a really nice pop to the bite. Could definitely see myself making these at a future party. Awesome!

http://epifurious.tumblr.com/post/18635295774/rosemary-fig-and-goat-cheese-tarts

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