a quick and french lunch for my girlfriends

by Sharon Santoni
In my experience some of the most memorable lunches and parties, are those that  happen spontaneously.


But of course, spontaneous and last-minute is no good if you have nothing in the fridge!  I find I have my favourite turn-to ingredients, that I know I can rely on and that will adapt to many different recipes.  A pack of puff or flaky pastry is just such a thing.


With a pack of puff pastry, I can improvise a wafer thin French apple tart for dessert;  mini cheese straws for an appetizer with a glass of wine or this savoury tart for a first course or for a lunch with girlfriends.




To make this very simple but totally delicious tart, I pre-heat the oven to 180°C,  then roll out my pastry fairly thinly and pop it on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.  I like to pre-bake the pastry for a few minutes to ensure a crisp base.


While the pastry is in the oven, I whiz in my mixer, a few fresh basil leaves, a few leaves of roquette salad, some grated parmesan cheese, a  little fresh garlic and some pine nuts, along with some olive oil.  I aim to obtain an almost liquid paste.


Once the pastry round is just turning golden, I take it out of the oven, and at this point I turn up the oven to 210 C.   Next, I smear the pastry all over with my pesto mix, then add a thin layer of tomato slices.   Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a little more parmesan; I pour a tiny bit of olive oil over the tomatoes, then pop back into the oven for 20 minutes.


You can serve with a side salad, but I think it looks prettiest with some roquette leaves strewn over the tart.
A girls’ lunch.  Quick, easy to put together and totally yummy!




Julie S March 18, 2013 - 1:46 pm

That sounds delicious and so simple – I think I'll make it for supper tonight. Unfortunately I don't have any Parmesan in, so might try with Cheddar instead?

Karen (Back Road Journal) March 18, 2013 - 1:49 pm

Simple dishes are sometimes the most satisfying as they let the ingredients shine. I know that your friends enjoyed the dish.

French Girl in Seattle March 18, 2013 - 2:38 pm

Bonjour Sharon. I used to make the same tart (almost) for my girlfriends when I lived in Paris. One variation: I would spread some Dijon mustard on the bottom of the crust… You're right: quick, simple and delicious. Too bad I have to pay a small fortune here for [French] pre-packaged puff pastry… Bonne semaine en Normandie. J'espère que la neige a disparu, ou presque… Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Myplace4tea March 18, 2013 - 2:57 pm

Sounds so yummy! These are ingredients I have in my fridge most of the time. Phyllo dough and puff pastry are great for quick appetizers. I will make this for sure. Thank you for sharing.

Wishing you a great week ahead.

Wild Oak Designs March 18, 2013 - 3:20 pm

What a great idea! simple and lovely.
thanks for the ideas….

Sophia Home March 18, 2013 - 3:21 pm

Looks simple and yummy…..what could be better?!

Have a lovely week.


Lorrie March 18, 2013 - 4:02 pm

Elegant, simple, lovely. I've made a similar tarte without the pesto-like bottom layer, but I'm going to try your idea next time.

The enchanted home March 18, 2013 - 4:53 pm

Yum Sharon!! I am craving that now but feel it wouldn't work so well into my diet! I love tomatoes and love puff pastry…the combination is sinfully good.

Ms Lemon of Make Mine Lemon March 18, 2013 - 5:39 pm

I am always on unending search for a go-to lunch for when friends stop by. This is such a great idea.

Noelle the dreamer March 18, 2013 - 7:17 pm

No pine nuts at this time on the shelves but I am suddenly having a craving for a pizza!
Have a lovely day!

French Heart March 18, 2013 - 7:18 pm

That's my idea of perfection…a fave combination and beautiful too. Also a great reminder re pre-cooking the pastry a bit to crisp it up. Lovely! Thank you!

Betsy March 18, 2013 - 7:29 pm

I will try this, looks so good!

Delaine March 18, 2013 - 9:00 pm

Always love it when you cook for "us"! 😀

Elizabeth Eiffel March 18, 2013 - 9:13 pm

This is a "must try" – tasty and easy to cook. Thank you.

stadtgarten March 18, 2013 - 9:44 pm

That sounds absolutely yummy!

Kim March 19, 2013 - 1:03 am

I'd really like to sit in your garden and enjoy this!! But I will give it a try at home … sounds fresh and delicious! xo

PamLuvsPink March 19, 2013 - 5:51 am

Hi Sharon:

This looks very tasty!!

I find that when thing happen like this with your girlfriends, it works out better than if you had planned a luncheon and the food seems better on those days too. The conversation and the laughter makes it a day to remember.


Diane March 19, 2013 - 6:57 am

Sounds to me like your mood has lifted as the snow melts and Spring is slowly emerging!
Loved your items from the Brocante Tour…..the photos brought back special memories of a trip to Paris with a best girl friend many years ago. The Paris Flea Markets were one of our favorite adventures! You have an excellent eye for "finds" and photography. Keep up the good work…..I look forward to reading you daily!

zanetastyle March 19, 2013 - 7:10 pm

salivating, saved in my Paprika recipe book, will be trying it for sure!
xo Z

Alison @ BaysideVintage March 20, 2013 - 10:36 am

Yum, great idea, thank you for sharing! Alison

Karen (Back Road Journal) March 20, 2013 - 4:51 pm

If I had all the money in the world, I would love to buy it and turn it into a lovely bed and breakfast. Since I do not, I hope that someone falls in love with it and gives it the care that it richly deserves.

Richard Bauer April 25, 2013 - 4:31 pm

this sounds great!
a couple suggestions to make it a bit more "hearty"…you could add anchovies or pre-cooked lardons (diced, thick-cut bacon) or olives…
thanks for sharing!


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