Onion Basil Tartlets
For Green Blog Project Summer 2006

There are certain issues which elude my logic, the immoderate prices of some fresh herbs even in the peak of summer is one among them. I admit that there are herbs with special climatic and other requirements for growth, at the same time paying $ 3 for couple of leaves of fresh mint is exceptionally preposterous! From my limited experience of observing a mint plant weakling rapidly booming into a rain forest, I tend to think that this blessed plant does not demand any sort of special care, or sometimes even water to grow once planted!!
Inspired by Ingi’s call for a greener blog , we tried our hands at container vegetable gardening this summer, and needless to say we started off with planting mint. As you might imagine, we were instantly gratified. So we graduated to basil, then to tomatoes and chilies. At this point, our mint plant (plants!!!) is having a blast growing and growing. Sweet basil was harvested thrice and is still flourishing. Tomatoes are ripening and peppers are maturing. Overall our deck is greener than it used to be, thank you Ingi, you did touch our deck ! I do not seem to count basil leaves to be used for a pesto, or scramble through a pack of mint leaves to top a dessert anymore, these potherbs from our deck have finally set my spirit free.

My first entry for GBP Summer 2006 is an onion-basil tartlet, one of my favorite quick fix appetizers, filled with fresh basil, caramelized onions and mozzarella cheese. Using puff pastry sheet as the base gives it a warm and flaky personality.

Puff Pastry Sheet - 1
Sweet onions (thinly sliced lengthwise) - 3 cups
Minced Garlic - 1/4 tsp
Fresh Basil (chopped) - ½ cup
Grated mozzarella cheese - 1 cup
Butter - 1 tbsp
Salt - 2 pinches

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Melt Butter in a pan; add garlic,onions, pinch of salt and sauté till the onions are brown and translucent. Remove from fire and cool. When the sautéed onions are cold add ½ cup of chopped basil and ¾ cup of mozzarella cheese. Mix gently. Thaw puff pastry sheets, and stretch it a bit by running a rolling pin over it. Cut small squares fitting tartlet molds or muffin tins. Keep the pastry dough square in a tartlet pan, and press on to the sides of the pan. Trim off excess dough. Fill with 1-2 tbsp( depending on the size of the pans) of filling. Bake at 350 degree F for 12-15 minutes. Take out of the oven, and quickly sprinkle the top with the remaining Cheese.


KA said...

Thats a great appetizer Archana! I am a huge fan of basil too..
Same feelings here about the herb prices..unfortunately my basil plants were eaten by some kind of moth day after I transfered them to patio.. :-((

Unknown said...

So Inji made you go green :)

Nice dish. I would love to try it out. Some day.... :)

wheresmymind said...

Spending so much money on fresh herbs has always been confusing to me as I've been learning to cook. They add so much $$ on to the price of cooking a nice meal it's crazy!! lol

RP said...

Tartlets look gorgeous!! Well, it supposed to be...because I am at spicyana!

I wonder about that too, if mint can grow so vigorously like that, how in the world they charge us $2.89 for a bunch!

indosungod said...

Tartlets looks amazing, like RP said ofcourse I am at Spicyana.

If you have way too much mint to use now freeze them, you will appreciate them even more in the winter when they charge you an arm and a leg for a few sprigs of mint.

Nabeela said...

I'm using basil as my GBP entry too :)
The tartlets look great...have you ever tried making puff pastry at home archana, or is it too tedious? If you have a tried and tested recipe, can you share with us please?

Anonymous said...

Mint is something I have no idea on how to grow. Care to share how you grew those. Love those basil plants.

Vineela said...

Hi Archana,
Beautiful tartlets.
nice basil plant .
Oh mint is so costly at your place.
hope to see your mint plants.
Thanks for sharing tartlets.

Rajesh &Shankari said...

beautiful picture of the tartlet. Let me know when you start your own resataurant & I will be there

starry said...

Your Basil plant looks so helathy and green.I love a good pesto.will try this out.

Anonymous said...

another master piece Archana. I donno what to comment here every time because all your posts are unique and the pictures and presentation is superb.

Anonymous said...

woww!! what a photography!!!! it will be a great evening snack!!

Anonymous said...

Nice appetizer Archana,veryt much new to me..will definitely try it out soon..Thanks..And i love ur basil plants..You are a talentede photographer too,huh?That photo is superb...

Menu Today said...

Hi Archana,
Simply Beautiful!!!!Thanx for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Basil,Onion and Mozarella , MMMmm !! Looks delicious Archana.

hErAq said...

Although i am not good in english and it's hard for me to understand the the words in terms of cooking,i still feel the aroma and being eager to eat:p In chinese "馋涎欲滴".I like your blog and thanks for sharing your recipe.

indianadoc said...

Injiyism spreading so green everywhere!! I'm inspired too..but i'm tooooooooooooo lazy to meddle with the mud!!So u too r in the club...what am I waiting for?!!

Unknown said...

Yummilicious. So cheesy weesy

Sudha said...

Archana the Tartlet looks so yummy, so is the herb..that's a nice idea to have mint at home..Yet another master piece..

Tanuja said...

Hi Archana,

They look great thanks for sharing such yummy yummy dishes,I have the problem with herbs they are more expensive some times.

Shah cooks said...

wow, a good recipe for all my extra basil.thanks. no need to say the photo looks awesome.:)

Maddy said...

the first thing u notice is the brilliance in your pictures..
do u grow yr coriander too?

Krithika said...

Tartlets look delicious.

Totally agree with you regarding the price of herbs.

Anonymous said...

Hi Archana,
Beautiful basil plant it has gorgeous colour. Liked the comination basil and onion. Thanks for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

wah....are...wah... this injipennu seems to be a good girl...who can make a little fairy make such dishes! :-)

Mandira said...

Archana - this is a great appetizer. Looks beautiful too. will give it a try soon.

Unknown said...

I totally agree with your angst at unreasonable prices of herbs. I experienced that while I was in the US. It's pretty much the same here in Bombay for exotic herbs. However in supermarkets, we now get about a cup of packed sweet basil leaves for 10 Rs. Coriander, mint etc are still quite reasonable though.

I bought the seeds for sweet basil on my trip to London and am yet to plant them. Your basil plant looks really lovely and the tarts even more so. Wonderful work as usual Archana.

Latha said...

These look delicious Archana! And I have been meaning to post.. your pictures are a class apart! Amazing! Please do give us tips on photography.. especially novices like me :-)
And boy your cakes! They look out of the world! Like in all those cookery books! I hope you cater!

archana said...

K & A
Thank you, I love it too. Our Basil plant didn’t really fare well at the beginning, but then it turned alright.

Thank you for coming, i am glad that you liked it. Please do try it out. Ingi is indeed changing lives !!!

I am always confused about it. May be we are paying for all these fancy packing material they use.

Great, you are really making me blush ! Thank you, I am glad that I found all of you .

Thank you friend. I did freeze some. I dried some too, I may have plenty of basil to last through the winter, and mint for a long time.

Nabeela said...
That’s great ! I made puff pastry once after seeing Jaques Pepins PBS show, it came out amazingly alright. But never did that again, as it is time consuming, not something that you would want to do before preparing appetizers for a party. Then I found this method, which I have used many times, and it is a lot easier. http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jhtml?type=content&id=recipe2329

Thank you, Saffron has already given the perfect tip for growing mint. In my opinion, you need to pay more attention towards checking the growth of the plant. You grow radishes and other higher vegetables in your garden, so this is going to be a breeze for you.

Thank you. My mint plants are frantically trying to reach the next pot !!! I am trying control it.

Thank you. The cheapest price I ever saw for mint was 2.3 $, but haven’t seen that price often.

Thank you dear. I will remember this, so that I will have at least you to visit my restaurant. Thank you.

starry N
Thank you. I love pesto too, that is going to be a part of my grand basil harvesting finale.

Thank you so much Shilpa, oh I hope you comments.

Yes it is, amazingly it goes well with some black tea too.

Thank you dear, you are very kind.

Menu Today, Priya

Thank you so much friends !

Your English is good, I am trying to look up the meaning of the word. Thank you so much and welcome to Spicyana.

Shynee, start, I guess you can start out with methi as Rp suggested. I am going to so that too.

Thank you so much

Thank you dear friend.

Tanuja , Shaheen
Thanks a bunch, I am so happy that you liked it.

Welcome to SPicyana, thank you for your kind words. I never tried growing coriander, I am planning to try it next summer.

Thank you. Yes,crazy !!!!

Thank you dear, your photos are always such an inspiration. Wow, I have the same three herbs too. I have a woody rosemary growing for almost two years now.

Basil and Onions go very well together. Thank you, I am glad that you liked this one.

Inji Pennu said...
There is absolutely no doubt about that. Thank you dear, you stood up for your cause. Amazing!!!

Thank you, hope you likes it.

Thank you so much Nandita, When are you planning to start your basil patch ? That is a fine price for Basil, will they give a big bunch like our usual coriander bunch? Thanks again for your kind words.

Thank you so much for all these kind words. I am glad to help with whatever I know Latha. Just let me know as to how I can be of help.

Anonymous said...

You photos are making me really hungry! This is my first time to your blog and have bookmarked it already. I know what you mean by the prices of herbs. They are really high in Australia too. And I hate using only half the bunch. I think I will give growing them a shoot as well.

Anupama said...

What a scrumptious photo archana. I knew this was a winner even before I read the recipe

Anupama said...

archana, it me again, I went thru your blog and i was zapped by the photos. Infact I was so zapped that i just kept scrolling down and could not even stop to read the write-ups

Meena Kandlakuti said...

Hi Archana,
a beautiful photograph,instead i should say your a good photograph, which is also an great art.Iam sure the the taste of this recipe will be equally good.Thanks for sharing.

Nabeela said...

Oh Archana, why is it that whenever I ask for a recipe, I find it in my very own cookbook collection and then feel foolish for asking you guys in the first place(remember the ladyfingers? I have a recipe for them now). I found a very good recipe for puff pasty in Good Baking cookbook (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1588165930)
I'm planing to make palmiers with them one day...maybe sometimes next week. Thanks for giving me the link anyways :)

Meena Kandlakuti said...

thank you archana for your compliment on sabuddana upma.I thought of sending it, but i was little late in entering this, since i did not had camera that time.anyways i will try to participate in future events organized by all of you.

Anonymous said...

Simply gorgeous, Archana! My mouth is watering...

Neelu said...

Hi Archana
Thanks for pinging me :) I am ust not finding time to open up my blog these days ! Will try to post somehting soon. Missu guys !

Priya said...

Wow an another awesome recipe from you. I love it.
I just wanna know if you can add nutrition and calories for the recipes you post.
Hey, I am not very conscious. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious! And the pics make you want to get up and make 'em right away. Sorry, no puff pastry - have to make from scratch. Did you gorge on them all by yourself? I think that restaurant idea is good...

Gattina Cheung said...

Oh I love your picture!!! The lighting is so soft and the tarlet is scrumptous! You made the point, the prices of the herbs are ridiculous.

Revathi said...


Orchidea said...

That basil looks s gorgeous! I like your recipe...

Anonymous said...

thanks for this recipe, i will definitely try this out. i got a great herb plants collection, esp. basil. thanks again.


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