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Fontina, Fennel, and Sun-dried Tomato Tartlets
Recipe by Jessica Bard       Makes 30 mini tartlets

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely diced fennel, plus 2 tablespoons pinched or minced fronds, reserved
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 packages (15 each) mini phyllo shells (Athens Brand is great!)
1/2 cup shredded Fontina cheese
2 eggs
4 tablespoons heavy cream, or half and half
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the fennel and sauté until it is
softened and starting to turn translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat
and stir in the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Let the mixture cool while you make the custard filling.

In a 4 cup measuring cup, whisk together the eggs and cream (or half and half). Add
a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Pour into a squeeze bottle.

Place the mini phyllo cups on a sheet pan. Divide the shredded cheese equally in the
Place some shredded cheese in the bottom of each tartlet shell, as evenly distributed
as you can. Then place a scant teaspoon of the fennel mixture into each tartlet over
the cheese.  Use the squeeze bottle to carefully add as much custard mixture as will fit
in each shell (You should be able to use up the custard)  

Bake until puffed and just firm and starting to turn golden, 12 to15 minutes. Garnish
each tartlet with the reserved fennel fronds.
These quiche-like tartlets are very simple to make if you
freezer at all times!). You can fill them with just about
anything and eat them as is or serve them as warm hors d’
oeuvres baked with a veggie-cheese-custard filling.  
Follow this recipe or substitute any other vegetable filling
(you’ll need about 3/4 cup) and/or any other cheese
(about 1/2 cup). A tip from my catering days is to put the
custard (egg-milk mixture) into a squeeze bottle.  The
narrow spout gives you enough control to fill these little
puppies neatly.  Another great thing about these phyllo
tartlets is that they reheat nicely in a hot oven. Enjoy!