With the holidays approaching, our friend Hanan from @Ohmygoodiescc shares her newest quick and easy snacking option that is just bursting with flavor! The recipe for Pepper and Halloumi Tarts is a perfect Mediterranean-inspired appetizer with an extra buttery and flaky twist. This appetizer is an ideal addition to grazing boards that are piled high with fresh greenhouse grown vegetables!
With the holidays around the corner, I’m always looking for easy snacking options that I’m able to put together quickly but that are still healthy and flavorful. I tend to always find some way to work in those strong Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors that I grew up with. They’re just so versatile and can really work with so many dishes. Growing up, Sunday mornings at our house were always centered around cheese pies, zaatar pies, and tomato pies which are mixed with onions and so many different spices. I took a little bit of all of that and put a fun little twist on it in these Pepper and Halloumi Tarts. I think I’ve found my new favorite holiday appetizer!
For the tarts, I used Pure Flavor® Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers. These mini peppers have the perfect combination of sweetness and crunch. Plus all of those vibrant colors just pop! The red, orange and yellow peppers are a perfect way to bring some brightness to any snacking board. Plus, as an added bonus, they’re loaded with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin B6 – what’s not to love? Not to mention their sweetness balances the saltiness of the halloumi so well.
PREP IS KEY –
I started by dicing the peppers and halloumi cheese, ensuring they were around the same size. I opted for a black olive tapenade for convenience and additional flavor but chopping up black olives is also a great option if you prefer. Kalamata olives are a great choice if you are going that route. Sumac is something I will use whenever the opportunity arises. It’s one of my favorite spices, so incorporating it into this recipe was a no-brainer! It provides both a fresh tartness and a mild sweetness. However, as much as I love za’atar, I thought that it may overpower the tarts in this recipe, so I substituted dried thyme. It still has a za’atar flavor, but it’s more subtle and yet still warm. I mixed everything together with the oil and vinegar and set it aside for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse together.
HOW TO CREATE YOUR TARTS –
Now comes the twist! Instead of the traditional pie dough, I used puff pastry for these tarts. I really adore all of those buttery and flaky layers. I used two sheets and cut each one into 15 rectangles with a pizza cutter. I wanted to ensure that all the toppings stayed on top of the tart and did not fall off as it puffed up in the oven.
Gently scoring the top of the puff pastry is extremely beneficial as it forms a small pocket for the filling to sit in while baking. Any shape will do as long as it is smaller than the size of your tart. Fill the center with the filling, bake, and enjoy!
CREATE A DELICIOUS SPREAD –
Each tart measures about 2″ x 3″, as I was looking for these to be slightly bigger than bite-size so I could also enjoy them in the morning or as part of a brunch spread. The savory and sweet flavors of the Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers are the perfect balance to the halloumi cheese.
This appetizer is ideal for any occasion and can be assembled on a board with your favorite greenhouse grown cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers. A side of olives and plain yogurt for dipping is also recommended. It’s always a good idea to serve some tasty appetizers with fresh fruits and vegetables. They add a lot of vibrant colors, and it’s a great palate cleanser. Not to mention high in vitamins and minerals to promote a healthy lifestyle! The only limit is your imagination!
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