Tag Archives: Tomato

Rustic Chicken and Pesto Tarts

Drop whatever it is you are doing and make. this. now. Trust me on this. You won’t be disappointed.

Rustic Chicken and Pesto Tarts
Granted, it doesn’t take much to impress me in the kitchen. If it’s easy, tastes good and looks good it’s pretty much a win. But this really is one of my most favorite recipes I’ve shared here so far. I know, I know…it’s all wheaty and gluteny and what not. But I’m kind of in the mindset lately that if I’m going to eat bready type stuff as an occasional treat, I may as well make it worth it. No fast food sandwiches or junky, doughy pizzas. But a scrumptious, homemade tart made with flaky, buttery puff pastry? YES PUHLEEZ! Totally worth it.

If you are like me, you will be eating these Chicken and Pesto Tarts as a meal. One will should serve two people. Alternatively, these would also be so nice cut up in smaller pieces and served as an appetizer. If you do decide to do this, be sure you make two or three. Your guests will definitely want more. 🙂

Roasted Garlic
Being the non food snob that I am, I also want you to know that I totally used store bought pastry and pesto for this. Mainly for convenience laziness reasons. Someday I may venture into the pesto and pastry making world but today is not that day. I’ve got kids home all day on summer break and I’m lucky if I get to use the bathroom alone. So for this I used Classico Pesto and the President’s Choice Puff Pastry found in the frozen food isle of my Loblaws store. Their puff pastry is actually perfect for this because it comes with two in the box. Making both of these will feed my family of four and often there is a bit left over too!

Chicken Pesto Tarts Recipe

Rustic Chicken and Pesto Tarts

– 2 small chicken breasts, grilled
– 4 big tbsp pesto (or more if you like)
– 2 pre-rolled sheets of butter puff pastry (I use these)
– 1 bulb of roasted garlic (or minced garlic if you don’t have time to roast some!)
– 1 medium ripe tomato
– 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
– 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
– Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2. Using thawed Puff Pastry, unroll onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Using a fork, stab pastry evenly all over to prevent too much puff while cooking.

3. Spread two heaping tablespoons of pesto on each pastry and spread it around over the surface of each. (If you love it as much as I do, feel free to use a bit more pesto!) Once pesto is evenly distributed, spread roasted or minced garlic over that. Then the shredded mozza and grilled chicken. Slice tomato thinly and place slices over top. Sprinkle with Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes or until edges are golden roasted and cheese is bubbly. At the halfway point you may want to rotate these on the oven racks. If your oven cooks as unevenly as mine, that is!

Rustic Chicken Tarts Recipe

Sexy Fresh Salsa with Blackened Corn

I’m hesitant to just come right out and call this a food blog, but in essence, I guess that’s primarily what this is. The thing is, I love food. I love eating. I love, love, love photographing food. But I am NOT a food snob. My least favorite food related activity is the actual preparation of it. I’m a photographer at heart. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to shop for or cook any of it. Just have some hot man servants bring it to me, I’d style it, photograph it, and eat it of course 😉

corn skillet - Food Ottawa 

The reason for this attitude is primarily because of my lifestyle. I’m a wife, mom to two crazy humans, two pugs and a business owner. The logistics of my life are such that I cannot, even if I want to, spend hours preparing food most days of the week. If I’m being super honest, I sometimes struggle to find the energy to even turn the handle on the can opener on a can of Zoodles. I wish that was a lie.

But I oh how I love food photography. I love food styling. I would love to do this kind of work all day, every day. So in part I hope this blog will keep me accountable to continue to dedicate what time and energy I have to preparing fresh, healthy but easy food for my family. It will also encourage me to push my creativity and take the time to think of new ways to style it and photograph it more regularly. The ultimate goal for me would be to some day photograph a cook book. (OMG Did I say that out loud?!). But enough about that…

One of the things I’m loving right now is fresh salsa. Most people would group it in as a condiment but I feel like it doesn’t get enough credit. It’s one of the few dishes one can make that combines a variety of delicious fresh fruits and veggies into this mish mash of healthy, beautiful, colourful yumminess. It’s so forgiving too. Don’t have an ingredient? No problem! Just use what you have. There is really no wrong way to make a fresh salsa. And I like that.

Here’s the recipe for the one I’ve been making. You could make more or less but I find that this makes a great amount for a family meal (and then some) if you like to add it in with tacos, fajitas and like to eat with tortilla chips. For a large crowd, double this and serve it within a few hours of making it for optimal flavor mingling and visual appeal.

Sexx Fresh Salsa
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced.
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1/2 large avocado diced
  • 2 large, ripe hot house tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 or 1 whole mango, diced
  • 1 cob of fresh sweet corn (or 1 can of sweet corn) 
  • Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Juice and pulp of one lime
  • Sea salt to taste

Step 1: Place all chopped ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Add lime juice and sea salt to taste. Place in fridge to let flavors begin mingling.

Step 2: Spray cast iron skillet lightly with olive oil and heat on stove on high heat for about 2-3 minutes until it’s nice and hot. Place corn into skillet, spread out evenly and allow to stand untouched for about 1 minute. Begin turning and stirring the corn, watching carefully as it begins to caramelize. Cook, stirring frequently for approximately 7-8 minutes or until it reaches a golden brown colour with bits of black. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before adding it into your salsa. Mix well and serve with your favorite mexican dish or on it’s own with tortilla chips!

Fresh Salsa - Ottawa Food Photographer
Fresh Salsa - Food Photography