Carciofi alla Romana Tart

Time1 hour 15 minutes
YieldsServes 8 to 12
Inspired by the classic Roman dish, artichokes are mixed with fresh herbs then baked on puff pastry until golden brown.
(Ben Mims / Los Angeles Times)
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The flavors of Roman-style stuffed artichokes come together in this elegant tart perfect for slicing warm and serving with cocktails. The artichokes are used two ways: the bottoms as a puree for the filling and the petal clusters arranged over the top for a beautiful presentation. Though the filling is intentionally dairy-free since the puff pastry provides plenty of richness, if you want to add cheese you can scatter 2 ounces of crumbly feta or goat cheese or thin slices of mozzarella on top before baking.


Rinse the canned artichoke hearts in cold running water then drain. Arrange the hearts, petal side down, on a double thick layer of paper towels and let drain for 20 minutes.


Meanwhile, place the sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface and use a rolling pin to smooth it into a 15-by-12-inch rectangle. Transfer the rectangle to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Using a paring knife, lightly score a 1/2-inch border on each side of the pastry. Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.


Combine the parsley and mint in a medium bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons of the combined herbs and place in a small bowl; reserve in the refrigerator until ready to use. Using a microplane grater, finely grate the garlic cloves into the bowl of herbs. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil, the wine and kosher salt.


After the artichokes have drained well, one by one, tip the hearts over onto their sides and cut at the indentation where the petals meet the bottom of the heart to separate them (it should be roughly at the halfway point of their length). As you cut off the bottom, transfer them (you should have about 10 ounces) to a food processor or blender and flip the petal clusters right side up once more to continue draining. Repeat with all the artichoke hearts.


Add the egg to the artichoke bottoms and process until mostly smooth. Scrape the artichoke puree into the bowl of herbs and stir to combine. Season with pepper.


Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the pastry sheet from the fridge and scrape the artichoke puree in the center. Using an offset spatula or dinner knife, spread the puree evenly over the pastry, staying within the score lines. Make sure the puree is an even thickness and not domed in the center.


Using the palm of your hand, flatten each artichoke petal cluster into a 1/2-inch-thick disk (the clusters should not fall apart) then transfer each disk to pastry, arranging them evenly over the puree. Drizzle the clusters and puree with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season liberally with cracked black pepper.


Bake, rotating the pan halfway through cooking, until the edges are golden brown and puffed and the artichokes are lightly browned at the edges of their petals, about 30 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack.


Immediately zest the lemon evenly over the top of the tart and sprinkle with the reserved chopped herbs. Serve warm or at room temperature.