Tasia Malakasis, owner of local fromagerie Belle Chevre, is a dear friend of Alabama Chanin. She, like so many Southern women, has never met a stranger and can spend an afternoon discussing recipes, bourbon, and the weather, with genuine ease and enthusiasm. Her big heart and zeal for life are not easily contained and show through in so many recipes in her new cookbook, Tasia’s Table.
Belle Chèvre goat cheese is a staple at the Alabama Chanin studio. The delicious cheese rounds and spreads show up at workshops, special events, and even our weekday lunches. With a forward penned by Natalie, and a wealth of beautiful photography by Stephanie Schamban, we’re more than a little excited to add Tasia’s Table to our library.
There are so many dishes to try, but we started with the tart below. Delicious.
TASIA’S TAPENADE -WALNUT TART WITH GOAT CHEESE
6 ounces Belle Chevre goat cheese
1 roll of store-bought puff pastry
4 tablespoons prepared olive tapenade
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
½ cup walnuts, crushed and toasted
Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle about 8 x 12 inches.
Roll up the sides slightly and prick the bottom with a fork.
Cook for 10 minutes at 400 degrees on a nonstick baking sheet.
Remove from oven and cool.
Spread the tapenade on the cooked pastry.
Sprinkle with thyme and walnuts, and cover evenly with goat cheese.
Bake for 15–20 minutes at 400 degrees, until the cheese has melted and started to brown on top.
When shopping for our ingredients, we found that our local gourmet grocery store had run out of one of our favorite olive tapenades (Radici of Tuscany), so we turned to this simple recipe from allrecipies.com:
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the garlic cloves into a blender or food processor, pulse to mince. Add the olives, capers, parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil. Blend until everything is finely chopped. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Tasia’s recipe is so simple that, in less than an hour, you will be serving the most delicious tart. The warm goat cheese, toasted walnuts, salty olives, and buttery pastry crust are a great combination. Tasia mentions that the dish is perfect for parties and we couldn’t agree more.
A word of warning to perfectionists: it is almost impossible to spread the goat cheese evenly without uprooting the ingredients from the bottom layer. But never fear; the cheese will melt and brown slightly during cooking, making for a beautiful presentation in the end.
From the intro:
Tasia and I have grown our friendship across a few recipes and a couple of Alabama counties. I am proud to call her friend, supporter, colleague, and daily source of inspiration. Truly incredible things tend to come from those who are brave enough to follow their passions. As we say in the South, “Dig in.”