Mini Grana Padano Cheese Tarts with Olives & Sun Dried Tomatoes – These delicious little tarts are made with Grana Padano cheese pastry and a savoury filling of sun-dried tomatoes and olives.
Perfect for the FESTIVE season!
These delicious little tarts are made with Grana Padano cheese pastry and a savoury filling of sun-dried tomatoes and olives. Perfect for any celebratory buffet table or as an aperitivo snack, these tarts are easy to make and the Grana Padano cheese pastry and filling adds a complex, salty taste that enhances the sun-dried tomatoes and olives. Garnish with baby basil leaves to serve, for an extra layer of flavour and colour. The pastry can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge, for up to 3 or 4 days, and then it’s just a simple task to take it out, roll it out and make the tarts. Once the tarts have been baked, you can either freeze them, or pop them in a covered tin, in a cool place for up to 2 days, so they are great as a “make ahead” party food idea.
The filling is light and fluffy, and is packed with flavour….I used pimento stuffed green olives when I made these last time, but you can use plain olives too of course. You can then serve these Mini Grana Padano Cheese Tarts with Olives & Sun Dried Tomatoes with extra olives on the side, which makes for a delightful cocktail party “nibbles” idea. Other serving ideas are for the office lunch box, or even the school lunch box (it’s a great way to introduce younger children to olives), picnics, car journeys, a light lunch when served with fresh salad, or as part of a celebratory buffet party table.
And now to the hero ingredient, Grana Padano Cheese – Each wheel of Grana Padano cheese is aged for a minimum of 9 months and is after being inspected by a third party, the Consorzio, if it is of the right quality, it receives the fire-branded mark to certify that it is perfect Grana Padano cheese. It is made exclusively from raw Italian milk in the productions area of the Po River Valley (Pianura Padana) within the regions of Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, some areas of Trento and the province of Piacenza in Emilia Romagna. I use Grana Padano in all my cooking and baking, and I love its salty taste and grainy texture, plus, it melts like a dream for that Italian style “cheese on toast” supper dish!
My latest recipe for Mini Grana Padano Cheese Tarts with Olives & Sun Dried Tomatoes is shared below, on a printable recipe card. If you make these, please do let me know, and for all you Grana Padano lovers out there like me, I have shared some more recipes using this delectable cheese below, along with a fascinating Fact File. Just a note for all of the lactose intolerant cooks out there, Grana Padano is also naturally free of lactose, due to the characteristics of its production and ageing process. The galactose content is less than 10 mg per 100g, which means those people with lactose intolerance can enjoy eating Grana Padano cheese, and this recipe too. Enjoy these tarts if you make them, Karen
*Paid collaborative post – all opinions are my own*
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GRANA PADANO PDO FACT FILE:
The Protected Designation of Origin of GRANA PADANO defines the production area, method and characteristics of a cheese produced all year round from raw cow’s milk, partially skimmed by allowing the cream to rise naturally. The consistency is hard, the cheese matures slowly and can be used as part of a cheese board or as a grating cheese.
Grana Padano possesses unique nutritional features such as quality proteins, vitamins and mineral salts, especially calcium. It is an excellent natural, healthy and easy digestible food for children, teenagers, pregnant women, sports people and the elderly. Due to its production characteristics and long ageing, it is lactose-free making it ideal for people intolerant to this sugar. (It contains less than 10 mg/100 g of galactose)
– It takes 15 litres of naturally partially-skimmed milk to produce 1 kg of Grana Padano PDO
– 30g of Grana Padano PDO contain the same nutritional value to approximately half a litre of milk (1 pint of milk)
– 50g of Grana Padano PDO provides 600mg of Calcium – 60% of the daily requirement for adults, 50 % of an adolescent’s requirement. (1 and ½ pints of milk)
– Grana Padano is lactose free due to the characteristics of its production and ageing process. It contains a Galactose content of less than 10mg per 100g.
– Grana Padano also contains important proteins, iron, vitamins and minerals
When ready for sale, the cheese has the following characteristics:
– shape: cylindrical, wheel shaped, circumference rind slightly convex or almost straight, flat bases slightly rimmed;
– diameter of wheel: 35-45 cm;
– height of rind: 18-25 cm;
– weight: 24- 40 kg;
– rind: hard and smooth, 4-8 mm thick;
– texture: hard, with a finely grained structure, radial fracture into flakes, eyes hardly visible;
– fat content of dry substance: minimum 32%;
– rind colour: dark or natural golden yellow;
– colour: white or straw-yellow;
– aroma: fragrant; – flavour: delicate.
Apart from the typical characteristics of GRANA PADANO (PDO), the grated variety must have the following characteristics: – moisture: not less than 25% and not higher than 35%; – appearance: not powdery, even, particles with a diameter of less than 0.5 mm not more than 25%; – quantity of rind: not higher than 18%.