Tomato and Goat Cheese Tartlets

Looking for the perfect dish for your next party?  Well, look no further.  These addictive appetizers, made with tomatoes, goat cheese, and basil, are a guaranteed crowd pleaser!  Whenever I make these, they might last for 15 minutes… maybe… if people take a while to notice them or it’s a small party.  They’re incredibly delectable with their flaky, rich puff pastry crust and their savory, flavorful filling.  Yum!  Just writing about them makes me want to make another batch…

Tartlets

I developed this recipe after watching a dinner party show on Food Network.  It was unusual for me to be watching that show as I generally don’t watch the cooking shows on Food Network but the competition shows (Iron Chef, Chopped, etc.).  But that day, several years ago, I turned Food Network on and left it there while a chef helped a someone prepare for a dinner party at her house.  One of the things they made were these little tomato tarts which looked very tasty, so I took notes.

The next party I went to, I took the opportunity to try out the recipe.  Of course, it wasn’t as easy as the chef made them look, but after several iterations and adaptations I had a scrumptious, easy recipe that I could turn to again and again.  I don’t think the show is still airing, and, honestly, I can’t remember what it was called, but I have to thank them for inspiring this delicious dish.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tartlets

Prep Time: 20-25 minutes

Cook Time: 25-30 minutes

Serves: ~30 tartlets

Ingredients

2 Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed
1 tbsp. Butter
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
3 canned San Marzano Tomatoes
6-8 Basil Leaves
1 Egg
1/3 c. Cream
1 tsp. Salt
3-4 oz. Goat Cheese

1.  Heat the butter and oil in a skillet over medium heat.  While it’s heating, dice your tomatoes.  Once the butter has melted and the mixture is hot, add the tomatoes to the skillet.

2.  Reduce the heat to medium low and cook the tomatoes for 5 minutes.  While the tomatoes are cooking, julienne your basil and whisk together the egg, cream, and salt.

3.  Once the tomatoes are done, remove them from the heat and stir in the basil.

Tomatoes and Basil

4.  Flour a cutting board or your work surface and lightly roll out your puff pastry sheets.  You’re not really trying to thin the dough but smooth it out after its been folded.  Cut 2.5″ rounds of pastry using a cookie or biscuit cutter.  I generally get 15-16 rounds per pastry sheet.

Note: I like to thaw my pastry by moving it from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before.  It seems more difficult to work with when it’s thawed on the counter.  Also, you want to keep your pastry cold so I keep the second sheet in the fridge while I work with the first.

5.  Place the pastry rounds in a mini-muffin pan.

Tip: If the pastry’s a little stiff, I use my thumb and index finger to bend the edge of the pastry towards the center then rotate it slightly and repeat until I’ve worked all the way around the edge of the circle.  This makes the pastry more flexible and it should be easier to put in the pan.

Mini Muffin Pan

6.  Add the contents of the skillet (they should be cooled so you don’t cook your egg!) to the cream mixture and stir together.

7.  Spoon the filling mixture into the puff pastry cups.  I try to get a couple pieces of tomato and at least a couple strips of basil into each tart.  Then crumble a little goat cheese onto the top of each tartlet.

Top with Goat Cheese

8.  Bake at 375°F for 25-30 minutes until the tops are lightly golden.

Cooked Tartlets

9.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.  I like to serve them while they’re warm, but the tarts are still delicious at room temperature!

Serve Tartlets

Now, prepare to receive a million compliments from everyone that tastes one of these treats!  Make sure you grab one for yourself when you set them down or you may not get to try your own dish.  I am being 100% serious… these things will disappear!

Make-ahead tip:  You can make these tarts earlier in the day and reheat them in a warm oven before serving.  Or, if you want them a little fresher, you can complete steps 1-6 early, storing the pastry (already in the pans) and the filling in the fridge, then fill the pastries and bake right before serving (Steps 7-8).

Looking for other delicious party appetizers?  Try our Sausage Balls, Smoked Salmon Puffs, or Southwestern Bean Dip**FIX**!

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