I was invited to a little party yesterday and I wanted to bring an appetizer. I was unsure what to make so I started to look through my cooking magazines. Luckily the December copy of food and wine was delivered. In there they had quick and easy hors d’oeuvres. They had these quick and easy tomato tartlets that made 60 portions. Score.

Tomato Tartlet
Tomato Tartlet

The tartlets are bite-size and simple to make.

Tomato Tartlets – (adapted from the December Issue of Food and Wine)

  • Puff Pastry – 1 sheet
  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes – I used a collection of heirloom cherry/grape  tomatoes.
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 16 oz fresh ricotta
  • All-purpose flour for rolling

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Arrange the racks so that one is in the middle of the oven and the other is in the upper third of the oven.

Thaw the puff pastry for 20 minutes.  I find that if you open it up the air flows through it and helps it thaw faster.

Opening up the puff pastry allows it to thaw faster
Opening up the puff pastry allows it to thaw faster

Next throw down a little flour onto a working surface and then roll the puff pastry out to the size of your cookie sheet.  Transfer the pastry to a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Roll it out to the size of your cookie sheet, do the best you can, puff pastry does not always cooperate.
Roll it out to the size of your cookie sheet, do the best you can, puff pastry does not always cooperate.

Next poke hole all over the pastry.  You want the steam to escape without actually puffing the pastry.  I know, it is a little weird using puff pastry and preventing it from puffing.  But, the buttery texture of the pastry makes for a perfect base for this appetizer.

I went a little overkill with poking the pastry.
I went a little overkill with poking the pastry.

Next place another sheet of parchment over the top of the pastry.  Then place another sheet pan over the top of it.  This will further help to prevent the pastry from rising.  Secondly, it will make sure that the pastry is the same thickness all the way through.  Makes for good presentation.

Sandwich the pastry between two sheet pans.
Sandwich the pastry between two sheet pans.

Place the pastry on the middle rack in the preheated oven and cook for 25 minutes.  Remove the sheet pan, if the pastry is not browned place the pastry back in the oven without the top sheet pan and bake until browned.  Mine was perfect after 25 minutes, but ovens vary.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Slightly browned and ready for some cheese
Slightly browned and ready for some cheese

Next wash the tomatoes and cut them in half crosswise.

Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise
Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise

Place the tomatoes into a large bowl and add olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper.  Toss until well coated. Place the tomatoes onto a sheet pan, cut side up, and bake on the upper rack for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool.

The tomatoes will be softened so let them cool on the sheetpan before using.
The tomatoes will be softened so let them cool on the sheetpan before using.

In a large bowl whip the ricotta cheese with a mixer until light and fluffy.  Alternatively, you can use a food processor to puree the mixture.

Mix until whipped.
Mix until whipped.

Spread the cheese over the top of the cooled pastry and then season with salt and pepper.  Next arrange the tomatoes on the cheese, cut side up.  Try to keep nice rows and columns.  This will make it easier to cut.  Using a sharp knife, slice the pastry into squares.  Making sure to have one tomato on each square.   Time to eat.

Cut into squares.  The heirloom cherry tomatoes made the tartlets colorful and super tasty.
Cut into squares. The heirloom cherry tomatoes made the tartlets colorful and super tasty.

Overall, you will have to taste a couple to get the seasoning right.  You may need to add a little salt over all of them at the end to make sure that the tomato flavor pops and does not get lost in the flavor of the ricotta.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

2 Comments

  1. I bet some basil and/or garlic would be a great addition. Sounds yummy!

    • Aunt Heidi – I think a fresh basil leaf would be great under the tomatoes. Plus adding a little garlic to the tomatoes during roasting would be great too. Excellent suggestion. I will have to try that out next time that I make it.

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