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- 1 17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
- 1/2 cup (about) green- or black-olive tapenade*
- 5 to 6 ripe medium tomatoes, preferably assorted colors, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- Fleur de sel or coarse kosher salt
- 18 small fresh basil leaves
- 6 green or black olives, pitted, sliced
Position racks in top third and bottom third of oven. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 pastry sheet at a time, roll out on floured surface to 13-inch square. Using 6-inch-diameter plate, cut out 4 rounds from 1 sheet and 2 rounds from second sheet (reserve remaining pastry for another use). Transfer 3 rounds to each baking sheet. Pierce each round with fork. Top rounds with another sheet of parchment. Place another baking sheet atop parchment on each sheet.
Place 1 baking sheet stack on each rack in oven and bake 10 minutes. Rotate baking sheets and bake until rounds are golden, about 10 minutes longer. Using oven mitts, carefully remove top baking sheets and top sheets of parchment. Continue baking pastries until deep golden, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer sheets to rack to cool. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
Increase oven temperature to 450°F. Spread generous tablespoon tapenade over each pastry round, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges. Alternate 4 tomato slices with 4 mozzarella slices atop each pastry in pinwheel pattern. Bake just until cheese begins to melt, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Arrange a few basil leaves and olive slices atop each tartlet and serve immediately.
*A thick paste or spread made from brine-cured olives, capers, anchovies, and various seasonings; available at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Italian markets.
Eggplant “Tartine” + Tomato-Cheese Tartlets
Instead of sharing this week’s recipe (which I haven’t made yet because of all those peaches), I am writing about last week’s recipe and one from August that I am finally catching up on.
First, let’s talk about Eggplant “Tartine” with Tomatoes, Olives, and Cucumbers. The word tartine is in quotes because eggplant is standing in for the traditional bread of an open-faced sandwich. To serve, roasted slices of eggplant are topped with a variety of veggies that have been tossed with a simple vinaigrette. Dorie recommends garnishing with very thin slices of cucumber, but I embraced the cucumber (because I had some fresh from the garden) and served nice, thick slices.
Overall, we liked this. I enjoyed the blending of flavors and textures very much. My husband liked certain bites better than others. For example, he didn’t think the olives went well with the diced celery and onion, but he did like the olives with the tomato and eggplant.
This is meant to be served as a starter, but I served larger portions to turn it into our main dish. While I enjoyed the “tartine”, I do think it would be better served in smaller portions as a starter. I kind of got tired of the flavors before I was finished.
Next, let’s talk about the Tomato-Cheese Tartlets. I waited to make these until our garden tomatoes were ripe. It was Worth. The. Wait. These little tarts were fabulous!
These are very easy to make. Puff pastry dough is cut into rounds and baked under a baking sheet to keep them flat. Spread with either olive tapenade or pesto, then top with slices of tomato and fresh mozzarella. I chose to warm mine in the oven for a few minutes, and then they were seasoned with salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil and Trader Joe’s Balsamic Glaze. Finally, they were garnished with shredded basil.
I made half of these with olive tapenade and half with pesto. Both were delicious, but we gave a slight edge to the pesto ones. You can’t go wrong either way!
These tartlets are a real winner and I will be making these every tomato season!
If you are interested in trying these recipes, you can find them in Dorie Greenspan’s wonderful book Around My French Table.
Vegetable tart recipes
Bake one of our vibrant veggie tarts to serve for a family supper or dinner party dish. From summer vegetable quiches to mushroom tartlets, we've got a pastry for every occasion.
Summer vegetable & pesto rose tart
Spelt flour gives the pastry a nutty flavour which works so well with the pesto. Serve this stunning tart warm or cold and prepare for jaws to drop
Griddled vegetable & feta tart
Crispy filo pastry makes a light base for a vegetarian tart filled with Mediterranean veg and feta
Roasted tomato, basil & Parmesan quiche
A taste of summer, this quiche is full of Italian flavours and is perfect for dinner in the garden
Onion & goat’s cheese tarts
A great vegetarian snack, and only 5 ingredients
Double cheese & spring vegetable tart
This savoury make-ahead tart has a delicious crumbly base – no one will realise it's shop-bought pastry! Fill with goat's cheese and beautiful spring veg including asparagus and fresh peas
How to make tomato and tapenade tart
Heavy, deep-coloured Amalfi bull’s heart tomatoes work well in this recipe when in season, with some datterini or small plum tomatoes to fill in the gaps. A sprinkling of fragrant basil at the end is essential, as well as a drizzle of your best olive oil. Nyons olives make amazing tapenade, but any soft black olives will do nicely.
Makes 1 large tart (enough for 4 people for lunch or lots of small squares for a party)
4 bull’s heart tomatoes
1 x 500g block of pre-rolled puff pastry
A handful of small Italian plum tomatoes, red and yellow if possible
1 bunch of basil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g black olives, drained of any brine or oil and pitted
1⁄8 garlic clove, peeled and crushed to a fine paste
1⁄2 tsp picked thyme leaves
1 salted anchovy fillet, washed and patted dry
1 tsp salted capers, soaked well, washed and drained
1 tsp brandy
4 tsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
First, slice the bull’s heart tomatoes into thick 1cm rounds. Transfer to a sieve suspended over a bowl and season well with salt. Leave the tomatoes for a good half hour to allow the juices to drip into the bowl. This will prevent your pastry becoming soggy if the tomatoes hold a lot of juice.
To make the tapenade, put all the dry ingredients in a blender. Blitz well. Add the wet ingredients and blitz further until everything is fully incorporated. The tapenade should be very smooth.
Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 200C/gas 6.
Next, roll out – or simply unfurl, if pre-rolled – the pastry to a rectangle to fit your largest, flat, heavy-based baking tray. Cut a rectangle of parchment paper to the same size, then place the pastry on top. Score a 2cm border all around the edges of the pastry. This pastry border will puff up around the filling.
Put the baking tray in the oven to pre-heat for 10 minutes. To assemble the tart, top the pastry inside the scored border with a generous smearing of tapenade. Arrange the sliced tomatoes in a single layer over the tapenade. Halve the small tomatoes, season with salt, and use them to fill any gaps. Drizzle the tart filling with olive oil and grind over some black pepper.
Remove the hot tray from the oven, slide in the tart on the parchment paper and return the tray to the oven. Bake the tart for 30 minutes, or until the pastry borders are puffed and crisp, the base is a light golden brown (lift the tart tentatively with a spatula to check) and the tomatoes are soft, squidgy and just started to take on a little colour.
Remove the tart from the oven, season lightly with a little flaky sea salt and black pepper, and scatter over the torn basil leaves. Allow the tart to cool on its tray, then slice into squares while still just warm. Drizzle with your best olive oil before serving.
‘Sardine: Simple seasonal Provençal cooking’ by Alex Jackson, published by Pavilion Books. Image credit to Matt Russell
I love the versatility of this recipe. For a fancy party, prepare according to the recipe. For a more casual and less labor intensive occasion, I put the goat cheese, tomatoes, basil, a little garlic, and the vinegar in my food processor and shape it into a cheese torte. Serve with grilled baguette slices or bagel bites. Super fast and easy!
This is one of my go-to party apps! only change I make is to whip the goat cheese with some milk or cream and spread it on top of the olive tapenade. I find a slice of it to be overwhelming. Sometimes I also double the tomato mixture if tomatoes are in season :)
Excellent appetizer. The dinner party guests all raved about them. They look professionally prepared (people were very impressed that I made them) and the flavor is excellent. Thanks to previous reviews I used thread for cutting the cheese and it made all the difference.
One of my go-to appetizer recipes whenever I'm having a party. Everyone loves these.
Rave reviews from guests, these went fast and were very easy to make. Huge hit. I used an olive & sun-dried tomato spread instead of the tapenade and just balsamic instead of sherry. Yummy.
These were great & looked even better - perfect for thanksgiving. I went back and forth on the ratio of goat cheese to olive tapenade. Some didn't allow the olives to cut through enough (which seems odd with such a strong flavor), but when you have too much goat on there it's tough. I would definitely be more careful next time in order to get it right.
I made this for my Italian boyfriend and his cousins and everyone loved it. It was tough getting the goat cheese to slice cleanly, but the crumbles tasted just as good. The various layers of flavors were so great. I will definitely make these again. Easy, impressive-looking and tasty!
I've made this twice now to rave reviews. It's delicious and easy.
I received rave Reviews!! I was embarassed to tell how easy it was! I used less goat cheese and fresh tapenade, a good baguette goes a long way too! A keeper in my "portfolio"! Thanks.
I really enjoyed this appetizer and it was easy to pull together.
I received rave reviews on these at a recent appetizer party. I did make a few changes, because of time constraints and absentmindedness. First, I toasted the baguette slices without any oil. Second, I cut the goat cheese thinner because 1/2 inch of a 2" diameter cheese log seemed like too much for a 2-bite appetizer. Third, I forgot to mix in the sundried tomatoes. I probably used more tapenade (Trader Joe's brand) than called for in the recipe, I just spread on a thin layer. The best part about this recipe is that if you run out of any of the 3 toppings, you can just have some baguette slices with just two (or even one) of the toppings, and it's still great.
I made this recipe twice during the Holiday season and received platitudes and requests for the recipe from all. I did not skin the the tomatoes and halved the amount of goat cheese using a wire or dental floss to slice more easily. I also used homemade tepanade.
Great party appetizer. Used balsamic b/c I think it goes better with summer tomatoes/basil. The combination of tapenade, fresh/dried tomatoes, basil and goat cheese was perfect for a summer party dish. Only had a few left out of an entire large baguette. Toasted the bread and mixed tomatoes in advance then put it all together 30 minutes before the party.
Fabulous for parties! This gets four forks for both presentation and taste! I subɽ red wine vinegar for sherry vinegar, and used a jarred olive tapenade-like mix used to top bruschetta and it worked out fine. Lots of raves and it looks elegant and colorful.
They tasted good, but next time I think I will increase the tapenade. It was hard to get at with all the other "stuff" on top. I will also add the tomato mixture after baking next time because it is prettier that way. I substituted champagne vinegar instead of sherry vinegar and it was quite yummy.
Absolutely fabulous! I use less goat cheese than the recipe calls for, and also sometimes make larger toasts. In a pinch I've used a pre-made tomato bruschetta topping, although the original recipe is better. I've made this 5+ times - always a hit.
This is an amazing recipe. I served it at a dinner party and it was a complete hit. I did use the sundried tomatoes in packed in oil, but didn't sprinkle the oil on the tartlets before sticking them in the oven. and was still really good!
My sun-dried tomatoes were a little chewy, so I soaked them in hot water for a bit to soften them up. Worked great. Used balsamic vinegar and a little less goat cheese than called for. Also gave up slicing the goat cheese after a while, which turned out to be no big deal. My guests INHALED these, and then asked for the recipe.
This recipe was great tasting and nice looking. The goat cheese was a bit messy to slice. Everyone was impressed!
This recipe is delicious! I don't use the olive tapenade, and I use more tomato mixture and less goat cheese than the recipe calls for. Also, I use red wine vinegar, which is delicious.
This is one of the best recipes we've pulled down from this site. We've made it 4 or 5 times now, always to rave reviews. We've been going slightly easy on the goat cheese (probably 2/3 of what the recipe calls for). When we're in a hurry we buy pre-made toast and coat them with a little more olive oil (not as good, but better than not having them).We also substitute a high quality balsamic for the Sherry vinegar. Other than that, we've followed the recipe and enjoy it very much!
Made this for my cooking club friends and it was gone in short order -- we all loved it and it was super easy to prepare. Ann in NJ
I am happy to find this recipe. Saw something similar on Barefoot Contessa TV show, but didn't find the same thing in her book on Paris. This is great, quick lunch with salad, Will eat it again and again!
Absolutely delicious. Took a few short cuts. Didn't peel and seed tomatoes and initially broiled slices to slightly brown. Used olive paste rather than tapenade. Really terrific and easy.
Polenta Bites With Black Olive Tapenade
If you need a quick and decadent appetizer idea, these Polenta Bites with Black Olive Tapenade will do the trick. Crispy polenta and tangy black olive tapenade create a mouthwatering appetizer that everyone will love.
Polenta Bites with Black Olive Tapenade
I've said it before and I'll say again - I'm an appetizer person. If I could, I would eat them all day instead of the full meals.
Now, you have to believe me when I said this polenta appetizer is made in no time. Being a mama of a newborn and a toddler, doesn't give me much time for complicated recipes. Therefore, most recipes on my blog are easy to prepare.
I made these Polenta Bites after I dropped my daughter off at preschool and put the little one down for a nap. And her morning naps are really short, 30-45 minutes. So, I knew I had to make something really fast.
This simple appetizer combines all of my favourite ingredients. I love polenta, but I'm also a huge fan of olives, capers and anchovies that are part of this tangy tapenade. The best part is that tapenade is very versatile and goes well with your favourite crackers, veggies or anything else you could think of.
The combination of crispy polenta rounds and rich and flavourful tapenade works wonderfully together creating an appetizer that will go fast at your next party.
A Plateful of Happiness
At my house, there are two definitions of August. To me, August = Tomatoes. To the other resident (husband Howard), August = Corn.
Selections for the first two weeks of French Fridays with Dorie were perfect. Tomato-Cheese Tartlets the first week, and Warm Scallop Salad with Basil, Tomato, and Corn. I missed last week’s deadline for the tartlets, but made both this week.
The tartlets were fun to make. The individual tarts were constructed on disks of puff pastry. I had a little trouble with the puff pastry. The package said you could defrost at broom temperature for 20 minutes or microwave for 90 seconds. I went with the quicker approach, but turned on the microwave and walked away. It got a little too soft and wouldn’t unfold. I just rolled it out with the folds making extra layers, but I had some tearing that didn’t mend as forgivingly as pie crust. But I liked the simplicity of cutting out circles and baking until lightly golden.
As with many of Dorie’s recipes, this one was more of a suggestion than a strict recipe. The disks were smeared with a layer of tapenade or pesto. I tried two of each. This is topped with alternating slices of tomatoes and cheese, goat cheese for me. I warmed the tartlets under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese started to melt. A final drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a fresh basil leaf garnish and it was done. We each ate two of these for dinner, but one tart accompanied with a salad would have made a lovely lunch. Sipping a glass of cold white wine on the side is the perfect accompaniment.
The warm scallop salad was another summer treat. The scallops were a bit pricey, but worth it for the end result. I left out the nectarines, but the lightly dressed corn, freshly picked backyard cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil coulis were packed with flavor. The vegetables surrounded the seared scallops which were the star in the center of the plate. Each component was super simple to put together, now that I’ve learned from several Dorie recipes how foolproof it is to pan-sear scallops. I could make this for a weeknight dinner after a long day at work. The final dish was restaurant worthy.
All-in-all, it was a good week for enjoying new recipes spotlighting seasonal ingredients.
Recipes aren’t posted, but are available in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. To read about other home cooks’ experiences with these recipes, check out the Leave Your Link posts at French Fridays with Dorie.
Heirloom Tomato and Olive Tapenade Tartelettes
Can't get enough heirloom tomatoes these days. They were lovely in June. Yes. They are even better now and we are having them every day. If you stay for dinner you might get some lovely slices simply sprinkle with coarse sea salt, olive oil and a sprinkle of chopped basil. If you are around for lunch , I will just hand you a crusty piece of bread to scoop up thick pieces of tomatoes, garlic and basil, all dressed in a simple vinaigrette.
If you come around on Sundays though, you will get them in a tart. Or eight. Depending on how late we got up. For some reason, Sundays have become more domestic because of our schedule. We take the time to prep things for the week, he in his office among his papers to grade and the bills and I, in the kitchen getting foods ready for us or work that week.
No matter what, it almost always end up around the dinner table with a couple of friends. Or a lot. And a bottle of wine. Or many. Living wholeheartedly the moment as it presents itself. And right now, it's easy with the gorgeous days we are having. It sure is Fall somewhere. Not here. And I am basking in all things Summer for a little while longer.
Sun ripened tomatoes, piment d'Espelette, black olive tapenade all fitting in the palm of my hand in tartelette forms. Easy to take to the dock for a little snacking.
I've been enjoying a whole lot of simple meals lately and I got to say that when the schedule gets as packed as it has, they fuel me and keep me going until late in the night. I am not only talking about time cutting efficiency but flavors so clean you can taste the vitamins in every bite.
So yes, it's still a whole lot of summer here. Radishes as crisp and pink as if you had just picked them. They can give you some lip back though. These are feisty spicy little things, ehehe!
I like them as simple as that. A touch of butter, a sprinkle of coarse sea salt as I dig into a tartelette. Or two. When I have enough of that spicy kick, I roast them in the oven with some thyme and a drizzle of olive oil and they become soft and demure as can be. Interesting how the simple act of roasting them can change their nature.
The tarts take virtually no time to assemble if you have the dough prepared ahead of time but it's always possible to use already made dough (probably won't be gluten free though). Tapenade is something quite specific to the South of France but it relatively easy to find online or make from scratch.
Heirloom Tomato Tarts:
For the crust:
5 tablespoons (70gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon piment d'Espelette (or pinch red pepper flakes)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup (80gr) brown rice flour
1/2 cup (60gr) millet flour
1/4 cup (30gr) sorghum flour
1/4 cup (40gr) potato flour
(or 1.5 cups of all purpose flour if not using gf flours)
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum
For the filling:
1/3 cup to 1/2 cup black olive tapenade
6-8 heirloom tomatoes, cut into thin slices
chopped basil (as much or as little as you want)
salt and pepper
Feta cheese (about 1/3 cup) - optional
Prepare the crust:
In a mixer, whip together the butter, piment and mustard on medium speed until light and airy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Mix until incorporated. Add all the different flours, and the xantham gum and mix briefly. Dump the whole mixture onto a lightly floured (use more rice flour) board and gather the dough into a smooth ball. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
When the dough is nice and cold, roll it out on a lightly floured board or in between two sheets of plastic to fit your preferred mini tartelette pans (or you can use one 10-inch pie pan). If the dough tears while you roll or/and transfer into the pans, just patch it with your fingertips. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
You can freeze the dough for up to 3 months and prepare it up to 4 days in advance
Preheat oven to 350F and position a rack in the center.
Spoon a little or a lot of olive tapenade in the bottom of each tart shell and top with overlapping slices of tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and some basil.
Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until the shells are cooked through.
Drizzle with olive oil right before serving. Sprinkle with feta cheese if desired.
To begin the recipe, first of all unwrap the pastry and place it on the baking tray.
Then, using a sharp knife, carefully score a line on the pastry, about ½ in (1 cm) in from the edge, all the way around, but be careful not to cut it all the way through. Now tip the goats’ cheese into a small bowl, add the crushed garlic, chopped thyme and a good seasoning of salt and freshly milled black pepper. Then give it all a good mixing and, using a small palette or other round-bladed knife, carefully spread the cheese mixture evenly all over the surface of the pastry, right up to the line.
Next, thinly slice all the tomatoes (there is no need to peel them) and arrange them on top of the goats’ cheese in overlapping lines lengthways overlap one line one way and the one next to it the other way. After that, season the tomatoes and then drizzle the olive oil and scatter the sprigs of thyme all over them.
Bake in the pre-heated oven on the middle shelf for 55 minutes or until the pastry is golden-brown and the tomatoes are roasted and slightly charred at the edges.
If you are going to serve the tart warm, leave it to settle for about 10 minutes before cutting into squares.
Bake the tarte at 400F for 20-25 minutes until puffed up and golden brown.
Once the tart is done you can serve it on a big cutting board and guests serve themselves by twisting off the rays! It's a great appetizer for an open house because it tastes great hot or at room temperature.