Happy Birthday, Dorie!! How about a Tomato-Cheese Tartlet??

by Jessica on October 24, 2010

Welcome to a Virtual Birthday Party for Dorie Greenspan! Several faithful TWD and FFwD members have ‘gathered’ together today to celebrate Ms. D’s birthday in style! Our thoughtful hosts, Laurie and Holly, have posted a round-up for all the world to see, so hop on over to pheMOMenon and sample each fun dish that we’ve cooked up from Dorie’s newest book, Around My French Table. Below is a little appetizer to get you started… the Tomato-Cheese Tartlet. Incredibly quick and easy (and delicious). A little prep work is all you need! Happy Birthday, Dorie!!

Tomato-Cheese Tartlets

Tomato-Cheese Tartlets (pgs. 164-165)
Source: Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (about 8 oz.), thawed
About 1/3 c tapenade, homemade or store-bought; or pesto, homemade or store-bought
4-5 ripe tomatoes, sliced into rounds
1 (8 oz.) ball mozzarella or about 1/2 lb. fresh goat cheese (preferably in a log, because it’s the easiest to slice)
Salt & freshly-ground pepper
Olive oil, for drizzling
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling (optional)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Working on a floured surface, roll the puff pastry our into a square that’s about 13″ on a side. Using a plate or saucer with a diameter of about 6 inches as a guide, and the point of a paring knife, score and then cut out 4 rounds of dough. Line a baking sheet with parchment, lay the rounds on it and prick them well all over with a fork. Put a second sheet of parchment over the rounds and top with another baking sheet to weight the dough down.

Bake the rounds for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the top baking sheet and the parchment – it can be tricky, so protect your hands. If the rounds are well browned and crisp, they are done; if they look a little pale and not thoroughly baked, return them to the oven, uncovered, to finish baking. Put the baking sheet on a cooling rack and allow the crusts to cool until they’re just warm or at room temperature. (You can bake the rounds up to 8 hours ahead and keep them uncovered at room temperature.)

Tomato-Cheese Tartlets 2

To finish the tartlets: Spoon a thin layer of tapenade or pesto over each pastry round, leaving a border of about 1/2 to 1 inch bare. Next, arrange alternating slices of tomato and cheese in a pinwheel pattern, and put a slice of tomato and/or cheese in the center to fill the hole. Now you can season the tartlets with salt and pepper, drizzle them with oil, finish with a basil leaf and a little balsamic, if you like, and serve them. Or you can hold off on the final topping and warm the tartlets first.

To warm the tartlets: After adding the slices of tomato and cheese, put the tartlets on a baking sheet and run them under the broiler (keeping them about 5 inches from the heat) until the cheese just barely starts to melt, about 3 minutes; or warm them in a 425-degree-oven for about 5 minutes. Season them with salt and pepper, drizzle them with olive oil and top with fresh basil, and, if you like, a drizzle of balsamic.

Tomato-Cheese Tartlets 3

p.s. I’m hanging out with Dorie TODAY at Central Market, watching her demo a few recipes from the new book and maybe celebrating the b-day with a piece of cake! I’m so excited I can hardly stand it, so be on the lookout for a recap post in the next few days! ­čśÇ


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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 natalia October 24, 2010 at 2:42 am

Ciao ! The tartlets are great and you are really lucky to be with Dorie ! Say ciao for me !


2 Di October 24, 2010 at 7:54 am

I’m excited for you–the class here in Austin was great! I still need to get my post done about it. Your tartlets look delicious!


3 laurie October 24, 2010 at 8:08 am

the tarts look deliciously adorable! thanks for jumping in on the birthday party! xo


4 Leslie October 24, 2010 at 8:23 am

What a spectacular tart! It was so much fun to do this little surprise with all of you!


5 Cristine October 24, 2010 at 9:02 am

That looks fantastic!!!


6 Marthe October 24, 2010 at 9:17 am

Great job on the tarts Jessica: they looks so pretty!


7 Jessica October 24, 2010 at 1:39 pm

What a gorgeous little tart…now I’m missing summer!


8 Mary October 24, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Wow…that looks lovely. How much fun is this birthday roundup thing? I heart TWD!


9 AmyRuth October 24, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Beautiful and I know Dorie would have loved it too! Wasn’t this so fun?!? How lucky were you that you got to be with her and all the others. Congratulations!


10 dorie October 24, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Jessica, I love meeting you. Thank you so much for coming to my class tonight and many, many thanks for making my birthday so incredibly special. What a day!


11 Spike October 25, 2010 at 2:13 pm

just beautiful! a little jealous you got to meet the birthday girl as well


12 Linda October 26, 2010 at 6:43 pm

How fun that you got to meet Dorie! I’m bummed that her publisher didn’t schedule a stop in Los Angeles.

These tartlets look divine – perfect bite with a glass of wine!


13 Katrina October 27, 2010 at 12:45 am

Great looking, yummy app there. Love tomato, basil, mozzarella. This was really fun to do, huh!


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