Tomato Basil Tartlets
Sure, these tartlets are little (hence the “lets” in “tartlets”), but boy oh boy are they packed with flavor. There’s umami-rich tomato, pungent garlic, earthy — almost minty — thyme, bright basil, sweet caramelized onions and nutty cheese. The textures are incredible, too. The tartlets are flaky and lightly crunchy, thanks to the golden brown puff pastry, and they have juicy, toothsome centers.
As summer apps go, you can’t do better than these tartlets. They look as good as they taste — and they taste like summer itself, which, as we think about it, makes them a great winter app, too. When you’re missing the heat and sun, whip up a batch and you’ll be transported to your backyard garden on a late August day.
But don’t let these little tarts fool you! They’re hearty enough to be lunch or dinner. Serve them with a big salad and you’ve got a delicious, unexpected meal. And you can make the caramelized onions ahead of time and stash them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them. Come assembly time, everything is easy-breezy.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 75 minutes
2 tablespoons L&B Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
All-purpose flour, for dusting
¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
¾ cup shredded Havarti cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
¼ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook until the onions are golden and caramelized, 35 to 40 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
- Heat the oven to 425 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tomato slices, crushed red pepper, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Gently toss to coat the tomatoes.
- Transfer the puff pastry sheets to a lightly floured surface and gently roll each of them into a square that is 12 inches by 12 inches. Using a cookie cutter or paring knife, cut each sheet into rounds about 1 inch wider than the tomato slices. Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheets.
- Evenly top each round with the caramelized onions, leaving a ½-inch border. Toss the cheeses together in a small bowl and sprinkle about 2 tablespoons over the onions. Layer a tomato slice on, pressing it into the cheese to adhere slightly.
- Fold the edges of the pastry inward to enclose the edges of the tomatoes. Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with the oregano, minced garlic, and a pinch of salt.
- Transfer the tartlets to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Reduce the oven temp to 400 F and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more or until the pastry is golden brown. Sprinkle with the sliced basil and serve warm.
Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest