Summer + tomatoes. These two just go together.
We’ll eat loads of tomatoes this summer, pretty much every which way you can think of. Sliced and topping sandwiches and burgers, in myriad salads, lightly charred on the grill, or just plain as part of a crudité platter; all will be devoured with delight. At some point, we’ll start to add pastry – and that begins a whole new chapter in the summer tomato saga. Suddenly, there will be a tomato pie, an heirloom cobbler, or these puffy tartlets, each one providing a different little twist on the summer staple.
Here, I’ve used yellow tomatoes, and the difference is notable beyond the color. Yellow tomatoes have a different nutritional profile than dark or red tomatoes, and are lower in acid, which lends a milder, sweeter flavor to the tartlets. For best results, save your reds for another use, and stick with yellow (or orange) for these tartlets.
Apart from being super easy to make and incredibly delicious, the best thing about these little savories is their adaptability. I’ve made these as a dinner side to grilled steak, with garlic jack cheese and a bit of basil on top, but the possibilities are practically endless. Mozzarella and parmesan are a a good variation, garnished with a sprinkling of fresh oregano. The tartlets are equally yummy as a breakfast or brunch dish, topped with cheddar and a spoonful of chives and served with an egg or two as an accompaniment. Simple stuff – the puff pastry and tomato remain a constant, while you switch things up with your favorite cheese and herb combinations. Totally easy.
These are best eaten the day they are made, but can be stored between layers of parchment in an airtight container for up to 24 hours. Hold off on adding the herbs until just before serving.
Yellow Tomato Tartlets
Makes ten to twelve tartlets, slightly adapted from Everyday Food, here.
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
handful of flour, for rolling
3 ounces garlic or pepper jack cheese, shredded
2-3 yellow tomatoes, sliced about 1/4 inch thick per slice
1/4 cup olive oil, for brushing
freshly ground pepper
handful of small basil leaves, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375℉. Line baking trays with parchment, set aside.
Flour rolling pin and board and roll out puff pastry evenly into a rectangle (about 14 by 16 inch). With a 3 1/2 to 4 inch cookie cutter, cut out ten to twelve rounds and place on reserved baking trays. With the tines of a fork, prick the surface of each round thoroughly. Mound each with 3/4 to 1 tablespoon cheese, leaving a 1/4 inch border, and top with one tomato slice. With a pastry brush, gently gloss each round with olive oil and season with freshly ground pepper.
Bake for 25 minutes in the oven, rotating trays halfway through. Pastry should be puffed and golden around the edges.
These are best served warm or at room temperature. If serving warm, leave them in the baking tray and tent with foil, adding the basil garnish just before serving. If serving at room temperature, remove from tray and let cool on a wire rack until ready to serve. Add basil garnish just before serving.