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Katie's Cucina

Tomato and Cheese Tarts

This is the first of three tomato inspired dishes for tomato week! My good friends (and the ones who are currently working on my blog re-design) told me about this recipe. They rave about it and say it’s probably one of the best things they’ve ever had. So of course it tempted me to want to make it. I bought all the ingredients (sans tomatoes since I had more than once could ever dream of having), and was ready to make this delectable appetizer (although it could easily be made into a meal). 

 The original recipe calls for a garlic-and-herb goat cheese. I’m not a fan of goat cheese nor is my husband, so I decided to skip that part and go with a softened garlic and fine herbs cheese (Boursin). Plus it was buy-one-get-one free, so I was happy to spend the $5+ on two packages of this tasty cheese.

 This tart is a labor of love. The onions really do take 20 minutes to cook. You want to cook them slowly and not rush the process or else you will risk burning them. I’ve made this tart twice now. Both times I loved it; however, the second time I stupidly picked up phyllo dough instead of puff pastry. It still tasted good but it was on the crunchier side. 

Source: Barefoot Contessa
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 individual tarts


  • 1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus 2 ounces shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • 4 ounces garlic-and-herb cheese
  • 1 large tomato, cut into 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
  • 3 tablespoons julienned basil leaves


1. Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11 by 11-inch square. Using a 6-inch wide saucer or other round object as a guide, cut 2 circles from the sheet of puff pastry, discarding the scraps. Repeat with the second pastry sheet to make 4 circles in all. Place the pastry circles on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
3. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the wine, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.
4. Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.
5. Place 1/4 of the onion mixture on each circle, again staying within the scored edge. Crumble 1 ounce of goat cheese on top of the onions. Place a slice of tomato in the center of each tart. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Finally, scatter 4 or 5 shards of Parmesan on each tart.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. The bottom sheet pan may need an extra few minutes in the oven. Serve hot or warm.

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6 Responses to “Tomato and Cheese Tarts”

  1. Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups posted on July 29, 2011 at 10:33 am (#)

    Looks delicious. I love tarts!

  2. Danielle posted on July 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm (#)

    We just made a tomato basil and mozzerella pizza the other day – I bet this would be a delish alternative – I would need the goat cheese though.

  3. Carolina @ Peas in a Blog posted on July 29, 2011 at 1:54 pm (#)

    I just had a tomato torte at Taste in College Park, this recipe reminded me of it. It was amazing & yours looks even more delicious!

  4. Aggie posted on July 29, 2011 at 1:55 pm (#)

    This looks so so good!!! I love Boursin 🙂

  5. Carol@easytobeglutenfree posted on July 29, 2011 at 4:58 pm (#)

    Wow, those look good. Love caramelized onions and you can't go wrong with a Barefoot Contessa recipe.

  6. Chic & Gorgeous Treats posted on August 1, 2011 at 1:22 am (#)

    The tarts look sooo good.. I bought myself some Boursin too since they were on promo. Love having them with crackers. I've not really used Goat's cheese in any of my cooking, and I found it a little too strong. Then again I'm also a fan of blue cheese. Pretty contradicting there eh? I really gotta get my hands on Barefoot Contessa's books. You've given me more ideas.. Hugs, Jo

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