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Cheese Straw Tomato Tartlets on an oval white plate with a sprig of basil

Cheese Straw Tomato Tartlets

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These elegant Cheese Straw Tomato Tartlets are made with a cheesy crust with a hit of spice and filled with marinated grape tomatoes and feta. A flavorful and tasty nibble that’s wonderful for a girls’ night, cocktail or dinner party!

Cheese Straw Tomato Tartlets on a square white plate

Cheese Straw Tomato Tartlets

Once a year, I host our dinner club. Snow, freezing rain, and sleet made an appearance in the forecast, but, thankfully the worst was over before our guests arrived. Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon was in the oven, a roaring fire was planned, then twarted when the high winds drew smoke into the house, and our driveway was cleared of snow and ice.

I whipped up these tomato tartlets with marinated tomatoes, cheesy shortbread crusts and crumbled feta to nosh on with our glasses of wine and beer. As usual, my foodie friends dived right in and enjoyed every bite.

Cheese Straw Tomato Tartlets on a white serving tray

Tips for Making Tomato Tartlets

There’s nothing complicated about this appetizer recipe, but they do require some down time. The cheddar dough needs to be chilled and the grape tomatoes need to marinate before assembling and baking.

  • Making the tart crusts is easy in the food processor. A few pulses then a little kneading and chilling and it’s ready to go. Be aware that it needs at least 2 hours of chilling before assembly.
  • The tomatoes, herbs, oil and vinegar need to marinate at least an hour so allow for the flavors to meld.
  • PRO-Tip: As with making a pastry crust for a pie, the butter and water should be cold to make the flakiest crust. Also, be sure not to over-process the mixture.
  • I like grating my own cheese. First of all, it melts better (not really a concern in this recipe) and you can also use better quality cheeses.
  • Make sure to spray your mini muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray. Let them cool only briefly before removing them to a cooling rack so they don’t get stuck.
  • I rolled my dough a little thinner than the 1/4-inch thickness listed in the recipe and as a result made more than 24 tartlets.
  • I topped these tartlets with crumbled feta cheese, but you can also use Parmesan shavings. Let your tartlets cool about 15 minutes before adding the cheese.
  • Since I used fresh herbs in my marinade, I saved some pretty sprigs to garnish the serving plate. PRO-Tip: Garnishes should reflect ingredients in the recipe. You wouldn’t want to garnish these cheese straw tomato tarts with dill as that suggests there is dill in the dish.

More Appetizers for Game Day or Tailgating

If you need even more inspiration, check out these 20+ Best Game Day Recipes, Best Game Day Snacks, Cream Cheese and Sausage Stuffed Mini Peppers, this Chicken and Bell Pepper Chili and this Black Bean Chili.

 

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Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. Each recipe in our menu this month features tailgating Finger Foods, and our host is Colleen who blogs at The Redhead Baker.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. A theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the delicious holiday dishes!

Tailgate Finger Food

Appetizers

Main Courses

Side Dishes

Desserts

This recipe can be found in The Southern Living Party Cookbook: A Modern Guide to Gathering by Elizabeth Heiskell.*

Cheese Straw Tomato Tartlets on an oval white plate with a sprig of basil

*I was given a copy of  The Southern Living Party Cookbook: A Modern Guide to Gathering to review, but was not compensated for writing this post. 

Elizabeth Heiskell, a best-selling author and a TODAY show food contributor, puts her one-of-a-kind touch on updating the top selling Southern Living cookbook of all time, 1972’s Southern Living Party Cookbook.

This cookbook is divided by occasion, a modern-day reinterpretation of the Southern Living classic offers a fresh lineup of party ideas, including Bridal Tea, Garden Club Luncheon, Summer Nights, Cocktails and Canapés, Tailgate, Picnic on the Lawn, Fall Dinner, and 24 more gatherings you’ll want to host.These cheese straw tomato tartlets come from the chapter Cheers My Dears, for gatherings of best girlfriends.

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Cheese Straw Tomato Tartlets on a square white plate

Cheese Straw Tomato Tartlets

Tasty cheesy tart shells filled with tomatoes, garlic, feta and herbs!

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 24 minutes
  • Total Time: 54 minutes
  • Yield: 24 tartlets 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Mixing, Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Crust:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed red
pepper
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded extra sharp white Cheddar cheese
1/2 to 3/4 cup ice-cold water

Filling:
2 pt. red and yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Crumbled feta or shaved Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Prepare Crust: Pulse first 3 ingredients in a food processor 3 or 4 times or until combined. Add butter, and pulse 5 or 6 times or until crumbly. Stir in cheese. With processor running, gradually add 1/2 cup ice-cold water, and process until dough forms a ball and pulls away from sides of bowl, adding more water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, if necessary.

Divide dough in half; place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Shape each into a at disk. Wrap
in plastic wrap, and chill 2 to 24 hours.

Prepare Filling: Toss together tomatoes and next 8 ingredients; let stand 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400°. Roll 1 dough disk to 1/4- inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 12
rounds using a 2 1/2-inch round cutter, rerolling dough as needed; press into cups of a lightly greased 12-cup miniature muffin pan. (Dough will come slightly up sides.) Repeat procedure with remaining dough disk and another muffin pan. Divide tomato mixture among cups.

Bake at 400° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden. Remove from pans. Cool completely on a wire
rack (about 15 minutes). Sprinkle with cheese.

Notes

Recipe reprinted from The Southern Living Party Cookbook.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links; view my Disclosure Policy for details. I earn a small percentage from any purchase you make by clicking on these links at no extra cost to you.

16 comments on “Cheese Straw Tomato Tartlets”

  1. The crust looks buttery and literally melt-in-mouth 🙂 Really yummy!

  2. Very fancy! Yep, I believe winter has arrived:@)

  3. These are so pretty and I love the flavors!

  4. I can see why these would quickly disappear, the flavor combination sounds wonderful! 

  5. Pingback: No Butter or Shortening Date Nut Bars | Mother Would Know

  6. That’s a great nibble for sure, Liz! They look delicious and would be perfect for SB party! Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Those are darling and I can imagine, so tasty!!! Love the cheesy tart shells.

  8. These morsels look incredibly delicious – and plenty fancy for a party too! While I’d be happy to make a plate of the tartlets, I’d even happier to eat them.

  9. These are so beautiful and I would inhale them – the perfect appetizer for any event!

  10. Brilliant recipe! I love cheese straws, and make them often. Never thought to use the dough as tarts. But I will. 🙂 Really superb recipe — thanks.

  11. How creative! These look fantastic Liz – I bet we would love them. Stay warm!

  12. They’re a beauty, Liz! I could gobble them up in seconds! xoxo

  13. Gorgeous tartlets, these look so delicious!

  14. These look delicious. I think they would work in all kinds of weather – would prefer it not be winter! Just show-stoppers and well worth the effort.

  15. Fabulous tartlets! Great crust that I can see getting filled with a variety of things. What fun!

  16. I gave in to temptation today and had Hibachi buffet. Then I had seasons food later this afternoon with french fries. And now, this deliciously looking, tempting dessert sit on my PC screen. Too bad for me I can take a big spoon and be on some futuristic type time and reach through the computer screen and get a spoon of it! L 😛 L

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