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
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.
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.
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
- Cheese Straw Tomato Tartlets – That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Cherry Red Wine Baked Turkey Meatballs – The Heritage Cook
- Pork and Ginger Potstickers – Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Nacho Momma’s Beef, Bean and Cheese Tortilla Dip – Creative Culinary
- Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Mushrooms – The Redhead Baker
- No Butter or Shortening Date Nut Bars – Mother Would Know
This recipe can be found in The Southern Living Party Cookbook: A Modern Guide to Gathering by Elizabeth Heiskell.*
*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.
- 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
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Crumbled feta or shaved Parmesan cheese
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.
Recipe reprinted from The Southern Living Party Cookbook.