Herbed goat cheese & tomato tarts recipe

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Let guests brighten up these crispy, creamy, tangy summer lovelies with extra sprinkles of basil chiffonade and chopped chives (and brighten up themselves after the first bite). The extra pastry sheets in this recipe allow for the tarts’ twisted borders, but also can be used to make edgings of small cut-outs of fall leaves, stars, hearts, or the like. Oh, and another thing instead of each pastry sheet making four larger tarts, you can quarter them to make sixteen smaller pick-me-ups.

  • Yield: 8 Servings


  • 4 puff pastry sheets (from two 17.3-ounce boxes), thawed
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten with 2 tablespoons water
  • 6 ounces herbed or regular goat cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil, plus 1 tablespoon basil chiffonade for garnish (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half or milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Sea salt (optional)
  • ground black pepper (optional)
  • 24 to 28 multicolored grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1½ tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus more for garnish (optional)
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats; set aside.
  2. Stacking two puff pastry sheets, make two cuts to create four even squares per sheet, or eight total.
  3. Using the remaining stack of two pastry sheets, make seven cuts to create eight horizontal slices. Make a vertical cut down the center of the stack to create sixteen rectangular slices per sheet, or thirty-two total.
  4. For each tart, make side “twists” by cutting the thirty-two rectangular strips in half horizontally, making sixty-four small strips. Weave each of two strips together to form thirty-two twisted strands.
  5. Attach a dough twist on each side of the eight pastry squares, tucking in or trimming the overhanging dough so that it fits evenly and snugly. Place the squares on the baking sheets at least 2 inches apart.
  6. Use a fork to prick holes into each tart square (this will help keep it from rising). Add pie weights, if desired. Use a pastry brush to paint the beaten egg onto the braided sides of each pastry square.
  7. Bake the braided squares until puffy and lightly golden, about 15 minutes. (Store on a wire rack loosely covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 4 hours.)
  8. In a small bowl, use a fork to combine the goat cheese, minced basil, garlic, half-and-half, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir until creamy. Test for flavor and adjust the seasonings, adding a small amount of salt and pepper, if desired, and set aside.
  9. Let the pastry cool for a couple of minutes before carefully removing the (hot) pie weights and pressing down any puffy sections.
  10. Use a small rubber spatula to spread the herbed cheese mixture within each tart shell. Decoratively place the small tomato halves atop the cheese mixture. Sprinkle the chives across the top.
  11. If desired, return the tarts to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and slightly bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 1 to 2 minutes.
  12. Garnish each pastry with additional chives and basil chiffonade, if desired, before serving.

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