Tomato mustard mini tarts are a quick and simple appetizer that is both tasty and easy to make. They require only 4 ingredients – puff pastry, mustard, tomato and feta – and less than 30 minutes. Not all finger food is complicated to make. To make these miniatures of tomato and cheese tart you don’t even need lots of kitchen utensils. You need a cookie cutter, but if you don’t have one you can easily cut your puff pastry with the rim of a glass or a bowl. Simple as that.
You are using fresh tomato in this recipe. Technically, it’s a fresh tomato tart with puff pastry, but baking the tarts in the top part of the oven on broil will actually get the fresh tomatoes to roast. So in the end they’re not properly raw. While you can go for a large tomato tart, I decided to make miniature tarts. I needed a quick and easy appetizer that could work as finger food. And the inspiration to this tomato tartlets recipe dates back to quite a few years ago.
In Italy we have a type of party food known as “salatini”. I’m not even sure if this is something that you can find all over the country or just back in my region. Knowing the food diversity in Italy I’m sure there are variations here and there, but whatever. Let’s step back in time to when I was a kid growing up in Piemonte. Every birthday party I attended I recall there would always be cardboard trays filled with salatini. You could never go wrong. The mom could have forgotten to bake or buy a cake, but you could be sure she’d have generous amounts of salatini to offer her kid’s small guests.
Salatini are an appetizer made of puff pastry with various fillings. Although you could bake them at home, we all know that the best are those from the baker’s. There are various types of salatini; the most common are bits of wurst wrapped in pastry, pastry with spinach filling, pastry filled with anchovies and every kid’s favourite: pizzette. Think a puff pastry disc the size of your palm (when you’re aged 8, obviously) topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella and sometimes a half black olive. Some bakers would use a flower cookie cutter to make them, and that was so cool. I mean, pizza but tiny and with those petal shaped edges? Yes please! We’re talking childhood favourites here.
Now let’s go some 20 years forward, to the times when I was a Home Ec teacher here in Sweden. With my subject colleague we were trying to plan a tart recipe and we wanted to give the students various options. I am the kind of person who swears by the use of egg and cheese in her quiche. But we had to accommodate various food intolerances so we needed a vegan alternative. This is when my colleague introduced me to a simple tomato tart. Three ingredients: a shortcrust base, a layer of mustard and slices of tomatoes. Simple as that. My mind was blown. (She was French, she knew her quiche stuff.)
Now you can see where my mind went when one day I started planning an appetizer and I had puff pastry and tomatoes in my mind. I recreated my former colleague’s tart but gave it the shape of a pizzetta from the birthday parties from my childhood memories. Of course using a flower-shaped cookie cutter, because when I was 8 I could have sworn that the flower-shaped ones tasted better. And this is how I ended up making my first batch of tomato mustard tarts.
The procedure to make these baked tomato tarts is quite straightforward. As you can see in the first prep shot above I am using pre-made puff pastry. You have to choose a cookie cutter that is slightly larger than your tomato slices, so first slice off your tomato and then decide. I went for medium tomatoes as I didn’t want too big appetizers, but the choice is yours. Then you just drop a dollop of mustard and spread it on the puff pastry disc, trying to stay away from the edges. You place a tomato slice, top with crumbled feta, and bake.
I usually place the baking tray in the top part of the oven and after the first 5 minutes switch to broil. The puff pastry rises within the first 5 minutes, so after that it’s all about properly roasting the tomatoes. I have used a smooth mustard, but I have also tested this recipe with a grainy one and both work fine. I think smooth better suits my taste, but you can really use any kind of mustard. There is no need to use any salt. The mustard and feta are already giving these treats enough flavour.
Tomato mustard tarts
- 1 puff pastry sheet
- 4-5 medium tomatoes
- 2-3 tbsp mustard
- 40 g crumbled feta cheese
- fresh rosemary (optional)
Cut the tomatoes in slices that are about 1-2 mm thick. Choose a cookie cutter that is slightly larger than the tomato slices.
Cut the puff pastry sheet into as many discs as you can get. Transfer onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
Drip a small dollop of mustard on each pastry disc and spread it all over. It doesn't need to be a very thick layer, but of course you can adjust the amount of mustard to your taste.
Place a slice of tomato onto each pastry disc, and add some crumbled feta on top.
Bake in the top section of the preheated oven for 20 minutes at 200°C. I generally switch to broil after the first 5 minutes, so that the tomatoes get properly baked. You can serve these tarts immediately or let them cool to room temperature before serving. You can optionally garnish them with some fresh rosemary.
You don’t have to make them small, if you wish to just make a larger rustic tomato tart. You can sub the feta for some mozzarella, and if you do you may want to sprinkle some salt on the tomatoes. You can as well skip the cheese altogether. Get a dairy-free or gluten-free pastry and you can even turn those treats into a vegan or gluten free alternative! When you are dealing with just so few ingredients it becomes incredibly easy.
If you are looking for more tart inspiration, you can also check out:
- these mini leek pies
- this lovely zucchini and feta quiche
- my all-time favourite: broccoli on shortcrust
- these mini tarts with mushrooms and parmigiano
- or this pretty sweet potato and goat cheese quiche
Or you can just pin this tart with tomatoes and mustard and come back to it another time.