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Seriously Simple: Tomato pesto tart is a lively appetizer or first course

Diane Rossen Worthington, Tribune Content Agency on

With the advent of frozen all-butter puff pastry available for the home cook, we can make many inventive dishes that are Seriously Simple. I’ve made my share of desserts with commercial puff pastry, but this is my first attempt at a first course or appetizer. I wanted to prepare a simple summer tart that was full of lively flavors. I mean what could be better than tomatoes and pesto?

Working with puff pastry takes a little getting used to. Make sure to defrost the pastry before you roll it out to desired size. I like using parchment paper sheets under the pastry for ease in rolling and also for transferring the pastry onto the sheet pan. Make sure to use a sharp knife to carve out the half-inch border, but don’t cut all the way through. I found that punching little holes inside the border with a fork close together helps keep the puff pastry from rising.

This tasty appetizer can be served cut into pieces with cocktail napkins or on small plates with forks. I’ve given you a pesto recipe if you feel like making it from scratch. Also, make sure the Roma tomatoes are ripe.

I have also served these crispy tomato pesto gems on individual plates as a first course with a simple arugula salad dressed with lemon vinaigrette on the side. Any way you serve this, make sure to have a chilled cocktail or rose wine of your choice to accompany.

Tomato Pesto Tart

Serves 6 to 12


4 medium Roma tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick


Freshly ground black pepper

1 sheet (7 ounces) packaged puff pastry, defrosted, preferably all butter


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