When it comes to summer cooking, I am all about simple meals, with big flavours and minimal effort. One of my favourite quick and easy recipes for a light dinner or lunch is my Easy Cherry Tomato Tart.
About this Recipe
This bright and beautiful roasted tomato tart is made with juicy cherry tomatoes and herbed cream cheese, all layered up on an all-butter puff pastry base. Let me tell you, this easy cherry tomato tart is SO good! It’s quick to make, looks stunning and is full of wonderful summery flavours.
Let the oven do the work.
It might seem counter-intuitive to roast things in the oven during the summer months, but I love cooking with the oven when it is hot outside. In summer I make lots of meals that can be thrown into the oven and then left alone, while I escape the heat in the kitchen (you’ll usually find me on the balcony with a cool glass of wine).
Letting the oven do all the work is so much better than dealing with steamy pots and oil-filled pans when you’re already overheated!
This beautiful tart is so quick to prepare
This is such a showy-looking tart, but the fact is that it is super simple to put together. It’s the perfect way to show off those juicy summer tomatoes. The tart crust is made from stacked puff pastry (no tart pan necessary = less washing up! You see where I’m going with this?)
The herby cream cheese filling is quickly mixed and the topping is as simple as slicing some tomatoes. Into a hot oven and 25 minutes later you can be snacking on this truly delicious meal.
I’m not saying that you can’t make this tart in the dead of winter, but I am saying that it will taste best on a warm night in summer, when you can get your hands on the freshest tomatoes and herbs. Take advantage of the season by heading to the markets and buying fresh and colourful tomatoes and herbs that have actually seen the sun.
Cherry or grape tomatoes are fairly reliable year-round, but if you are baking this Easy Cherry Tomato Tart in the cooler months, I recommend slicing the tomatoes and stirring with a pinch of sugar and sea salt before using arranging them on the tart. This simple trick will really enhance their flavour.
*DO* use store-bought pastry
I hear the gasps from the back of the room, but hear me out. Unless you’ve got air-con in the kitchen (I don’t), making your own pastry or dealing with pastry dough in the sweltering summer heat is a thankless task.
It’s better in this case to use a good quality, all-butter puff pastry from the shops. After all, this recipe is all about easy cooking, not being a slave to the stove.
In Europe, ready rolled puff pastry (like this US version) is available in all supermarket refrigerators. If you can only get frozen pastry, just be sure to let it thaw before baking.
My Cherry Tomato Tart makes a great light meal for 2-4 people, but it also makes excellent party food. You can either slice it up into bite-sized pieces or cut up the pastry before baking. Either way, it’s delicious!
What to serve with a Cherry Tomato Tart?
Keep it simple. A crisp, refreshing green salad and a baguette is really all that you need here. If you want a salad with a bit more bulk, try my Chicken and Farro Salad. You can make a big batch and it’ll last all week in the fridge.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make Cherry Tomato Tart in advance?
This tart is as tasty at room temperature as it is hot, so it is perfectly OK to make it up to 24 hours in advance. If you would like it hot, reheat gently in a low oven before serving.
Can I freeze this tart?
Cherry tomatoes are not suitable for freezing unfortunately, this tart is best made fresh.
Can I use dried chillies in red pepper jelly?
Yes, you can! Just add the dried chillies to taste while the jelly is cooking.
Can I make Cherry Tomato tart dairy-free or vegetarian?
Yes, you’ll need to find a vegetarian pastry for starters. Instead of the cream cheese base, I would recommend using a base of caramelised onions.
To make caramelised onions, Slice red onions and cook them gently in olive oil until soft. Add a little red wine and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and cook until caramelised. Spread across the pastry and cook as per the recipe.
Omit the egg wash, or brush the edges of the pastry with a little oat or soy milk.
Determined to make your own pastry?
Rather than bother with a puff pastry, you could use this olive oil pastry from my Zucchini and Feta Tart recipe. It’s sturdy enough to hold up to those juicy tomatoes. Be sure to cook until well browned.
Easy Cherry Tomato Tart
- 300 g roll of ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry , or two sheets frozen, defrosted
- 150 g full-fat cream cheese
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
- 1 Tbsp chopped rosemary leaves
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 300 g cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 10 Kalamata olives, halved
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- sea or kosher salt and black pepper
for the egg wash:
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- a small bunch of fresh basil
- 2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
- PREPARE: Take the pastry out of the fridge to warm up (or defrost) to just under room temperature. Heat the oven to 220°C / 425°F / Gas 7 and place an oven tray or large baking sheet in the middle of the oven.
- MAKE THE FILLING: In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese, onion, garlic, and herbs. Season well with salt and pepper then set aside.
- PREPARE THE BASE: If using ready-rolled puff pastry, unroll it completely on a work surface, then fold it in half so you have two layers. Use a pair of scissors or a sharp knife to cut along the fold. If using frozen pastry, stack two sheets of thawed puff pastry and use a rolling pin to roll out slightly to a rectangle. Transfer the base to a piece of baking or parchment paper. Use the tip of a knife to gently score a 1 cm (.5 in.) border all the way around the edge of the pastry, this will puff up and hold all the filling in.
- ASSEMBLE THE TART: Spread the cream cheese and onion mixture all over the pastry base, remaining inside the border. Arrange the tomatoes and olives on top, drizzle with a little olive oil and season again with salt and pepper. Brush the beaten egg over the edges of the dough.
- BAKE THE TART: Carefully remove the hot oven tray or baking sheet from the oven and slide the parchment paper and tart onto it. Return to the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and dark golden.
- SLICE AND SERVE: Allow to cool slightly, then scatter with fresh basil leaves and serve. Cut the tart into larger pieces or smaller serving squares for a party. If you like, you can drizzle over a little good quality Balsamic vinegar.
- It is important to pre-heat the baking sheet or oven tray as this will ensure a crisp base.
- If you are unsure if your oven temperature runs hot or cold, use the colour of the pastry as a visual guide. It should be puffed and a lovely dark golden brown.
- You can make your own homemade pastry for this recipe, but in the heat of summer when tomatoes are at their best, I am more likely to use a high-quality store-bought pastry instead.
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