Cheese Straw Tomato Tartlets
Francesca Ciammaichelli / TODAY
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4.5 (2 rated)
Prep time:

This recipe combines two of my favorite foods to make one amazingly savory easy-to-pickup bite. Feel free to adjust the amount of crushed red pepper added to the dough.


  • For the crust

    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 3/4 cup cold salted butter, cut into pieces
    • 1 1/2 cups extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
    • 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup ice-cold water
  • For the filling

    • 2 pints red and yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
    • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • Crumbled feta or shaved Parmesan cheese


 Prepare the crust: Pulse the flour, salt, and crushed red pepper in a food processor 3 or 4 times, or until combined. Add the butter, and pulse 5 or 6 times, until crumbly. Stir in the cheese. With the processor running, gradually add 1⁄2 cup ice cold water, and process until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary.

Divide the dough in half. Place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Shape each into a flat disk. Wrap in the plastic wrap, and chill 2 to 24 hours.

Prepare the filling: Toss together the tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano, parsley, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Let stand 1 to 2 hours.

 Cook the tartlets: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 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, re-rolling the dough as needed. Press into the cups of a lightly greased 12-cup miniature muffin pan. (The dough will come slightly up the sides.) Repeat the procedure with the remaining dough disk and another muffin pan. Divide the tomato mixture among the cups. 

Bake the tartlets: Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the pans. Cool completely on a wire rack, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the extra cheese.