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Heirloom Tomato and Olive Tapenade Tartelettes

Heirloom Tomato Olive Tarts

Can’t get enough heirloom tomatoes these days. They were lovely in June. Yes. They are even better now and we are having them every day. If you stay for dinner you might get some lovely slices simply sprinkle with coarse sea salt, olive oil and a sprinkle of chopped basil. If you are around for lunch, I will just hand you a crusty piece of bread to scoop up thick pieces of tomatoes, garlic and basil, all dressed in a simple vinaigrette.

Heirloom Tomato Olive Tarts

If you come around on Sundays though, you will get them in a tart. Or eight. Depending on how late we got up… For some reason, Sundays have become more domestic because of our schedule. We take the time to prep things for the week, he in his office among his papers to grade and the bills and I, in the kitchen getting foods ready for us or work that week.

Heirloom Tomato Olive Tarts

No matter what, it almost always end up around the dinner table with a couple of friends. Or a lot. And a bottle of wine. Or many. Living wholeheartedly the moment as it presents itself. And right now, it’s easy with the gorgeous days we are having. It sure is Fall somewhere. Not here. And I am basking in all things Summer for a little while longer.

Sun ripened tomatoes, piment d’Espelette, black olive tapenade all fitting in the palm of my hand in tartelette forms. Easy to take to the dock for a little snacking.


I’ve been enjoying a whole lot of simple meals lately and I got to say that when the schedule gets as packed as it has, they fuel me and keep me going until late in the night. I am not only talking about time cutting efficiency but flavors so clean you can taste the vitamins in every bite.

So yes, it’s still a whole lot of summer here. Radishes as crisp and pink as if you had just picked them. They can give you some lip back though. These are feisty spicy little things, ehehe!

Pre-Dinner Snack

I like them as simple as that. A touch of butter, a sprinkle of coarse sea salt as I dig into a tartelette. Or two. When I have enough of that spicy kick, I roast them in the oven with some thyme and a drizzle of olive oil and they become soft and demure as can be. Interesting how the simple act of roasting them can change their nature.

Heirloom Tomato Olive Tarts

The tarts take virtually no time to assemble if you have the dough prepared ahead of time but it’s always possible to use already made dough (probably won’t be gluten free though). Tapenade is something quite specific to the South of France but it relatively easy to find online or make from scratch.

Heirloom Tomato Tarts:

Makes 8

For the crust:
5 tablespoons (70gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon piment d’Espelette (or pinch red pepper flakes)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
3 egg yolks
pinch salt
1/2 cup (80gr) brown rice flour
1/2 cup (60gr) millet flour
1/4 cup (30gr) sorghum flour
1/4 cup (40gr) potato flour
(or 1.5 cups of all purpose flour if not using gf flours)
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum

For the filling:
1/3 cup to 1/2 cup black olive tapenade
6-8 heirloom tomatoes, cut into thin slices
chopped basil (as much or as little as you want)
salt and pepper
olive oil
Feta cheese (about 1/3 cup) – optional

Prepare the crust:
In a mixer, whip together the butter, piment and mustard on medium speed until light and airy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Mix until incorporated. Add all the different flours, and the xantham gum and mix briefly. Dump the whole mixture onto a lightly floured (use more rice flour) board and gather the dough into a smooth ball. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
When the dough is nice and cold, roll it out on a lightly floured board or in between two sheets of plastic to fit your preferred mini tartelette pans (or you can use one 10-inch pie pan). If the dough tears while you roll or/and transfer into the pans, just patch it with your fingertips. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
You can freeze the dough for up to 3 months and prepare it up to 4 days in advance

Preheat oven to 350F and position a rack in the center.
Spoon a little or a lot of olive tapenade in the bottom of each tart shell and top with overlapping slices of tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and some basil.
Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until the shells are cooked through.
Drizzle with olive oil right before serving. Sprinkle with feta cheese if desired.

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Gaia – the Cook September 23, 2010 um 7:46 am

I love tapenades and sure will try your tartelettes!

fragolina September 23, 2010 um 7:47 am

This recipe looks scrumptious… yummi, i love tarts. I make pizzas topped with home-made basil pesto, very thin slices of tomatoes or cherry-tomatoes and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese…..the best, yummii. The photos are amazing.

Sarah, Maison Cupcake September 23, 2010 um 9:05 am

I am seriously impressed with those tomatoes, I wish I knew where to buy some like that in my part of London! Sounds like a fabulous thing to put in my husband's lunchbox.

Juliette H September 23, 2010 um 10:20 am

I absolutely adore heirloom tomatoes and I love love the look of these tarts!

Helen, your photos are simply stunning. I'm a bit new to photography and have been looking to buy a new camera and lens and yours are the best photos that I've seen. May I ask what camera and lens do you use?

Thanks so much for doing what you do ๐Ÿ™‚

Vicki Wilde September 23, 2010 um 11:41 am

Your photographs are just lovely! I've recently become an olive convert and love tampenade. Sounds like the perfect combination here!

Engineer Baker September 23, 2010 um 11:58 am

These look lovely! And yes, it seems like the tomatoes are just more intense around now. Perfect for baking and roasting them.

LimeCake September 23, 2010 um 12:50 pm

simple is best, especially when it comes to sweet tomatoes. i love them on good, crusty bread. these tartelettes look delicious!

Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet September 23, 2010 um 1:11 pm

I love the olive tapenade. Next time I make a tomato tart I will try this, I also like carmelized onion or shallots in mine.

Nina Timm September 23, 2010 um 2:03 pm

All the photos are stunning as ussual, but the 2nd last one with the radishes are simpy breathtakingly beautiful!
I just happen to have made tapenade this morning…mmm!!

Ivy September 23, 2010 um 3:16 pm

Gorgeous! I love this savory tart so much. You're inspirational. ๐Ÿ™‚

Yue Jiang September 23, 2010 um 4:25 pm

i love your tartelette, i love your photos, i love your old looking silverware and table top!

Jazz Rules September 23, 2010 um 4:44 pm

I agree with Nina, these photographs are beautiful! Do you take them yourself?

Keighley@thebellalife September 23, 2010 um 5:24 pm

Holy Yum! My mouth is watering just looking at these pictures….

Amazing and Gorgeous


Stephanie September 23, 2010 um 5:55 pm

breathtaking! can't wait to make these. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tracy September 23, 2010 um 6:13 pm

Your tart crust is all charm. Tomato tart for lunch, a few radish with butter and salt. I'm salivating.

melissa September 23, 2010 um 6:18 pm

ah i just made a tomato goat cheese tart the other night. turned out so well. your photos are beautiful as usual. make me want to bite into the screen!

Anonymous September 23, 2010 um 6:47 pm

oh my goodness, I love the simple perfection of these. I can't seem to keep heirloom tomatoes around long enough to do anything with them other than slice and eat, but I will try these tomorrow after a trip to the market!

Lauren | Seventeenth & Irving September 23, 2010 um 7:09 pm

These are gorgeous! I can't wait to try my hand at them.

Patricia Scarpin September 23, 2010 um 7:24 pm

My mom used to make hundreds of radish salads when I was a kid, Helen, but I have never had it with butter – sounds and looks delicious! The tartlets are pretty too – give me anything with tomato and I'm a happy person. ๐Ÿ˜€

[email protected] September 23, 2010 um 7:35 pm

Beautiful tomato tarts lady! That tea towel with the words on it is so fun too. Love tapenade over fish, chicken, veggies, these tarts. Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks in SF. Gonna be such a freakin' blast ๐Ÿ™‚ xo

Gen September 23, 2010 um 7:58 pm

Quelles couleurs! Les tomates sont vraiement superbes et avec la tapenade c'est encore meilleur!

Miss Crumble September 23, 2010 um 9:15 pm

J'ai encore plein de tomates de mon jardin; je pense leur avoir trouver une destination!

Laura September 23, 2010 um 10:43 pm

These look absolutely fantastic! Can't wait to try them for myself!

Helene September 23, 2010 um 10:47 pm

Juliette & Jazz Rules: please look into the "about" page.

Thanks guys!

jodye @ 'scend food September 23, 2010 um 11:00 pm

What a simple, beautiful dish. I love heirloom tomatoes and fully agree that one of the best ways to enjoy them is simply sprinkled with salt. The tarts sound delicious, and your photographs are wonderful!

Susan York September 23, 2010 um 11:45 pm

This looks fantastic. Love these tomatoes. Photos are great. Thanks for a great post.

Susan York

Joyce September 24, 2010 um 12:26 am

Helen this looks wonderful. I love tapenades and tomatoes! xo

notyet100 September 24, 2010 um 5:25 am

thanks for the virtual treat,..;-)

Scarlett September 24, 2010 um 9:38 am

These look amazing-I'll definitely be trying them!

Cherine September 24, 2010 um 10:53 am

Gorgeous tomato tarts!!
Beautiful shots as well!

The InTolerant Chef โ„ข September 24, 2010 um 12:48 pm

I've never tried radishes like that before, but I do love them cooked too.

El September 24, 2010 um 3:24 pm

It looks divine!

Truly Smitten September 24, 2010 um 3:37 pm

those tomatoes are just absolutely too pretty to eat! But this looks so yummy!

Charli September 24, 2010 um 8:43 pm

Roast tomatoes have been my favorite treat this season. Those tarts look divine.

Jason Sandeman September 25, 2010 um 1:44 pm

I love the tart shells. Subtly different, and enticing at the same time. I also love roasting radishes straight from the garden. About that lip – I always liked something feisty as opposed to demure anyway.

Unfortunately, the season for heirlooms has been shot up here in Montreal. It has been harder and harder to find them. If I had time, I would grow them on our roof top. LOL. I think I just got an idea!

Sarah from 20somethingcupcakes September 25, 2010 um 2:57 pm

This is absolutely everything I love. Beautiful as always!

Maria September 25, 2010 um 10:51 pm

What a delightful meal!

delicieux September 27, 2010 um 4:26 am

I love heirloom tomatoes too, and I love these delicious little tarts you have put together. They look so full of flavour. I have to make these soon.

Susan September 27, 2010 um 3:54 pm

The tampenade with the tomatoes sounds delicious. Can't wait to try it.

Dana September 27, 2010 um 5:18 pm

How charmingly delicious! These would be great at a dinner party this time of year!

Alyson September 27, 2010 um 7:46 pm

Mmm. You had me at tapenade!

RSA Certificate September 27, 2010 um 8:45 pm

Mmmm delicious! I can't seem to get any heirloom tomatoes here though ๐Ÿ™ what's the best substitute?

Helene September 27, 2010 um 8:52 pm

RSA Certificate: pick tomatoes that are ripe and smell good. Vine ripened or tomatoes on the vine are probably the best right now.

Tv Food and Drink September 27, 2010 um 10:54 pm

Heirloom tomatoes just make me happy. Great post!

citymouse September 28, 2010 um 12:54 am

Do you really put butter on your radishes? Am I missing something? I adore radishes and haven't had a proper one in far too long.

Helene September 28, 2010 um 1:19 am

Citymouse: that's the way we do it back home in my family. Butter and then dipped into coarse sea salt…oh so good ๐Ÿ™‚

Kelly-Jane September 28, 2010 um 9:14 am

How beautiful your tomatoes are, and the tarts too. You'll be awesome at the pice for Holly's book ๐Ÿ™‚

Anonymous September 28, 2010 um 4:38 pm

How delicious! I am a sucker for anything olives. Looks great! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Damaris @Kitchen Corners September 28, 2010 um 8:06 pm

I love your photography. Do you ever give online courses? Or do you ever do consulting? If some please please please contact me.

the blissful baker September 28, 2010 um 10:17 pm

oh, these look absolutely lovely!

Barton October 4, 2010 um 9:19 pm

Woah your crust sounds awesome, dedicated. Thanks been trying to come up with chef like things to do with heirlooms

Bianca October 7, 2010 um 12:27 pm

Aaaah, gorgeous. I used green olive tapenade because that is what I had on hand (but I had made myself so I get extra points :)) and rose tomatoes. Everything looks divine as it's about to go into the oven. Yum!

P.S. Radishes and butter? Intriguing…

Bianca October 8, 2010 um 8:00 am

Later edit: It was soooooooooo good. My mini-tartelette for 2 dissapeared in about 10 minutes. Yum! Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

RSA Perth July 2, 2012 um 10:57 am

I love tampenade with the tomatoes. I just didn't know how to do it. Now I do.

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