Tasty Tarts: Your New Go-To Dinner

Tasty Tarts: Your New Go-To Dinner


If your Pinterest page is full of great ideas that you just don't have time to make, you'll be relieved to know that cooking doesn't have to be about recipes at all. Instead, all you need are some basic skills, a chef’s knife and a knowledge of what flavors work well together to make a meal that is original and delicious.

For a simple meal that's low on skill and high on adaptability, try making a dinner tart. It's a classic blend of pastry, vegetables and cheese that creates a filling meal with nearly endless possibilities for its flavor profile. And it's super easy to make.

Getting Started With Puff Pastry

You don't have to be a pastry chef to make this: Frozen puff pastry sheets are your friend! Let the pastry dough thaw for 30 to 40 minutes before you're ready to use it so that you can unfold it easily -- it should still be cold when you work with it.

Place the dough on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet to prevent sticking. Repeatedly prick the center section with a fork, leaving an inch or two of crust around the edges untouched. This will create a center section of dough that won't puff up as much as your crust as you bake.

Choosing Your Filling

Creating your filling is the fun part! In general, you're looking to create a 3:1 ratio of vegetables to cheese to layer over the center section of your puff pastry. You don't want to weigh down your tart too heavily, so add about a quarter-inch thickness of filling.

It's possible to make this dinner tart with whatever's lying around your house, but putting a bit of thought into your flavor combinations will guarantee a good result. In general, pair a strong cheese with a strong vegetable and milder cheese with milder veggies:

Strongly Flavored Vegetables

Milder Vegetables

  • Arugula
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Swiss chard
  • Tomatoes (heirloom)
  • Baby spinach
  • Bok choy
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Eggplant
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes (greenhouse)
  • Zucchini
  • Strongly Flavored Cheeses

    Milder Cheeses

  • Blue cheese
  • Cheddar (sharp)
  • Goat cheese
  • Gruyere
  • Parmesan
  • Smoked Gouda
  • Brie
  • Edam
  • Colby-Jack
  • Mozzarella
  • Muenster
  • Queso blanco
  • Swiss cheese

    Adding the Flavor

    You can season your tart with simple salt and pepper to allow your ingredients to shine, or you can come up with delicious new combinations of flavors on your own. How can you tell if two ingredients will taste great together? A good rule of thumb is that if it grows together, it goes together. This means that seasonal items like summer tomatoes taste great with warm-weather herbs like basil, while winter squash goes well with hardy herbs that can survive a frost, like sage and thyme.

    You can also think regionally to figure out which herbs and spices to add to your tarts. A tomato and cheese tart with flavors inspired by Mexican cuisine will taste very different from one dressed up in Italian herbs. Here are some hints to get you started:

    • Asian: Ginger, mirin, soy sauce
    • French: herbs de Provence, parsley, thyme
    • Indian: Cumin, curry powder, turmeric
    • Italian: Basil, olive oil, oregano
    • Mexican: Cilantro, cumin, lime

    Putting It Together

    To build your tart, roast root vegetables and steam greens until soft, and drain well to remove excess water. Slice thinly or chop into a filling you can layer easily over the puff pastry, adding your chosen seasonings to taste. Once you spread your filling onto the pastry, layer thin slices or shavings of cheese on top. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, or until the crust puffs up and browns. Garnish with fresh herbs or greens, cut into squares with a pizza cutter and serve hot.

    Savory dinner tarts are a great way to experiment with new ingredients and flavors as you build your cooking skills, and it's a lightning-fast dinner to keep in your arsenal.

    Back to blog