Little Bistro Starters With Tomato and Pesto

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“This is really quick and easy to make. I had some phyllo today which needed to be used up. I used a muffin tin, but you can make a lovely little tart if you have small fluted tartlet tins. The pesto was homemade. Ideally you should have goats cheese (chèvre) for this: I used pieces of Greek halloumi cheese. Don't use a cheese which will go gummy as it cools. Use small ripe tomatoes, so the cross-slices fit into the shells. Serve warm rather than hot. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat oven to 350 deg F/180 deg Celsius
  2. Use the butter to grease 4 muffin cups or loose-bottomed small tartlet tins.
  3. Open up the phyllo sheets: you need 4 sheets, one on top of the other. You might need extra sheets, depending on size of your phyllo sheets. Cut into squares large enough to fit into your molds.
  4. Line the greased muffin cups or tartlet tins with the 4-sheet thick phyllo squares. Push in gently. It will wrinkle at the sides, of course; that's the idea.
  5. With kitchen scissors, cut off the overhanging edges of the phyllo, but not too close to the top.
  6. Brush the phyllo cups generously all over with the olive oil.
  7. Place a tablespoon of pesto in the bottom of the phyllo cups.
  8. Top with the unpeeled 3/4 inch thick tomato slice, sliced crosswise. You might find that a small tomato (top cut off and cut into two, through the centre) yields two thick slices and fits neatly into the pastry on top of the pesto.
  9. Sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon sugar and a tiny pinch salt over each tomato half.
  10. Sprinkle fairly generously with pepper.
  11. Put the cheese of your choice on top -- goats' cheese (chèvre) really is best.
  12. Drizzle a swirl of virgin olive oil over each tartlet.
  13. Bake for about 25 - 30 minutes, or until pastry turns golden.
  14. Serve warm, not hot from the oven.
  15. (Recipe can be doubled or tripled).

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