Fennel, Cherry Tomato Tartlets on Balsamic Crust — Tartelette fenouil, tomates cerises sur pâte brisée au vinaigre balsamique

food stying tartine gourmande fennel cherry tomato tartlet balsamic crust

The problem when you leave a conference that interested you so much is that you are literally left with a head full of precious information and, if asked to summarize or report on it, you do not know where to start.

Where shall I start?

There was so much discussed at the Food Stylist and Photography Conference this past weekend in Boston, so many nice people met and beautiful pictures displayed of known food photographers and food stylists that I feel that it will take me a few days before I can give you the juice of it. I need to digest the experiences learned for a few days. Yet, if I had to give you my general feeling in just a few words, I would say that going to this conference was worth every minute. Already, I cannot wait for the next one, whenever this happens.

But this does not mean that I will be quiet and leave you with nothing. What about if I shared with you the recipe of Vegetable Tartlets baked a week ago. There is no secret. You know well how much I like to eat and make tarts. And the smaller they are, the more interesting they become.

The recipe for this tartlet derives a hundred percent from my current Food Color Theme, where I do not seem to be able to live without anything Red or Pink. I don’t even like red or pink most of the time. My clothes? Not much pink. In food however — and I am not yet sure why that is — I adore these two colors. They evoke summer, passion and what else? While tomatoes are not fully seasonal at the moment, I never resist the temptation to buy cherry tomatoes, les tomates cerises, or strawberry tomatoes, which I prefer even. Not feeling at all guilty of this purchase either. I must be lucky: my provider sells deliciously sweet ones. I love to see them still hanging on small branches, in cluster, and often try to keep the stems when I cook them. While we, of course, do not eat these little sticks pointing up — how much I hear P. complain when I leave them on — I simply love the look they add to my plated dishes.

I decided to make a flavored crust as a base, balsamic vinegar working great next to the tomato flavor. I also cooked fennel beforehand, which I then added on top of the crust. Some basil mixed with garlic, salt and olive oil made a sauce used to coat the tomatoes, and goat or gorgonzola cheese finished it all. L’affaire est dans le sac ! A good deal for lunch or a lighter dinner, served with a fresh seasonal green salad, like Mâche or Arugula! Not bad for getting back into the swing of things, non ?

Now I just need to get back to my notes and think about a good way to report on this inspiring weekend.

food stying tartine gourmande fennel cherry tomato tartlet balsamic crust

Fennel, Cherry Tomato Tartlets on Balsamic Crust

(For 4 tartlets)

You need:

Crust with Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1 + 1/4 cups (7 oz) all-purpose flour or pastry flour
  • 7 Tbsp (3.5 oz) butter, cold and diced
  • 2 Tbsp white Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp cold water

The Toppings

  • 10.5 oz fennel bulb, sliced thinly
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2.5 oz gorgonzola cheese or mild creamy goat cheese, crumbled
  • 40 small cherry tomatoes, about 10 per tartlet
  • 1 Tbsp basil, chopped
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Coarse salt
  • Pepper


  • Place the flour in the bowl of a food processor if using one. Add the cold butter and mix by using the pulse mode.
  • Add the vinegar gradually, and enough water until the dough detaches from the bowl. Do not overwork the dough. Wrap it in plastic, and place it in the fridge for 1 hour minimum before using.
  • Roll the crust to form 4 tartlets. Place in greased molds and make small holes at the bottom. Cover and place in the fridge for 30 min.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and add the chopped shallot with the fennel seeds. Cook until fragrant but not browning, then add the thin slices of fennel. Cover and cook on low to medium heat for 20 min. Keep.
  • Wash the cherry tomatoes.
  • In a bowl, mix together the basil, crushed garlic, coarse salt and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Coat the tomatoes with this sauce.
  • Preheat your oven at 350 F.
  • Take the tartlets out of the fridge and top with the cooled fennel. Top with tomatoes and crumbles of cheese.
  • Cook for about 30 min.

food stying tartine gourmande fennel cherry tomato tartlet balsamic crust

Le coin français
Tartelette au fenouil et tomates cerises sur pâte brisée au balsamique

(Pour 4 tartelettes)

Ingrédients :

Pâte brisée au vinaigre de balsamique

  • 200 g de farine T 45
  • 100 g de beurre froid, coupé en dés
  • 2 càs de vinaigre de balsamique blanc
  • 2 à 3 càs d’eau froide

La garniture

  • 300 g de bulbes de fenouil, émincés finement
  • 1 échalote, hachée
  • 1 càc de graines de fenouil
  • 60 g de gorgonzola en miettes ou 60 g de fromage de chèvre frais doux
  • 40 petites tomates cerises par tartelette
  • 1 càs basilic ciselé
  • Gros sel
  • 2 à 3 càs d’huile d’olive
  • 2 gousses d’ail, pelées, dégermées et écrasées
  • Poivre du moulin

Étapes :

  • Mettez la farine dans le bol d’un robot. Ajoutez le beurre froid et mixez par pulsions.
  • Ajoutez ensuite le vinaigre et l’eau en filet, jusqu’à ce que la pâte se détache du bol et forme une boule. Enveloppez-la dans du film étirable, et mettez-la au frigo pendant 1 heure, minimum.
  • Étalez votre pâte en forme de 4 petites tartelettes. Placez dans quatre moules graissés et piquez le fond de chaque tartelette avec une fourchette. Couvrez et mettez au frigo pendant 30 min.
  • Faites revenir l’échalote émincée dans 1 càs d’huile d’olive avec les graines de fenouil. Ajoutez le fenouil, couvrez et faites suer pendant 20 min. Réservez.
  • Lavez les tomates cerises.
  • Mélangez le basilic haché, les gousses d’ail, le sel et 1 càs d’huile d’olive. Enrobez les tomates cerises de cette sauce.
  • Préchauffez votre four à 180 C
  • Sortez les tartelettes et divisez le fenouil entre-elles. Couvrez de tomates cerises et des miettes de fromage.
  • Enfournez pendant 30 min environ.

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Posted in French Inspired, Tarts, Vegetarian


  1. encore une fabuleuse association et deux idées que je ne manquerai pas d’essayer: la pâte au vinaigre balsamique et l’association du fenouil et des tomates!

  2. Yummy! I love tartlets. I always try to make mine bite-sized to make sure the crust to filling ratio is always right. The larger ones shatter when cut unless the filling is sticky. =(

  3. Bravo! These look stunning. I would definitely order this if I saw them in a restaurant. I love the idea of a blasamic crust – since all things with balsamic are bound to be great. 🙂

  4. Beautiful tart- I read once that vinegar tenderizes tart shells, so using the balsamic for flavor as well is quite clever. By the way, you posted a coconut and rose tart a little while back, but never posted the recipe. If you get a chance, I’d really be interested in making it. Many thanks!

  5. i am not much of a pink person too when it comes to clothes but seeing them in your posts makes me want to wear them! lol! you really have a gift you know that don’t you?

  6. C’est marrant mais j’adore le rose, rouge mais rarement sur moi..Quoique plus je vieillis et plus j’associe les gris et roses, rouge et noit, marron et rose…
    Ta tarte est superbe! j’adore l’association des saveurs!

  7. Wow Bea, you must have been really inspired because that picture is super-gorgeous! I am very jealous that you got to go to that conference, I hope we get to hear some tidbits that you learned!

  8. Nice picture! Can I use normal aged balsamic vinegar insteads of the white balsamic vinegar for this tart?

  9. Je trouve que le goût des tomates cerises cuites est transformé lorsqu’on ne retire pas leurs branches : ce n’est pas qu’esthétique, c’est aussi gustatif !

  10. Pâte brisée au vinaigre baslamique…alors là je suis très très curieux du résultat. cela doit très bien allé avec le reste, à n’en pas douter…pis ces photos, ah ces photos….bravo

    Bonne journée

  11. J’ai du balsamique blanc, et ca tombe tres bien, c’est une association qui m’interesse. J’aime tes tartelettes Bea 🙂

  12. The tartlets are so beautiful, as are your photos. I can’t imagine how you will improve them as a result of this conference; to me, the photos always seem perfect!

  13. A few quick responses before more.

    Yes not a problem to use regular balsamic vinegar, and I am sure that actually the more aged it is, the better in taste.

    Jeff, by stems I mean the “thing” on top of each tomato. Help! How do you call this in English?

    Mercedes, I am sorry I have not posted the recipe yet indeed. It is part of a next project! Thank you!

  14. You right. I think the color is influence by the weather ,you are in spring (almost summer) and i in autum (almost winter) and my blog looks sepia ,and pale yellow
    Great recipe.

  15. Bea ,the thing on top the tomatos I tink is called rocket letuce,or argula,in spanish and portugues is Rucula

  16. I am very much a pink person so I am actually loving the color theme going on here 🙂 That’s a gorgeous photo and a delicious looking tart…mmm! I have tried a cust with cider vinegar before…very good as well…

    Looking forward to hearing about your report on the conference!

  17. thank you very much for your comments. Sorry if I do not have as much time these days to respond to your comments. Hopefully back to normal soon!

  18. Oh! These are so incredibly beautiful! I love the idea of a balsamic crust, and want to make these at some point. Did I mention your photos are so beautiful? 🙂

  19. what about reg balsamic would that be OK? does it taste very diff?

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  21. looks and sounds delicious! I love the “mini tartlet pan with wooden handle” that’s pictured – any idea where I could buy it?

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  23. Bea, I made your tart for Easter and it was fantastic! Thank you very much sharing the recipe. It’s a keeper for sure. 🙂 Varya.

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