Looking for a Thanksgiving appetizer recipe that’s a little different this year? Me too. With the international travel ban, the only way I can transport myself to France this year is with food and drink, and maybe a little music. So, as promised here is one of my favorite recipes that any size crowd can enjoy. If you’d like more information about my Thanksgiving dinner planning and design, this is where you need to go. Updated daily, you’ll find lots of advice on how to make Thanksgiving your holiday this year.

So, I must confess, I really, really miss France. To remedy this situation, I decided to don an apron and recreate some of my favorite comfort food. For me, the blending of rich gruyere and bright Dijon mustard brings me right back to the sunny days of spring in Provence. The buttery crust is just heaven, and I usually end up eating quite a bit of this appetizer.

spring in Provence at clos st esteve
Taylor & Porter

With many of us trying to grapple with an unusual Thanksgiving this year, give this recipe a try. Get yourself in the mood by opening a crisp Chardonnay, or maybe a Sancerre. We might not be able to get to France right now, but this Thanksgiving appetizer will knock your guests’ socks off and put a smile across your face. Need I say more?

Thanksgiving Appetizer: Gruyere & Tomato Tart

Recipe Courtesy of Ina Garten


for the crust:

  • 2 1/2 c. all- purpose flour
  • kosher salt
  • 12 TBL cold, unsalted butter, 1/2in-diced
  • 2 cold extra-large egg yolks
  • 1/2 c. ice water
  • 2 1/2lbs dried beans, for baking the crust (optional)

for the filling:

  • 2 1/2 pounds firm medium (2 1/2-inch) tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 cup whole fresh parsley leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 TBL fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 6 TBL Dijon mustard
  • 3/4lb grated Gruyere cheese (1 pound with rind)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 TBL freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese


for the crust:

  1. Place the flour and 1 teaspoon of salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Now add the butter and pulse 12 to 15 times until the butter is the size of peas. Add the egg yolks and pulse a few times to combine. With the motor running, go ahead and add the ice water through the feed tube and pulse until the dough comes together. Dump onto a floured board and roll it into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Next, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

for the filling:

  1. Meanwhile, place the tomatoes in a large bowl. From here, combine the parsley, basil, garlic, thyme, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until finely minced. With the processor running, pour the olive oil down the feed tube and process until combined. Pour the mixture over the tomatoes and then toss gently. Set aside.
  2. On a well-floured board, roll the dough out to an 11 x 17-inch rectangle and transfer it to the prepared sheet pan. Don’t worry if it doesn’t fit exactly; you will want it to cover most of the pan’s bottom, but it can be a little rough on the sides. Place a second sheet pan directly on the pastry and bake for 15 minutes. (You can also line the pastry with foil and fill it with dried beans if you prefer.) Go ahead and remove the top sheet pan (or the beans and foil). Now, using a dinner fork, pierce the pastry in many places. Bake the tart for another 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Don’t forget to check the pastry while it’s baking. If any spots bubble up, pierce them. Once out of the oven, allow the crust to cool for 15 minutes.
  3. Lower the oven to 375 degrees. Brush the mustard on the crust with a pastry brush. Sprinkle a thick even layer of Gruyere on the pastry, reserving 1/2 cup for the top, and sprinkle with the 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Place overlapping tomatoes in rows on top. This is where you can make it all pretty. If there is still a little garlic and herb mixture in the bowl, sprinkle it over the tomatoes. However, if there is liquid in the bowl, strain it through a very-fine-mesh strainer first, discard the liquid, and finally sprinkle the tomatoes’ garlic and herb mixture. Sprinkle the reserved 1/2 cup of Gruyere and the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan on top. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Cool slightly, cut into squares, and serve warm or at room temperature.
gruyere tomato tart for thanksgiving appetizer.
Carmen Santorelli Photography

Living, Recipes

Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipe: Gruyere & Tomato Tart

November 18, 2020

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