Pimiento Cheese & Tomato Tart

Makes 1 (8-9 inch) tart

Pimiento cheese spread contains mayonnaise, which gives this tart a dainty puff that surrounds oven-dried tomatoes. It’s a wonderful throw-together appetizer or luncheon dish, reminiscent of a sophisticated pizza. It is important for the pimiento cheese to be cold when it goes into the oven, hence the chilling instructions. — Nathalie Dupree


1 (9-inch) pie crust (homemade or store-bought)

11/4 cups mayonnaise-based pimiento cheese

1 pint grape tomatoes


Prebake the pie crust in an 8- or 9-inch tart pan, and set aside to cool. When cool, move to the refrigerator to chill. Spread the pimiento cheese on the bottom of the pie crust, no more than a third of the way up the sides of the tart pan, and chill again. If using a tart pan with a removable bottom, surround the bottom of the pan with foil to prevent the filling from possibly leaking out while baking.

While the tart is chilling, halve the tomatoes and bake cut side down on an oiled rimmed baking sheet at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, or until shrunken and most of the juice has been emitted. Remove and drain. Cool to room temperature.

Sprinkle the tomato halves over the pimiento cheese, rounded side up; avoid covering completely so the cheese can rise above the tomatoes. Chill until ready to bake.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Move the filled tart to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, or until puffy. Cool the tart in the pan on a wire rack.

Nathalie Dupree is the author of 11 cookbooks, most recently “Southern Biscuits.” She lives in Charleston and may be reached through Nathaliedupree.com.