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Chef's Recipe

Holland America Line's Culinary Arts Center program, presented by Food & Wine Magazine, is a groundbreaking program that integrates guests' love for fine food and wine with a unique and entertaining experience. Immerse yourself in the unique traditions and tastes of the ports of call you will visit. Sample fine wines from around the world or learn to make a new gourmet dish in a hands-on cooking class taught by our own Master Chefs or Culinary Guests.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tartlets

While homemade puff pastry is delicious, it requires you to spend quite a bit of time waiting to repeat the rolling, folding, and chilling process over and over again. If you don’t have that kind of time, frozen puff pastry closely resembles homemade in texture and often in flavor. Keep a box of frozen puff pastry in the freezer, and the time it takes to thaw it on the counter is all that stands between you and some elegant quick appetizers.


  • 1(17.3-ounce) package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water
  • 6 Roma tomatoes cut in half lengthwise


  • 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 3½ ounces ripened goat cheese, softened
  • ½ cup purchased or homemade pesto


  1. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out each puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface to make an 11-inch square. With a 2-½-inch round cutter or the rim of a wineglass, cut out 16 rounds from each pastry sheet, to make 32 rounds total. Place 16 rounds on the prepared baking sheet; pierce the rounds all over with a fork. Set aside.
  2. With a 2-inch round cutter, cut out smaller rounds from the center of the remaining 16 rounds to make 16 (2½-inch) rings (reserve the 2-inch rounds for another use). Brush the outer ¼-inch edges of the 2½-inch rounds with some of the beaten egg; top each with 1 pastry ring. Freeze for at least 30 minutes. (The pastry can be prepared to this point up to 1 day ahead and frozen, covered. Do not thaw before continuing.)
  3. Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the tomato slices skin side down on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the herbes de Provence and salt. Drizzle with some oil and bake for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are softened and are almost beginning to brown. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let them cool in the pan on a rack. Chop them into ¼-inch cubes and set aside.
  4. Turn  up the oven to 250°/400°F. Place the chopped tomatoes inside the ring of the  16 frozen pastry rounds. Top the tomatoes with the goat cheese and bake  for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the pastry is golden on the bottom and  fully cooked. (If they still seem undercooked, switch off the oven and  leave the pastries inside, with the oven door closed, for 3 to 4  minutes.) Serve warm, with a drizzle of pesto alongside.

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