Food You Can Eat: Dijon & Mortadella Tart

One of my favorite things: A party food that makes for a respectable dinner.

A tart to warm the heart

This little beauty popped up on my radar recently, thanks to my very good friends at food52. Well, we were much closer friends up until about six months ago when they instituted this not-entirely-functional create account/log in system, even though I subscribe to their newsletter…Anyway, I confess that I have not made this yet but I am intrigued because it seems so mustardy, and to me that’s all to the good. 

Just recently, during the heat wave, I made a simple cheeseburgers ’n [heated up frozen] fries supper for us, and on my plate smeared my cheeseburger with Dijon mustard and poured more mustard into a little ramekin to make a dipping sauce for the fries. Better Half is not such a fan, so he did the same, but with this bottle of spicy ketchup we have. That’s the joy of condiments. You can have 100 different varieties stashed around the kitchen without even realizing that they’re there. About once a week we get takeout, almost always Thai or from the only decent Mexican place in my part of town, and I hoard any condiments that come with and we don’t use. I wanted my meal to be very à la moutarde, and Faithful Hound eats his cheeseburgers unadorned, but Better Half must have spent 15 minutes muttering, “Soy sauce? Sour cream? How old is this wasabi paste? I suppose I should use up these two little tubs of guacamole…”

Food52 recommends that this be assembled in the morning, refrigerated, and then popped in the oven when your guests start arriving and serve it as party appetizers. Make ahead party appetizers are the best, but when I make this it’s going to be dinner for two. None for the Ravenous Beast, though: mustard’s another thing you shouldn’t feed a dog. 


1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted per the package instructions

1/2 cup whole-grain mustard

1/4 cup smooth Dijon mustard

1/4 cup mayonnaise

9 slices provolone cheese (about 8 ounces)

20 slices mortadella (about ¾ pound)

1 large egg

1/4 cup cornichons, thinly sliced

Heat oven to 400°F and prepare a parchment-lined sheet pan. On a flour dusted work surface, roll out the puff pastry into a 9×12-inch rectangle; try to minimize any visible seams in the dough. With a knife trace a smaller rectangle within the puff pastry center, leaving ½ inch to the edge on all sides to create space for a border and the area you will be placing your toppings on. Gently poke the inside of the rectangle you outlined with the tines of fork, evenly and all over. This will prevent this area from rising while the tart bakes so you get a clean border.

Combine the grainy mustard, Dijon, and mayonnaise. Spoon a thin layer of the mustard sauce all over the inner rectangle of the tart. You will likely only use about a ½ cup of the sauce but we will keep the remaining for serving later.

Shingle slices of provolone across the tart. They will have some overlap and hit the border of the tart. You should have 3 rows of 3 slices to cover the whole tart.

Fold the mortadella slices in half like you’re closing a book and then in half again going from the top corner to the bottom corner to create what will look like mortadella fans. Layer the folded mortadella on top of the provolone until the inner portion of the tart is covered, you should have 5 rows of 4 mortadella slices.

Whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water and brush the visible border of the tart.

Bake the tart for 20 to 25 minutes, until the mortadella is crispy on the edges and the puff pastry has cooked to a golden brown. Remove from oven. Scatter the sliced cornichons on top of the tart, cut into slices, and serve warm with the leftover mustard sauce.



      • And I will add that’s the great thing about cooking. You learn by trial and error, and if you can’t master something, you can cover up your failures with substitutions. I normally get creative around Thanksgiving, but I used to be more traditional. I brought out a blueberry crumble for dessert one year and a friend said, “That’s very ‘Pilgrim’ of you…”

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