Savory Tomato Shortcake
Originally posted May 29, 2013. Updated 1/12/2021
Back when I was preparing and training for MasterChef, I spent a good deal of time thinking about potential ingredients, challenges, etc. I brainstormed about unique ideas I could put forth, that may bring an edge to my game.
Today's post is one of the ideas I came up with - just a fun, summery appetizer:
Savory Tomato Shortcake!
I almost feel guilty about posting this today, just a day after my Sushi Cake yesterday.
My roomie from MasterChef ended up posting about it, saying that I have this "thing" about making savory dishes look like dessert.
I thought "What? I've done it like.. twice now. What?"... and now, this.
Ok, three times! (The first time being my Buffalo Chicken Buns!)
Anyway, this savory take on shortcake starts with a flavourful, savory baking powder biscuit, topped with a cheese infused whipped cream, and crowned with jewel like cherry tomatoes, basil, and balsamic vinegar.
This would be great served as a light lunch, appetizer at a garden party, or with tea.
Also, as the result of weird schedules being subject to my whim.. I can tell you that this savory tomato shortcake makes a great breakfast, too! Enjoy!
How to Make the Biscuits
This is a very simple recipe, but if it’s not handled properly, you can end up with a less than ideal biscuit. So, some tips:
Handling When Mixing
First of all, be sure not to over-handle the dough for this.
You know how you have to knead bread dough? That’s to develop the gluten, allowing it to become stretchy and glorious.
... pretty much the opposite of what you want here. In addition to gluten, you also want to avoid incorporating the fat TOO much - you want little bits of it throughout the dough.
Use a light hand, mix only enough to incorporate, etc. Gentle and minimal handling goes a lot way to ensure light and fluffy biscuits!
Handling the Finished Biscuit Dough
Once you have your dough brought - gently! - together, you’re going to have to flatten it out and cut it into your biscuits.
This is another point where you need to be sure to handle it gently, to ensure a light, fluffy biscuit.
If you use a rolling pan, don’t use a ton of pressure on it, and don’t really press down on the dough.
Think of it more as rearranging where the dough is, rather than forcibly flattening it. Otherwise, just gather the dough on the work surface and gently flatten it out with your hands.
When it comes to cutting the dough out, aim to cut your pieces out as close together and efficiently as possible, to reduce the amount of times you’ll re-roll the dough.
I’ll usually use a round cutter - or an inverted glass - as round biscuits are just “right” to me,
Less re-rolling = less handling = happier biscuit dough!
More Fancy Recipes
Planning for a special dinner, whether Valentine’s Day, a special date, or a fancy dinner party? Here are a few recipes to consider!
Balsamic Mushroom Baked Brie
Beet & Goat Cheese Ravioli
Boozy Crème Brûlée
Chocolate Dessert Ravioli
Clementine Mousse with Champagne
Creamy Vanilla 6" Cheesecake
Easy Kahlua Panna Cotta
Fancy Tea Sandwiches
How to Make Cream Puffs and Croquembouche
Mushroom Brie Turnovers
Mushroom & Goat Cheese Braid with Balsamic Glaze
Pepper Crusted Tuna with Wasabi Cream Sauce
Phyllo Crab Triangles
Shrimp & Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms
Traditional Raspberry Mousse
White Chocolate Almond Amaretto Truffles
Wild Rice Stuffed Chicken Breast with Dijon Chive Cream Sauce
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Well, the published nonsense, anyway!
Savory Tomato Shortcake
- 1-2 Cups Grape or Cherry Tomatoes Halved or sliced
- ¼ Cup balsamic vinegar of choice*
- Salt and Pepper
- ¼ cup Basil Leaves Sliced into thin ribbons
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 3 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- Pinch Cayenne Powder
- ⅓ cup Shortening
- ½ cup Shredded white cheddar cheese
- 1 Garlic Clove Pressed or finely minced
- 1 Green Onion Finely chopped
- ¾ cup Milk
Goat Cheese Whipped Cream
- 2 oz Goat Cheese
- ¼ cup Ricotta Cheese
- 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- Toss tomato slices with balsamic vinegar until well coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste, the add in as much of the basil leaf ribbons as you want. Cover and chill until use.
- Preheat oven to 450.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cayenne powder.
- Measure shortening into the same bowl, and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or fork(s). The ideal is to work it in until it’s evenly distributed throughout, in very small pieces. Stir in cheese, garlic, and green onion.
- Add milk, stir until dough comes together. Don’t over stir or beat it. Gently compress the dough slightly, then roll to about ½″ – ¾″ thick. Use a glass or round cookie cutter (about 3 – 3.5″ in diameter) to cut biscuits.
- Gently arrange biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 10-12 mins, or until golden brown. As the biscuits are baking, prepare your goat cheese whipped cream.
Goat Cheese Whipped Cream
- In a small food processor, blend together goat cheese and ricotta until smooth. Add a little whipped cream – about ¼ cup – blending once again, just until incorporated.
- Add remaining whipped cream, process until mixture is at least doubled in volume, and reaches a consistency that you like – it will be thicker than normal whipped cream.
- Split each biscuit in half, top with a generous dollop of goat cheese whipped cream. Use a slotted spoon to garnish with tomato mixture, serve immediately.
- * I like to use a light colored, lemon flavored balsamic for this.