Thursday, October 20, 2011

Caramelised Onion Tart

Have been busy lately and out and about and my cooking has mirrored that - sometimes thought through, sometimes rushed but usually interesting! I found the recipe for this on Splendid Table, I think, though I know it comes from Grand Central Bake, and anything New York will always snag my attention at least for as long as it takes to decide it's level of fabulousness. Loved the sound of this so copied it to my recipe file which, often as not, is where my untried recipes stay, sometimes for months, other times for going on forever. This one, however, hung around the edges of my mind partly because I am a total sucker for caremalised onions with anything and partly because theoretically I am trying to expand the great meat free dinner repertoire. But it was mostly the onions, you understand.

So this week, when I had half a carton of cream to use and plenty of onions I couldn't resist. Definitely one of my better ideas - all manner of textures and flavours, a lot of them associated with the last taste of summer, it made for a great supper and good next day for lunch.

Caramelised Onion Tart with Roasted Vegetables

Serves 4 with salad

20 x 30 cm ready rolled puff pastry sheet, defrosted if frozen
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium-sized onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons salt
¼ cup cream
1 egg
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
250 – 300g sliced (to coin thickness) courgettes and tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions and sprinkle in salt. Cook onions until they release some liquid and begin to develop a few dark spots, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and continue cooking until onions are soft and toasty brown, 35-45 minutes. Do not stir too often during the caramelizing process. Instead, give the pan a good shake about every 5 minutes to redistribute contents. Allow onions to cool. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Whisk the cream and egg together and fold in cool onion mixture and parmesan cheese.

Pull puff pastry from the refrigerator and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment – or a silicon mat if you have one. I used to have one, never used it, gave it to the charity shop, and now have many times I wish I hadn’t. Pfff. Use a paring knife to trace a smaller rectangle on the puff pastry, leaving a 1 cm border. Be careful not to cut all the way through the dough. The border will puff up and be the edge of the tart. Use a fork to poke small holes in the centre rectangle.

Spread onion filling in centre of tart inside the central rectangle and arrange tomato and courgette slices decoratively on top. Chill tart for 20 minutes.

While tart is chilling, preheat oven to 400F/Gas 5. Bake tart for 15-20 minutes. Turn oven down to 350F/Gas 4 and bake another 10-20 minutes or until pastry is rich golden brown. Garnish with fresh basil after baking. Serve warm from the oven or at room temperature.

We had it simply with alfafa sprouts for a really clean fresh crunch.

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