Planning on entertaining any vegetarians over the coming Holiday season?
If so, here’s a deeply delicious and savory alternative to turkey, for non-flesh-eaters. The pastry is light and crisp and the onions are fragrant and rich-tasting, without being overly rich.
It also makes a lovely appetizer or light lunch, either with or without some crumbled fresh goat cheese on top and you don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to make it.
It’s easy to prepare especially as you’re going to cheat with frozen puff pastry. The onion part can be made a day or so ahead and kept covered in the fridge. You can even freeze it, so get busy slicing those onions and you’ll be well armed for whenever guests drop by….although they don’t really do that in the US, do they? Never mind – scheduled visitors will also love this.
If you do prepare the onions ahead, gently warm them through before assembling the tart.
Note: In response to a request for clarification re US/UK equivalent cup-sizes, I’ve posted an imperial/metric conversion chart at the end.
RED ONION TARTE TATIN with THYME
2lbs / 1kilo of red onions, peeled, halved and sliced very thinly
2 tablespoons of extra-v olive oil
2oz / 56g butter
1 teaspoon of light soft brown sugar
A splash of balsamic vinegar (If you can find it, blood orange-infused balsamic vinegar is really good here)
½ pack of fresh thyme – leaves pulled off the stalks and chopped, thick stalks discarded
One sheet from a 1.1lb packet of frozen puff pastry or, 375g of the UK equivalent – ready rolled and thawed out in the fridge.
In a large skillet / wide sauté pan with a lid, heat the olive oil and butter. Add the onions and everything else (not the pastry!) and give it a really good stir to mix. Continue to cook over a very low heat, covered – stir every 5-10 minutes or so until the onions are caramelized, soft and jammy-looking.
This can take 40-60 minutes and it will really bring out the sweetness in the onions.
Heat the oven to 425F / 220C
Roll out the pastry and cut a circle that’s slightly larger than the top of a well-oiled 9 inch / 24cm shallow cake or pie pan. Tip the onions into the pan; place the pastry on top of the onions and tuck it well in around the edges.
Prick the pastry all over with a fork – this allows steam to escape and prevents the pastry from becoming soggy.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and golden. Take it out of the oven, immediately place a large plate over the pan and swiftly invert the tarte onto the plate, giving it a good shake.
Cut into 4-6 wedges, drizzle over a little more balsamic vinegar and top it with some crumbled fresh goat cheese (or not) – its delicious with or without.
Serve with a mixed leaf salad.
CUP MEASUREMENT EQUIVALENTS
• 1 cup = 8 fl oz = 16 tblspns = 48 tspns = 237 ml
• 3/4 cup = 6 fl oz = 12 tblspns = 36 tspns = 177 ml
• 2/3 cup = 5 fl oz = 11 tblspns = 32 tspns = 158 ml
• ½ cup = 4 fl oz = 8 tblspns = 24 tspns = 118 ml
• 1/3 cup = 3 fl oz = 5 tblspns = 16 tspns = 79 ml
• ¼ cup = 2 fl oz = 4 tblspns = 12 tspns = 59 ml
• 1/16 cup = 0.5 fl oz = 1 tblspn = 3 tspns = 15 ml