This delicious tart makes a wonderful light lunch dish or vegetarian entrée. The pastry is light and crisp and the onions have a rich, tangy, savory sweetness.
It’s very easy to prepare, especially as you’re going to cheat with frozen puff pastry which is always a good thing to keep in your freezer. The onion filling freezes well and can be made a day or so ahead and will keep covered in the fridge. You could also use it as a pizza or burger topping, so perhaps make double the quantity and you’ll be well armed for whenever you need to whip something up in a hurry.
The goat cheese topping is optional and shaved Parmesan would also be lovely.
If you prepare the onion filling ahead, gently warm it through before assembling the tart.
RED ONION TARTE TATIN with GOAT CHEESE
(Serves 6 as an appetizer, 4 as a main course)
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 generous splash of balsamic vinegar (If you can find it, fig-infused balsamic vinegar is really good)
½ a pack of fresh thyme (about 4 sprigs) – 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 or wide sauté pan with a lid, heat the olive oil and butter. Add the onions and everything else (except the pastry) and give it a really good stir to mix. Continue to cook covered over a very low heat, stirring every 5-10 minutes or so until the onions are darkly caramelized, soft and jammy-looking.
This can take 40-60 minutes as a slow, low heat brings out the mellow sweetness of the onions.
When you’re ready to assemble the tart, heat the oven to 425F / 220C
Roll out the pastry and cut a circle (or square) that’s slightly larger than the top of a well-oiled 9 inch (24cm) shallow cake or pie pan. If you have an ovenproof cast iron skillet, even better. Tip the onions into the pan; place the pastry on top of the onions and tuck it 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 the pastry is crisp, puffy and golden. Take it out of the oven and immediately place a large plate over the pan and swiftly invert the tart onto the plate, giving it a good shake.
Serve warm, cut into 4-6 wedges, drizzled over with a little more balsamic vinegar and topped with some crumbled fresh goat cheese (or not) – either way, it’s delicious.
Serve with a mixed leaf salad and a light citrus-y dressing.