Friday, 19 June 2009

Wholesome, yet tarty!

I realised a few days ago that onions seemed to be reproducing in the veg bowl. Every time I walked past more seemed to have appeared.
Now, I like onions, but when there are only two of us it's sometimes hard to use them all up. Not unlike the bananas that make their way into the flat. I'll chop an onion for a pasta sauce, or soup, or stew, or to top some bread, but then I'm still left with a few billion vying for my attention.

So this week I decided it was time for a serious attack, before they got too comfortable and started sprouting.

I've become rather addicted to caramalised balsamic onions. I first discovered them on Valentine's day last year when I made an onion tart from Delia Smith's Vegetarian Collection. She suggested red onions, as you get a slightly sweeter flavour, but I've since done it with normal white onions on many occasions for topping cornbread or focaccia and I still really enjoy it. If anything I like the less sweet version.

Whilst eyeing up the onion situation this little tart came to mind. Delia makes them as starters, but I figured that with all the onions I had I could make a large version topped with little rounds of chili-rolled goats cheese. I also decided that instead of the cheese-heavy pastry that Delia uses, I would make a more wholesome version using light wholemeal flour (which has been ground down much finer than usual wholemeal to make it more suitable for cakes and pastry).
I was really pleased with how this turned out, the only problem was I made too much of the onion filling! I was so keen to use up the surplus that I just kept chopping! So now we're going to be eating caramalised onions with everything. Oh well, they are tasty and I'm sure it's good for you, I'm just not sure I fancy them for every meal.

Caramalised onion tart with goats cheese: serves 4-6.

First make the pastry so it can rest in the fridge.

8oz light wholemeal flour
4oz cold butter
sprinkling of salt
cold milk

Sprinkle the salt over the flour and then rub in the butter until you get a coarse breadcrumb texture. Then slowly add milk, a tablespoon at a time, until it just comes together as a dough. Leave to rest in the fridge for 30mins.

Preheat oven to 180C. Then roll out and lift into a 8 inch loose-bottomed tart tin. Prick the pastry with a fork and then fill with baking beans and blind-bake for 20mins. Remove from the oven when slightly golden and leave to cool.


4 large onions
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
goats cheese log, cut into as many slices as you want to top the pie.

Slice the onions and the place in a pan with the oil. Cook over a low heat for about 20mins until soft, glossy and golden. Add the vinegar, stir and continue to cook for another ten minutes. Leave to cool.

When cool, place the onions into the tart shell, and then top with the roads of goats cheese. Place back in the 180C oven and cook for about 20mins until the goats cheese is just beginning to melt and brown. Remove, rest for five minutes and then serve.


  1. This looks great. I love the recipe and the way you arranged the slices of goat's cheese on top -- very pretty. I personally don't think you can ever have too much caramelized onion...

  2. Ooooh....just the kind of thing I like to eat!