Too Many Onions? Make a tart!

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Onions are fantastic!  If you can caramelize some onions you can be the worst cook in the kitchen yet no one will ever know. I think they make the room smell like I’m a chef!  I’m not. However, I can cook onions and make a simple, tasty tarte l’oignon and have everyone think I am, especially if I toss the fancy french term for the lowly onion tart out into the crowd.

So next time you get a few too many onions from the Misty Hollow CSA give this recipe (adapted from Lovely Bits) a try. It’s perfect with a salad for a simple dinner or as an appetizer at a get together.

  • 5 – 6 of Jim’s white onions halved and sliced very thin (I used 4 that were small to medium and I wish I’d used more)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I used Himalayan pink sea salt – yum!)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar optional (I used raw sugar)
  • 1 refrigerated pie dough (you can make your own, but I’m lazy and bought mine at Whole Foods, aka Whole Paycheck)
  • 1 1/2 tsp of fresh rosemary snipped in bits
  • 1 egg white
  • 3/4 cup of gruyere cheese – shredded (don’t overdo the cheese, this is strong stuff)

If you plan to make your own crust do that first and set aside to chill.

Heat a fry pan such as a cast iron skillet or stainless whichever you prefer (except non-stick) to medium.  Melt the butter and add the onions and stir to coat them. Every 5 – 10 minutes check on them and give them a stir. Once they’ve begun to get a bit golden add the salt, pepper & sugar. Don’t worry about sticking too much. If the onions stick you can lower the heat a bit and deglaze the pan  with some water or a bit of the wine you’re enjoying while you cook. The onions should take about 40 minutes to be perfect. By now your kitchen smells amazing. Set onions aside while you prepare the dough

While you’re sipping your wine and occasionally stirring the onions place an oven rack at the bottom and preheat your oven to 425. Now is also the time to shred your cheese, separate your egg, and snip your rosemary.  Everything should be mise en place (there’s the french in the kitchen again).

Place a piece of parchment paper on your counter. Take your pie crust and either roll it out to about 12 inches or unroll the purchased one on the parchment paper. Note – the Whole Food’s crust comes without paper in it and is a bit of a pain to unroll. It kept sticking together or coming apart. I just pressed it all back together once I got it unrolled. While it was a nuisance, I think the taste and texture was more rustic and suitable to this recipe than a Pillsbury crust would have been. brush the crust with some of the egg white. Place parchment and crust on a cookie sheet.

Spread 1/2 the cheese onto the crust leaving  2 – 2/12 inches around the edges. Add the onions then the remaining cheese.  Don’t worry that these layers aren’t solid. Just so long as most of the inner dough is covered with something it works fine as the cheese melts.

Sprinkle with the rosemary and then fold in the outer edges, pleating overlap as you go. Brush more egg white on the folded crust. Place the cookie sheet, parchment and all (easy peasy clean up) onto that low rack in the oven. Bake for 17 – 19 minutes or until crust is golden. Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Perfect with a Pinot Noir says one with experience.  Tastes good cold the next day also.