Caramelized Onion Tart with Feta and Thyme

4 Mar

I thought I’d show you some pictures today to prove that the weather is not always perfect here.  It still looks beautiful though. Rufus and I walked to the top of this hill yesterday and the weather was on the verge of changing.

By the time we reached the top there was definitely something in the air. Something about the shadows and the clouds.

Rufus knew there was something going on, he could sense it.

You could see the storm clouds moving in above our heads…

So we decided to head home for lunch….

On Monday we went for dinner at our friends Joan & Terry. She made a lovely spiced ginger, carrot & coriander soup followed by a beautiful red onion and goat’s cheese risotto and a delicious apple and almond tart with an Amaretti biscuit base for dessert. I am always really grateful when people who are not vegetarian cook a full vegetarian meal for us. I know how difficult it is if you are not used to it. So thank you again, it was all gorgeous and we really appreciate it.

As we were leaving they gave us a crate (yes a crate) of food to take away with us as they were going back to England in a day or two. Part of the contents of this “food crate” was a bag of onions and some puff pastry.

Caramelized onions are one of my favourite things. Their sweet, savouriness enhances the hell out of  plain cheese sandwich transforming it into something gourmet. Add some veg (or beef) stock, sherry or brandy and cook for 10 minutes and you have an amazing French/Spanish onion soup to top with cheesy croutes. They add a grown up edge to pizzas and can be made into a fantastic caramelized onion dip that I found on Happy When Not Hungry.

My favourite thing to make with caramelized onions though is a tart. It is so easy and tastes lovely. The sweetness of the onions on the thin, crispy, flaky pastry base with a crumbling of some sharp sour cheese is delicious. Add a scattering of fresh herbs and you have an elegant starter or lunch dish. You can even make a big rectangular one to serve four, or cut it into squares or slices for a buffet. It is really versatile you can use whatever cheese and herbs you like. Why not try smoked mozzarella & basil or halloumi, mint & oregano, or try red onions with goat’s cheese & rosemary…..

Caramelized Onion Tarts with Feta & Thyme

serves 4 – 6, vegetarian

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 kg onions, halved, peeled & finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves chopped, or dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 375 gr (1 block or sheet)puff pastry, defrosted in the fridge overnight
  • 25 gr finely grated Parmesan or Manchego
  • 150 gr Greek Feta cheese
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme leaves to scatter

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and add in the onions, thyme and chilli flakes. cover with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. Add in the sugar, vinegar, salt & pepper and cook for another 5 minutes until the onion is soft and caramelized. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 220 C. Roll out the pastry, if necessary, to about 2 or 3 mm thick. Cut into a large rectangle with a ruler or cut around some side plates or saucers if you want individual round tarts. You can reroll the off cuts to make more if necessary. Score a 1cm border around the edge of the pastry but don’t cut all the way through. Prick the base inside the scored edges with a fork (see photo above) and sprinkle over the grated parmesan inside the circle too.

Put the caramelized onion on top of the parmesan leaving the border clear. Bake in the preheated oven for 15- 25 minutes depending on the size of your tart/s. Remove from the oven when the pastry is puffed & golden brown.  Crumble over the feta and scatter over some fresh thyme leaves.

Serve with a green salad dressed with olive oil & lemon juice. Depending on how many tarts you make you may have some of the caramelized onions left. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.  If they last that long……….

13 Responses to “Caramelized Onion Tart with Feta and Thyme”

  1. Judith Everitt March 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    I’m dribbling with anticipation… love caramelised onions and the addition of feta and thyme and puff pastry = heaven!

  2. Tes March 4, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    I know it’s strange but I love when the clounds gather and it’s about to rain…it’s getting humid and the mud releasing the wonderful smell🙂
    I love your onion tart… it looks so simple and delicious🙂

  3. Adriana March 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    This tart looks amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Josh March 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    I agree with Tes, the smell in the air before a storm is wonderful! Even more wonderful is the look of this tart–caramelized onion + feta = an amazing combination! Will definitely have to try this.

  5. fooddreamer March 4, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Mmm, what a gorgeous tart. Especially when the weather is about to take a turn for the worse!

  6. Food Frenzy March 4, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    Looks amazing. The crispness of the outer crust and the great caramelized onions in the middle make it very tempting.

    We invite you to share this post and some of your favorite food posts on Food Frenzy.
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  7. Mateja @Indulging Life March 5, 2011 at 1:25 am #

    Oh my, totally my kind of tart, simple yet sophisticated! Love the photos, this kund of weather makes me wonder about how complex, beautiful yet scary nature can be. have a great weekend🙂

  8. happywhennothungry March 5, 2011 at 1:28 am #

    This looks amazing! Thanks so much for the shout out too! I will definitely be trying this. The flavors are making my mouth water. Yum!

  9. scriptorobscura March 5, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    Yum! Amazing photos too🙂

  10. tiffany March 6, 2011 at 4:52 am #

    This galette is beautiful! I love the earthy flavors–thyme and caramelized onion! Mmmmm!!!

  11. Meg (The Red Spoon) March 6, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    Natalie……I am so speechless. You have no idea the power caramelized onions have over me. It is almost like my husband and nutella. I definitely need to try this!

  12. Kita March 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    Pictures of puppies always distract me from the food. Rufus is a fine looking pup.🙂 Your tart looks delicious too. It reminded me that I have some feta in my refrigerator I need to use up.

  13. A little bit of everything March 7, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    caramelized onion and thyme, mmmm, the tart is gorgeous and bet it tasted as good as it looks.
    thanks for sharing

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