Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Ubiquitous Onion

Sometimes it seems that every savoury dish I cook includes onions; I must go through pounds and pounds of onions in a year but they are almost always the supporting act and seldom the star.  I recently found a recipe where the humble onion is truly in the spotlight. 

A savoury tart made with lots of onions, puff pastry and leftover cheese.  Easily made, deliciously tasty, a lovely supper with a crispy salad or cut into small squares and served as a canape.  However you choose to eat it you'll not be disappointed.

Caramelised Onion Tart with Stilton and Parmesan
Serves 4 as a main course or 12 canapes
2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 large onion, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced (optional)
1-2 tbsp onion marmalade (optional)
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

8 ozs ready made puff pastry
2-3 ozs Stilton, diced
2 ozs Parmesan, grated
half tsp fennel seeds, crushed

Heat the oil in a large saucepan.  Add the onions and garlic and cook over a medium heat until softened and starting to brown.  Add the sugar, vinegar, onion marmalade (if using) and salt and pepper.

Reduce heat and cook gently, uncovered, for about 25 minutes until caramelised.  If the onion mix looks like it is drying out add a little water.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, roll out the pastry into rectangle about 10 by 14 inches and place on a baking tray covered with baking parchment.  Prick the pastry all over with a fork.  Now spread the onion mixture over the pastry, sprinkle over the cubes of Stilton and then the grated Parmesan and finally sprinkle over the crushed fennel seeds.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and the pastry risen.  Serve with a simple crisp salad for a light supper or cut into small squares and serve as canapes.

Note: the original recipe called for gorgonzola and brie as the cheeses.  Any two cheeses that combine well could be used.  I also added garlic and onion marmalade to the original recipe, so these could be left out.

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