Cookbooks! I seem to have a love-hate relationship with cookbooks. Well, maybe that’s a little too strong of a statement. Its more like a love-ignore relationship — I love them, but then I ignore them. I am drawn to the cookbook section in bookstores and love bringing home new books with inspirational recipes and mouthwatering photos. However, once I bring them home, I flip through them a few times thinking about all of the possibilities and then somehow they end up gathering dust on a shelf. Rather than referring to my cookbooks, I find myself searching the internet for new recipes.
I’ve decided this needs to stop! I am now on a quest to improve my relationship with my cookbooks. I’m working on making at least a few recipes each month from my current set of cookbooks. If I accomplish this goal then maybe I’ll reward myself with a new cookbook.
Today’s recipe comes from Vegetarian Food for Friends by Jane Noraika. I received this book earlier this year for my wedding shower. The pictures in the book are gorgeous and the recipes all look wonderful. But the red onion tart looked especially tempting…
Red Onion Tarts
Adapted from Vegetarian Food for Friends
The original recipe yields four medium size tarts (5 inches in diameter). I made several smaller palm-sized tarts, partially because I thought they would look cute but mostly because I didn’t have a cookie cutter 5 inches in diameter. I used the top of a glass to cut out my pastry rounds. I would recommend using fewer onions or smaller onions (maybe 2 medium sized onions or three small onions). I used three very large red onions and ended up with a lot more onion mixture than would fit on the pastry rounds. The onions were good, so we didn’t mind using the leftovers in another dish. Lastly, I sprinkled mizithra cheese on top of the onion tarts. While this cheese was tasty, it browned instead of melting. Next time I will use a softer melting cheese, like the taleggio cheese included in the original recipe.
3 red onions
½ tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
grated cheese for sprinkling
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
salt and pepper
17 oz prepared puff pastry dough (2 sheets)
Slice the onions into thin half moon-shaped pieces. Melt butter in a large frying pan and add olive oil. Add onions and cook on low heat until very soft (10 minutes or so). Once onions are soft, mix in red wine, brown sugar, and vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking onion mixture on low heat for another 10 minutes. Liquids should reduce and slightly thicken.
While the onion mixture is cooking, spread sheets of prepared puff pastry dough on a lightly floured work surface. Cut dough into desired shapes and set on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
Spoon onion mixture onto the center of the pastry rounds, leaving a small border around the edges. Sprinkle the grated cheese and thyme leaves over the onion mixture. Bake tarts for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown at 350°.
Depending on the size of the tarts they could either be served as appetizers or entrees.
Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:
|Recipe Report Card||Notes About Recipe Ratings|
Three Chefs (Average Tastiness)
|These red onion tarts have a lot of potential, but the cheese wasn’t quite right.|
Three Easy Chairs (Average Difficult)
|I wouldn’t say that any part of this recipe was extremely difficult, but there were a few different steps that ended up taking longer than expected.|
Two Apples (Surgeon General’s Warning!)
|The buttery puff pastry is made from refined flour and is pretty high in fat. The cheese I used also added fat and was pretty high in sodium.|
Three Leaves (Average Environmental Friendliness)
|Unfortunately, I couldn’t find organic prepared puff pastry dough and did not use organic wine or cheese. The rest of the ingredients were mostly organic.|