Saturday, April 23, 2005


Tomato, carmelized onion and goat cheese tart

Here's a quick and delicious starter for your next dinner party. Or you may make it larger and serve for a light lunch.

Isabella always makes her pastry from scratch, but not always. In this instance, I take advantage of those ready-made pie crusts from Pillsbury--never those icky ones in the aluminum pie plates in the frozen section of the grocery store--they're tasteless.

1 circle of Pillsbury ready-made pie crust
1 tablespoon good quality olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion
1 to 1 1/2 large meaty beefsteak tomatoes
good quality goat cheese
black olives for garnish (not the canned olives, use kalamata or cured black with pits removed)
basil leaves for garnish

Take the pie crust and crimp the edges. Prick with a fork so that the crust will not shrivel, and bake on a cookie sheet or pizza pan as directed. Set aside and let cool.

Meanwhile, carmelize the onions in a saute pan with the olive oil and butter until they are deep caramel color. Evenly scatter the carmelized onions on the cooled pastry . Slice the tomatoes in rounds and overlap them on top of the onions. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese on top of the tomatoes. Return to oven to heat for a minute or two, until the cheese slightly melts.

Remove from oven and garnish with basil and black olives

Serve immediately with your favorite pre-dinner wine.

Note to Wandering Coyote: I had a recipe for a rich butter crust that makes this large enough to serve as a lunch dish. I've misplaced the crust recipe, maybe you have one you could send along to me?

Yum! And you're talking about chevre, not feta, right? This looks very rich and tasty!

BTW, I noticed you got my link up there! Thanks. It is, however, incorrectly spelled! It has an e on the end. Sorry to be so picky, but I was an editor in another life (which isn't to say I don't have mistakes on my own blog, I might add...).

We're having guests for dinner tonight. My menu plan: French onion soup, coq au vin, profiteroles. Very French. My guests are on the South Beach diet, but claim they are "not strict". There's nothing more annoying than cooking a fancy meal only to find out someone's on one of these ridiculous diets! I hope they're "not strict"! Do you want a good meal or not??
Now I feel guilty for dissing my company.

They are very good friends, actually...
Yes, I use chevre with this recipe, but feta can be used too. Never that tasteless supermarket product. I buy the imported feta right from Greece. It is creamy and piquant and expensive. But always worth the extra $$$.

And thank you for pointing out the misspelling. I, too, did editing work in one of my jobs.

Your menu sounds delightful. I've traveled quite a bit in France and love French food. A friend who lives in the Alsace region taught me how to make pomme frites and braised poireaux. Oooo lala! incroyable! I'll never forget the time I watched her make mousse de chocolat without a recipe. She just whipped it up, and it was parfait! Vive la France!

I haven't made profiteroles in years! Brings back so many memories.

Bon Appetit tonight! And to hell with diets!
Okay, it's here...THE CHURCH POT LUCK blog!
Isabella: I missed your note at the bottom of the post. I'll try to dig something up for you today.

My coq au vin last night was a disappointment to me, though everyone else loved it. My French onion soup was amazing, however, and I plated the profiteroles at the table which impressed everyone, too. I garnished them with Devonshire clotted cream - oh my god were they amazing!

You wouldn't believe the amounts of mousse we made in school...chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, fruit, name it.
Isabella: I just posted a pastry recipe I believe would work for this tart on the new Church Pot Luck blog, on the rice soup post. Skip the shortening and use all butter, which is something I do regularly and get a good result each time.
I've just acquired a quantity of goats cheese at the end of a school trip to France! Really like your recipe but need to know how to make onion marmalade or at least how to caramalise onions.
Hi anon,

It's really easy to carmelize onions. Take 3 medium or 2 large onions and slice them really, really thinly. Take a large saute pan and melt 3 to 4 tablespoons of butter. Toss in the sliced onions and cook over medium high heat stirring constantly until they begin to take on color.

Continue to cook, but you don't have to stir so often. The onions will begin to turn deep golden brown to very brown, and they will release their sugars and then "carmelize."

The pile of onions will cook down. Continue to cook until they are almost burnt looking--but not actually burned. This is when they will taste the sweetest.

I do have an onion marmalade recipe somewhere around here, and I'll look for it. But I did want to answer you on this as soon as I could.

Other ideas for all that yummy chevre:

Sprinkle it over shrimp and fresh tomato sauce for a delicious shrimp scampe.

Fold into scrambled eggs with bits of veggies.

Spread over grilled Tuscan bread.

Happy eating!
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