Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Tartlet
If our moods are predicated on the weather, than today was a very good day. It's still winter and we're knee deep in February but somebody pulled back the curtain on spring and gave us a glimpse of what's to come. I love all that winter has to offer but after a day like today I remember how fond I am of new beginnings.
Just as I appreciate the changes that winter brings, from the routines we dig into and the foods available for a few months, spring gives us a chance to breathe in the lighter fare for a while. It brings renewed optimism, locally produced goods and recipes that are fresh and new again.
After fighting the frigid weather off with heavy coats and wool mitts all of last week, today offered something more meaningful than a warmer day could produce. The grass, long since buried beneath layers of snow, finally started to surface again. It was patchy but it represented all that I love about the months ahead. Rain, sprinkled with sun, and the ground bursting with new life. Hope and optimism. Full circle.
I'll still have to flip back through the food journal overrun with notes and recipes of stews and soups and heavy one-pot wonders, at least for a while still. But I'll soak in this day and the few to come until it arrives for good. In the meantime, I'll enjoy the few surprises that come and try to make something that matches the day, like these Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Tartlets. As far as I'm concerned, this dish is all about the light and fresh recipes that are synonymous with spring. Farm fresh eggs, goat cheese, onions farmed nearby and thyme from the market up the street.
These delicious tarts, with their combination of sweet and savoury flavours and different textures, can be perfect for brunch or a light lunch. Leave out the eggs and crème fraîche and you have a wonderful afternoon snack. It's perfect with a crisp green salad. Just another benefit associated with clean air and produce from the backyard.
I made these for my wife and I and they were accompanied by a light glass of white wine. It was a satisfying end to a wonderful day. Luckily, there are plenty more like these just around that...corner.
From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!
- One dozen 1-inch tart shells
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. butter
- 2 onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp. crème fraîche
- sea salt and cracked pepper
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use your favourite pie crust and fit over the tartlet pan. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with beans, 2/3 full. Bake for 12 minutes.
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Saute gently for 20 minutes, until golden and soft and sticky. Add the garlic and thyme leaves and cook another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and honey and cook a further 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and crème fraîche together and season.
- Place the tart shells on a parchment covered baking sheet and crumbled a bit of goat cheese into the bottom. Fill with the onion mixture and top with more crumbled goat cheese. Pour the egg mixture into the shell and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden and set in the middle.