Recently, Anja sent me adorable pictures of her sweet little daughters picnicking in Bern. The sky was expansive crisp blue, the sun was bright and inviting, the grass was green and full of promise, and I am certain her picnic basked was filled with delicious treats for her family. Thank you Anja for inspiring me to take advantage of our beautiful weather here in Southern California and plan picnics with my friends and family.
The key for planning a fun picnic is to have easy to transport food that is satisfying and delicious. Fun snacks to munch on, fruit, drinks and of course, dessert is usually what I like to pack in my basket. For my upcoming picnic, I have decided to prepare my recipe for Caramelized Onion with Goat Cheese Tart as the main course. I can make it the night before so the day of the picnic, we can just pack up and head out to enjoy our day. Sweet caramelized onions paired with slightly salty goat cheese baked in an easy to make shell, topped with crunchy pine nuts is a complete tasty and hearty dish.
Of course, serving this beautiful tart as an appetizer or as a vegetarian main course for gatherings works equally well.
Ingredients & Instructions (serves 6-8)
1 tablespoon of fresh pine nuts - to top the filling.
3 large yellow onions- thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of finely ground black pepper
In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt butter and add olive oil. Add onions, sugar, salt and pepper. Saute stirring often to render onions that are golden amber color- about 40 minutes. Lower heat if the edges of the onions are browning. Set aside.
1 1/3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter- cut into small pieces
1/4 cup ice water
Using a food processor, swift in flour and salt, add in the butter and process until mixture resembles coarse meal-10 quick pulses. With the motor running, add ice water and process just until the dough comes together into a rough ball. Immediately remove and form the dough into a round ball and transfer to a slightly floured working surface; roll dough into a circle large enough to fit an 11 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Drape the dough over the pan and ease it into the pan, pressing it against the sides and bottom without stretching or breaking dough. Trim off excess dough by gently running the rolling pin across the top of the pan. Prick the dough with a fork and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place pan on a baking sheet; line the dough with foil and pie weights (I use uncooked beans). Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until slightly brown. Remove and cool.
Goat Cheese Filling
8 oz goat cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme (rosemary or sage can be substituted)
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, cream, thyme and goat cheese.
Spoon half of the caramelized onion onto the bottom of the tart- spreading evenly to cover all areas. Pour in goat cheese filling over the onions. Sprinkle the remaining onions over the top of the filling. Add pine nuts on top. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Cool on a rack.
Prior to serving, remove the sides of the tart pan. If transporting tart for a picnic, once cooled completely, cover with foil. Cut into pie pieces to serve.