As promised after the Christmas haul, I am resting my experimental side a little at the moment to try and stick to some of the recipes of the professionals. Unable to make the decision over which recipe to follow first, I left the decision to my significant other. The River Cottage Veg cookbook has so many new and exciting recipes in... what would he choose?
Would it involve kohlrabi, jerusalem artichoke, chicory or chestnuts? Would it have an exotic name like Tourte de Blettes, Caponata or Baba Ganoush?
Well, dear reader... his choice involved neither unusual ingredients nor exciting name. I bring you:
Hugh F-W's Upside-down onion tart (serves 4)
200g all-butter, ready-made puff pastry
3-4 medium onions
small knob butter
1tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Find an ovenproof frying pan, about 20cm across. I used a cast iron risotto pan. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius.
2. Roll out the pastry to a 3-4mm thickness and a cut a circle to match the diameter of your pan (draw around the pan lid if this makes it easier). Wrap the pastry disc in clingfilm and put it in the fridge.
3. Peel the onions and slice each one into 6 or 8 wedges, keeping them attached at the root end. Heat the butter and oil in your pan and add the onions to the pan in a concentric pattern, over a medium heat.
4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for about 15-20 minutes, turning once or twice, until they are tender and starting to caramelise around the edges.
5. Trickle the balsamic vinegar over the onions and cook for a couple of minutes more until the vinegar reduces a little. Remove from the heat and make sure the onions are spread evenly around the pan.
6. Lay the pastry disc over the onions and put the pan in the oven. Bake for abour 20 minutes, until the pastry is fulled up and golden brown.
7. Flip the tart over on to a plate, so that the onions are on the top. Serve immediately.
This is a nice and simple recipe that looks really impressive on a plate. The onions take longer to caramelise than you might think - so get them to your preferred colour on the hob, before you put them in the oven, as the colour won't change much once they're in the oven. But despite being a little pale, this was yummy!