Ode to summer onion tarts

Globes of smelly goodness

The garden is growing extremely well so far this season–quick break to knock on wood–and I just pulled the last of the onions.  WOW, there were soooo many globes of smelly goodness!  I love all varieties of onions…green, yellow, red!  Don’t even get me started on shallots.  The sweetness that evolves with cooking astounds me and their nutritional value does too!  These babies are full of fiber, phyto compounds for cancer protection, B & C vitamins, and trace minerals.  I am feeling better just thinking about them!

I was feeling especially creative last night, so I decided to make tarts with a few of them!  I put Andy in charge of slicing up the onions, sorry honey (hee  hee).  He smartly put on my onion goggles (thank you Niki) and made quick work of the task–wish I had that picture to share!

We decided to try several different combinations of ingredients to add some variety to our evening with onions.  What a great plan–holy cow were they good!  We tried onion/mushroom/pancetta, onion/mushroom/pancetta/egg, onion/mushroom, and  onion/mushroom/egg.  Go figure that our favorite was the least complex–onion/mushroom.

I used a muffin tin to cook the tarts and it worked beautifully. The puff pastry was a gorgeous golden brown and the layers of carmelized onion were just beautiful.  These tasty tarts would make great hors d’oeuvres at your next party.  Serve either of the egg combos at breakfast with some fresh fruit and your family will be bragging on you all week long!

Caramelized onions

Ode to summer onion tarts

Servings:  6-8 large cupcake size tarts

  • 1 box pepperidge farm puff pastry
  • 3 large onions of varying color, sliced
  • 1 t salt
  • 1-2 T EVOO
  • Butter flavor PAM cooking spray
  • 2-3 eggs, scrambled (optional)
  • 1 c finely chopped mushrooms
  • 2-3 pieces of crispy, cooked pancetta or bacon (optional)
  • 2 t fresh thyme
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 c freshly grated parmasean cheese
  • 1 t chipotle pepper flakes (mandatory)
  • Splash of agave nectar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large saute pan saute the sliced onion in the evoo over low/medium heat.  Add the salt and agave nectar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are nice and soft and carmelized to a golden brown.

If using bacon or pancetta, cook it until it is nice and crispy in a medium skillet, and then set the meat aside.  Using the same pan with the bacon grease, saute the mushrooms with the chipotle pepper flakes until nice and soft.  If not using meat, just throw some EVOO and pepper flakes into a skillet and saute until soft.

Make sure your puff pastry is thawed.  Using a round cookie cutter (or something similar) cut 3 pieces for every muffin whole you want to fill with the tart.  You will build the tarts in layers–kinda like a lasagna.

Generously coat the muffin tin with PAM butter spray.  Place a piece of puff pastry at the bottom of each muffin whole.  Add a thin layer of mushrooms, onions, and meat (if using) on top of the pastry.  If using egg, add a drizzle on top.  If not, just add the cheese and freshly ground pepper.  Repeat the next layer starting with the pastry circle.  Top the last layer with a pastry circle and then use an onion or sprinkles of pepper or thyme (or all three) to make a pretty garnish.  Give each pastry a quick spray of PAM and then bake for about 40 minutes–or until they are golden brown.  Allow the pastries to cool for at least 5 minutes before lifting them out gently with a fork.

The puffier one on the left is made with egg. On the right is just onions and mushrooms.




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