This tart is the delightful bastard child of the classic french Pissaladière which is a deceptively simple combination of sweet onions, briny olives and salty anchovies. Now, most people would scoff at the hubris required to take an elegant, timeless recipe and besmirch it with additions like goat cheese, sherry and thyme but, like a certain movie villain Matt is getting very tired of me mentioning, I regret nothing. It’s possible that you’re thinking “Hey wait just a minute here! Didn’t Emily already blog a very similar, though delicious, recipe for a tart a few months ago? She hasn’t even been doing NwK for a full year and she’s already recycling ideas!” To which I would reply, “Mean!” and also “While there are certainly similarities between the two tarts, this one is more intensely flavored, with the addition of cured black olives and anchovies, and also has a few advanced techniques in working with puff pastry. So neeeeh!” Anyway, don’t be put off by the anchovies. They don’t taste fishy at all and really work with the sweetness of the onions. Of course you could leave them out (if you’re a vegetarian or a scaredy-cat).
- For perfect puff pastry, gently score an inch border around the dough which gives it lovely, crisp edges. Preheat the baking tray so the bottom of the tart has a chance to brown. Lastly, put it in a very hot oven for an initial blast of heat and then turn it down a bit so it doesn’t burn.
- Keep the dough as cold as possible until you pop it in the oven. The colder the dough, the puffier the pastry.
- Olives and anchovies are salty so don’t over-salt the onions.
- This tart would work perfectly well without the goat cheese, if you don’t like it or don’t have any.
- You could substitute a little white wine, vermouth or even brandy for the sherry.
- You could caramelize the onions a day or two ahead. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Caramelized Onion, Olive and Goat Cheese Tart
- 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry defrosted but cold
- 3 large onions thinly sliced (red or white)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon dry sherry
- Pitted Black Olives
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 4-8 Anchovies optional
- Baby kale or arugula optional
- A little milk or egg to glaze
- In a saucepan on medium heat, melt butter and add the onions, salt and pepper. Toss around until coated and cover with a lid for 10 minutes or so, stirring once or twice (the lid creates steam which softens the onions faster). Once onions are a bit wilted, remove the lid and continue to sauté until they are golden and caramelized (about 35-45 minutes on low-medium heat). Add thyme and sherry, cook 5 minutes more. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Place a flat baking sheet in the oven to heat up (which makes the bottom of the tart crispy). Place the sheet of puff pastry on a large sheet of baking parchment or a silpat (for 1 large tart, press the two sheets together, for two smaller ones, just keep them separate). With a knife, score a 1" border around the puff pastry (not too deep, don't cut through it). Place the cooled onions within the border and then place anchovies (if using), olives and goat cheese on top.
- Brush the exposed edges of the pastry with milk or egg wash. With oven mitts, remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and then lift the baking parchment into the very hot baking sheet. As soon as the tart goes in, lower the heat to 375F.
- Bake in the oven on the top shelf for 15-20 minutes until the edges of the tart are golden and puffed.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then top with some baby kale or arugula leaves on top (if using).