Melbourne’s been pretty lucky this winter apart from the past week it hasn’t been all that cold, thanks, global warming. Most weekends have had a lovely winter sun shining which is, in my opinion, the absolute best kind of weather. Not to hot not to cold so obviously, I’m going to take full advantage of the weather and go to the park for a little picnic.
Picnics have to be one of life’s greatest pleasures; the sun shines, the bird’s chirp, mother nature looks beautiful and everybody has damn good time, have you ever seen anybody at a picnic in a bad mood? No, I didn’t think so.
You thought I forgot the food? Hell no, food is the number one reason to have a picnic.
With an abundance of fresh herbs and red onions lying around my kitchen, these Caramelised Onion Tarts with Herbed Pastry was the perfect snack to pack for an afternoon lazing around in the sun.
Slow cooking red onions in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sugar and a sprinkle of thyme results in this intense slightly sweet caramel and earthy flavour. The onions are then spooned into a delicious buttery shortcrust laced with fresh parsley and basil.
Topped off with creamy goat’s cheese that is broiled to add a nice golden layer.
Perfect for a picnic, morning tea, cheese platter, light lunch or even a starter for a dinner party!
- 2 cups plain flour
- 6 torn fresh basil leaves
- 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsely
- 1 tsp salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 150 g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tbsp ice cold water
- 4 large red onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- goats cheese
Place onions and thyme in a large sauce pan over medium heat, drizzle in the olive oil, stir to coat all the onion. Cook stirring for1 0 minutes, or until softened.
Turn the heat down and cook for another 20 minutes. Add the sugar, vinegar and seasoning. Cook for another 20 minutes, stirring every now and then to scrape the sticky bits on the bottom. Take off the heat and use immediately or store in sterilised jars up to a week in the fridge.
Mix the flour, herbs, salt and pepper together in a medium sized bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and place into the flour mixture, with your fingertips begin to rub the butter into the flour until it begins to crumble and look like breadcrumbs.
Add the ice water and mix until a dough begins to form, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until soft. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
When you’re ready to use, lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll the dough out until it’s about 3mm thick, place into tartlet pans and stab the bottom with a fork. Line with baking paper and some beans/rice, place into a preheated oven (220) to blind bake for 10 minutes. Remove the baking paper and beans/rice and bake for a further 10 minutes. Take the tart shells out of the oven and let cool.
Place some caramelised onion into your baked tart shells and top with a slice of goat's cheese, place back into the oven for 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and slightly golden.
Check out the recipe for Caramelised Onion Tarts with Herbed Pastry here!