Thursday, 26 March 2015

Balsamic Onion Tart

Day 4 of my Meat Free Week and I can honestly say I've only had one wobble, one moment.  Admittedly that one moment was thinking about steak but it quickly passed.  Apart from the first day with my disappointing ginger noodles, the meals I have eaten have been genuinely delicious.  My lunches of hummus, fig and feta salad and today's rice noodles with vegetables and chilli sauce have had people coming to my desk to investigate what I'm eating and leaving looking impressed and slightly jealous.

Today's evening meal came courtesy of only four main ingredients but tasted like far more.

Balsamic onion tarts - makes 2 starter sized tarts or enough for one main portion with salad or vegetables


One large or two very small onions
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar (see note)
Two rectangles of ready rolled puff pastry (use dairy free for vegan) approx 15 x 10cm (6 x 4 inches)
Milk for brushing (optional)


Peel the onions and slice into thin half moons.  Fry in a non stick frying pan in the olive oil.  As soon as they are just starting to colour, lower the heat and cover with a large saucepan lid, lifting off and stirring every couple of minutes.  Cook them like this for as long as you have, 10-20 minutes.  When softened, add the balsamic vinegar and allow to bubble down and go syrupy (see note).

Take off the heat and allow to cool.  You could do this in the morning and refrigerate until evening.

When ready to cook the tarts, preheat the oven to 200oC, 400F, Gas Mark 6,  Cut out your pieces of pastry and score approx 1cm (just less than 1/2 inch) from the edge, not cutting all the way through.  Brush this edge with milk if using.  Put the onions on the tarts inside the centre line trying not to go over.

Bake in the oven for approx 15 minutes or until well browned.  Allow to cool a bit till warm or cold to serve.

Balsamic vinegar is a lovely thing but sadly varies from the thick, syrupy and delicious to the thin, not far off malt vinegar with some colouring added.  Sadly the PGI is no real indicator of quality. It wasn't until I splashed out once and bought some better stuff that I realised what I've been missing.  What's more is that bottle has already lasted me nearly a year so it isn't a massive extravagance.  Ideally if you can buy some from a deli, see if you can try some first or at least try and gauge the viscosity by how it moves in the bottle.  It should be lovely and thick.  I wouldn't use a genuinely aged balsamic in this which would come in at, say £50 a bottle, but it's worth getting a decent mid range one to cook with and use for salads and bread unless your palate is massively refined, but the bottles you can pick up for £1-2 are generally not great.  If you can't get hold of some better stuff though, cheat by adding a little sugar to the vinegar when you add to the onion and boil down until syrupy.

I've linked this up to recipe of the week.

Link up your recipe of the week


  1. Those look lovely! I've made the onion marmalade, but had not thought to put it in a tart - just serve it with crackers. This is so much nicer!

    1. Absolutely. I basically made a quick onion marmalade here so if you have a jar of your favourite recipe for that it might just work and then would be super quick to make.

  2. Meatless - this looks so delish regardless! Yummmmmy!

    found ya via #recipeoftheweek



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