The sweetness of the caramelized onions, the tartness and creaminess of the fresh goat cheese, topped with the incredible flavor of roasted cherry tomatoes, make this tart a great appetizer for any party, dinner, potluck or holiday feast.
Last year I tried making roasted cherry tomatoes for the first time and since then I immediately got hooked. I loved them so much that I tried to pair them with anything. One example is my Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino with roasted cherry tomatoes.
When the cherry tomatoes slowly roast in the oven with olive oil, some sugar and salt, they completely transform. Their flavor becomes deeper and sweeter, with a hint of smoked flavor. It goes so well with many dish, try to top it on grilled salmon or with strong cheeses like Gorgonzola or Stilton.
This tart was not thinked, it was an experiment. I love caramelized onions and I love roasted cherry tomatoes. I needed a tart and creamy cheese to balance the sweetness, so I added a layer of fresh goat cheese. All layered on puff pastry and voilà! An easy and incredibly delicious appetizer was served!
How to caramelize onions
I need to start with a disclaimer because the way I make caramelized onions is not the traditional way. I never followed a recipe, I simply tried my own way of making them the way I liked them.
If you have your own tried and proved way of making caramelized onions, please feel free to do so. My recipe directions are just my own way of doing it.
The traditional way of caramelizing onions takes between 30 and 45 minutes. Slowly browning the onions at low heat until they reach the perfect rich golden brown color. This is the way you should make them if you want to make a traditional French Onion Soup.
In this case we will simplify the process and shorten the times. But there are a few guidelines to follow to get nice caramelized onions:
- Slice the onions as evenly as possible to insure an even caramelization. The slices shouldn’t be too thick nor too thin. Try to slice them about 1/5 in. (5 mm).
- Use a large enough pan. The onion slices should have enough space in the pan because if you crowd them, they will not cook evenly.
- Adjust the heat and move the onions constantly to avoid burning. The heat should be medium/high to fasten the process, but make sure you adjust it accordingly to avoid burning the onions.
- Deglaze the pan immediately with a liquid when the onions are all golden brown, to stop the caramelization. The darker they are, the more intense the flavor will be, sliding from sweet to lightly bitter.
I usually use only olive oil when I brown the onions, because it has a higher smoking point. But if you want a richer flavor, feel free to add a dollop of butter to the oil.
How to prevent burning the edges of puff pastry
One of the issues I faced the first time I baked this tart was that the edges of the puff pastry crust burnt. I was focusing mostly on perfectly roasting the tomatoes, instead of focusing on the whole tart.
The tomatoes will cook and roast nicely during the baking time, but what I wanted to achieve was a slightly charred top to deepen the flavor and give it a smoky hint. To do so I turned on the broiler for a couple of minutes to reach the desired effect. This of course caused the puff pastry to burn on the edges.
If you want to broil the tart as well to char the tomatoes, take the tart out of the oven at the end of the baking time and cover the edges loosely with aluminum foil. Pop it back in the oven and turn on the broiler for 1-2 minutes, until the tomatoes are slightly charred.
This way you’ll have a perfectly cooked tart with perfectly roasted cherry tomatoes.
Caramelized onion, goat cheese and roasted cherry tomato Tart
- 4 Yellow Onions
- 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
- White Wine
- 1 Roll Puff Pastry
- 125 g (1/2 cup) Fresh Goat Cheese
- 15-20 Cherry Tomatoes
- Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp Oregano
- Black Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F).
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and marinade them with EV olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Set them aside.
- Peel and cut the onions in half then slice them evenly. Drizzle a large pan with olive oil and add the onions and the sugar.
- Mix well and turn on the heat to medium-high, keep moving the onions until they start to brown. Lower the heat if necessary, to prevent them from burning.
- When the onions are evenly browned, add a splash of white wine to deglaze, let it evaporate a few seconds, then add a little bit of water.
- Adjust with salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat and let the onions soften for a few minutes, until they are translucent. Add more water in necessary (although at the end it should be completely evaporated).
- Cover a tart pan with parchment paper, then add the puff pastry. With a fork, pierce holes on the whole bottom of the pastry.
- Add the caramelized onions and spread them well as a bottom layer.
- Add a layer of goat cheese, shredding it into chunks with your fingers to cover the whole layer.
- Now add the cherry tomatoes on top, cut side facing down.
- Bake in the preheated oven in the middle rack for about 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown.
- If you want to char the tomatoes, cover the edges of the pastry with aluminium foil and turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes.