Red Onion and Goats Cheese Tarts

I was at a conference last night where the veggie option was shallot tart tatin with goats cheese. Only by the time they got to our table they had (i) substituted the shallots for red onions and (ii) run out of the actual dish by the time it came to my dinner and a colleagues! The chef made us a tasty (but teeny tiny) butternut squash risotto as compesnation. But frankly I wanted goats cheese and onions. So I made it for myself tonight instead. And it was lovely, even if I do say so myself. (On another note I have seen lots of these being served recently on Come Dine With Me, it’s clearly the middle England dinner party course of choice for the token veggie at the table…).

Anyway the recipe…

For 4 portions you need:
1 packet puff pastry, defrosted if frozen
red onions – I used 8 small ones so probably about 450g in total
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
2 capricorn goats cheese, ends sliced off and cut into two
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp red wine or balsamic vinegar
Pine nuts – about 2 tbsp
Salad leaves to serve
Balsamic vinegar syrup

Begin by slicing the onions. I went rustic and chunky but you can go for posh and elegant thin slices if you can be bothered… Toss into a pan with the oil and heat on a moderate heat for about 15 mins, stirring often to prevent burning. Add the sugar and balsamic and reduce the heat. Season. Continue to cook gently for about another 30 mins till the onions are caramelised. You could of course cheat and use a jar of onion marmalade but I think it’s nicer with real onions.

Meanwhile roll out the puff pastry to about a 5mm thickness. Cut into 4 pieces (you can be posh and go for a circle if you want but I did rectangles) and trim to make the sides straight. Score a border about 1cm from the edge taking care not to cut all the way through. Place a quarter of the onions onto each piece of pastry and spread out to cover up to the border. Lay the goats cheese on top, sprinkle over some pine nuts and some chilli oil if you want. Bake in a moderate (180 degree) oven for 25 mins. Check the bottom to make sure that it’s cooked properly. If not, reduce the heat to about 150 and cook for another 10 mins or so.

Serve with salad dressed with balsamic syrup. Feel well posh with that nosh inside yer.