Day 20: Three Onion Tart
inspired by The Gate
I’m continuing with Meat Free Mondays. So it seemed apt that I looked for inspiration from a vegetarian restaurant. And The Gate in Islington is pretty special as far as vegetarian dining is concerned.
I don’t know how they do it but it’s some of the best vegetarian food I’ve had in a restaurant. I think it’s because eating out here feels like a treat. Which is rare for a totally meat free place.
So many are either too health conscious (chia seeds on everything), or more of a casual all day dining type of place. You know the ones that are all hard wooden benches, neon signs and a queue outside from 11am? Great for a quick bite to eat. And I love those places, I really do.
But if you want to eat amazing vegetarian food, in a cosy and softly lit dining room, where you can book a table in advance, then The Gate is the place.
Off I go to look at their menu online. This sounds good…
Three Onion Tart – leeks, shallots & caramelised red onions
Perfect! I have caramelised red onions in the freezer leftover from our baked camembert last week. I’ll get them out to defrost…
So whilst they are thawing that gives me time to figure out how on earth to make an onion tart. I actually really enjoyed playing around with this recipe. I started looking at Delia’s three onion tart recipe to get a general idea. I have a picture in my mind of what I want it to look like. That should be enough to get started.
First of all I’m going to use my new 12cm tart cases to make two individual tarts. Let’s pretend ones for Aidan (I know I will end up eating both of them!)
I’m going to add a layer of caramelised onions to the bottom. Then top with an egg/ricotta mix that has fried shallots in. Finally I have the idea of topping the tarts with charred leeks.
And you know what? They came out far better than I expected! I’ve not been this impressed with something I’ve made since I managed to bake bread that was edible!
In the end I even snipped a few of my three cornered leeks into the egg mix and decorated with their edible flowers. So I guess technically that makes it a four onion tart. But who’s counting?
Three Onion Tart
- 120 g plain flour
- 55 g butter
- pinch salt
- 2 tbsp caramelised red onions (or shop bought red onion chutney)
- 1 small leek
- 1 sprig thyme
- 2 shallots
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 large egg
- 100 g ricotta
- 1 tbsp grated parmesan
- olive oil
- First make the pastry. Add the flour and a pinch of salt to a mixing bowl and add in the butter cut into small cubes. Rub the butter and flour together until you have a breadcrumb consistency
- Add a little water to bring together into a dough. Wrap in cling film and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Cut your leeks into discs – about 1½cm thick. Melt some butter in a frying pan (with a lid) on a medium high heat. Once the butter is foaming add the leeks. Leave until charred on one side and then carefully turn them over to brown the other side. Once they have a nice colour turn the heat down, put the lid on the pan and cook until soft. Leave to cool.
- Finely slice the shallots and garlic. Add to a small frying pan with some olive oil and the thyme leaves and gently sweat on a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Leave to cool.
- Preheat the oven to fan 180°C
- In a bowl mix the ricotta, egg and parmesan together. Season with salt and lots of black pepper. Add the cooled shallot mix to the bowl and stir to combine.
- Roll out the pastry to the thickness of a pound coin. Put the pastry into the tart cases and press into the sides. Be sure to leave some pastry overhanging as they will shrink in the oven. Prick the pastry with a fork. Cover with parchment and baking beans and blind bake for 15 minutes.
- Once out of the oven let the pastry cool slightly before trimming off the excess. Now you are ready to fill the tarts.
- First spread a tablespoon of caramelised red onions into each pastry case.
- Next spoon half of the egg, ricotta and shallot mix into each tart. Finally lay the charred leeks on top of each tart.
- Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Let them cool slightly before removing them from the tins.