VegetablesAlison Lambert


VegetablesAlison Lambert
This is a fantastic tart; the contrast between the sweet red onions caramelised with the balsamic vinegar and finished with flaky puff pastry is wonderful example of perfect partnerships in food. Add a simple rocket salad and perhaps a sprinkling of a sharp creamy cheese like a feta or goats cheese and you have made a meal to remember!

Serves 4
225g puffy pastry (well chilled)
4 large red onions or 6-8 small
25g butter
2 bay leaves
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves and 4 sprigs of thyme
1 tsp caster sugar
½ cup red wine or ½ cup beef stock
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and cracked pepper


Preheat oven to 180C

Begin by preparing the onions – remove their papery outer skins and cut them in half lenthways from stem to root.
Place a 20cm heavy-based pan on a medium heat, add the butter and sugar. When the butter begins to bubble scatter in the thyme leaves and sprigs, then carefully arrange the onions on the base of the pan, cut side down. Remember to do this neatly as when you serve your tart the bottom is the top if you catch my drift!

Once you have fitted in all your onions, drizzle over the balsamic vinegar and red wine. Turn down the heat and cook gently for about 10 minutes. Now cover with foil and place into your preheated oven, leave to cook for 30 minutes and then remove the foil , finish off cooking for another 10 minutes or until the onions are tender.

Whilst the onions are cooking roll your pastry out to ½ cm thick and large enough to generously cover the fry pan, cut into a 25cm round.

When the onions are cooked, I suggest testing with a skewer, they should be cooked through, but you don’t want them to collapse. Remove the pan from the heat; increase the temperature of the oven to 200C.

Place the pastry onto the onions and press the overhanging pastry edges neatly into the sides of the fry pan. Place into your hot oven and bake until the pastry is puffy and golden (10-15minutes). Remove when cooked and let sit for a minutes.

With a large plate, carefully place it on top of the pan, place one hand on the plate firmly and the other holding a dry cloth flip the pan and plate together so that the plate is now on the bottom. Carefully lift the fry pan off to revel your beautiful caramelised onion tarte tartin!