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Spring Onion, Grape & Goat Cheese Tart

April 25, 2012

I picked up some beautiful spring onions from Sassafras Creek Farm and was inspired to create a sweet, savory appetizer and a simple entrée.  Lucky you, that means I am sharing two recipes today!  The even better news for Southern Maryland locals?  Sassafras Creek will be at the Home Grown Market starting this weekend, Saturday, April 28th with even more goodies than their amazing onions.  I’ve seen some sneak peeks of the goods and trust me, you want to check them out.  (Tell them Kate sent you!)

The bulb portion of the spring onions has so much incredible flavor when it is fresh that I felt it would lend itself to a savory tart.  I couldn’t resist roasting it up with some sweet grapes, a touch of honey, and tangy goat cheese to round it out.  It is hard to say whether it was the robust flavor of the onions or the creaminess of the warm goat cheese, but I couldn’t stop eating it!  Which was probably not a good thing given that I used over 1 1/2 sticks of butter to make the underlying puff pastry…

Spring Onion, Grape & Goat Cheese Tart
Yields: 10 Servings

1 sheet Puff pastry (see note in Kate’s Thoughts)
1/2 tablespoon Olive oil
1 cup Spring onion bulbs (peeled if necessary, thinly sliced)
1 1/2 cups Red grapes
2 tablespoons Honey
1 1/2 teaspoons Fresh thyme
2 ounces Goat cheese (crumbled)

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Roll out puff pastry on lightly floured surface to 8 x 15 inch rectangle. Place on parchment covered baking sheet.
3. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté 2 minutes. Add grapes and sauté 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in honey. Spread mixture evenly over puff pastry dough.
4. Top onion/grape mixture with crumbled goat cheese and fresh thyme.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until puff pastry is golden and crisp. Cut into appetizer size portions.

Kate’s Thoughts

You will only need the white or purple bulb portion of the spring onion for this recipe.  I recommend reserving the green ends for other recipes.  I sliced all of mine up and put them in a container to test a Pinterest cooking tip, so I will be sure to share when I go to use them next!

Please note that I increased the portion of grapes I included in the recipe after I photographed it.  The flavor was wonderful, but I wanted to be sure each slice would have enough grapes.  I also adjust the cooking time of the grapes.  I found cooking the grapes much past 2 minutes caused them to burst before you roasted them, creating a bit of a sugary mess in the pot and burnt fruit juice around the edge of the tart.

I got a little crazy with this recipe and decided to make my own puff pastry.  FYI-Not for the faint of heart!  It’s not too terribly difficult, but it’s a lot of short tasks repeated over a long period of time so you need to be prepared.  By the 3rd or 4th time you roll it out, you will start second guessing yourself.  But then you will eat it and it will be worth it!  Next time around I will make several sheets at a time and keep them in the freezer for when needed.  Here is the recipe I slightly modified from Gourmet magazine:

Puff Pastry Dough
Yields: 1 Sheet

1 1/4 cups All purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
13 tablespoons Unsalted butter (frozen)
5 tablespoons Ice water

1. Sift together the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.
2. Add chilled, diced butter and pulse three to five times, until the butter pieces are about the size of lima beans. Add water to the mixture and pulse again about three times. . Test mixture by gently squeezing a small handful: When it has the proper texture, it will hold together without crumbling apart. If necessary, add another tablespoon water, pulsing until just incorporated and testing again. (If you overwork mixture or add too much water, pastry will be tough.)
3. Gather mixture together and form into a 5-inch square, then chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, about 30 minutes. (Dough will be lumpy and streaky.)
4. Roll out dough on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 15- by- 8-inch rectangle. Arrange dough with a short side nearest you, then fold dough into thirds like a letter: bottom third up and top third down over dough. Rewrap dough and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
5. Arrange dough with a short side nearest you on a floured surface and repeat rolling out, folding, and chilling 2 more times. Brush off any excess flour, then wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour before using.

If you do not own a food processor, mix the flour and salt by hand and then grate in the frozen butter before incorporating the ice water with your hands.

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