These caramelized onion and goats cheese tartlets are easy to make and so delicious. Cheesy but not heavy with a crispy buttery-crumb base. A perfect lunch.
I am sure we all have recipes we come across that we immediately think ‘I must try that’ but then somehow it doesn’t quite happen. Some of them you forget completely, others you remember a month or so later and, in all likelihood, still don’t get round to making if you are anything like me. One such recipe for me is these delicious-looking warm blue cheese tartlets with walnut dressing from Selma’s Table that Selma shared for Fiesta Friday’s virtual first birthday party back in January. I loved the idea of the breadcrumb base to the tart in particular, and really wanted to try it.
Sadly earlier this week I heard the news that Selma passed away a few days ago, and Angie @ Fiesta Friday, Elaine @ foodbod, Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook, and Sue @ birgerbird have all come together to host a virtual ‘Selma fiesta’ in her memory. For me, while Selma had many great recipes, my first thought was still to adapt the recipe I’d kept meaning to make, which I have done here with these caramelized onion and goats cheese tartlets.
I was not as lucky as some to meet or even be as close to Selma virtually, but I am still very conscious of her part, as it were, in helping me as a a blogger. I came across Selma’s Table in about my first one or two weeks of blogging, I think by accident but I was immediately very pleased to find it. I’d been reading a bit on how it was a good idea to find other blogs you like both to get some inspiration and see what they are doing and I had initially not been doing so well at finding ones that I actually liked – all I either didn’t engage with the writing style, or found the photos worse than mine (and I don’t exactly think I am amazing) plus recipes I couldn’t get excited about. Selma’s was the opposite in all ways. I also saw she took part in Fiesta Friday which led me to a lovely community of bloggers with delicious recipes that I’ve been happy to be part of since. I loved reading her posts and was always excited to have a comment from her on my posts, both since I admired her so much and her words were so kind. She is certainly a loss in many ways, but I agree with others that rather than dwell on that, let’s celebrate her through a special fiesta in her honor, and as I say this is my contribution.
How they’re made
These goats cheese tartlets are very easy to make, with one of the best bits being there is no pastry to make and chill. The breadcrumb crust come together in minutes and is a really nice alternative to pastry, becoming lightly crisp in the finished tart, but with a nice buttery taste. The filling mixes up in a minute and so the only bit that takes any time is caramelizing the onions, but you can do this alongside everything else as they are best to be left then stirred occasionally rather than stirred too much. The goats cheese filling is deliciously cheesy without being too much and is not too heavy either.
I originally thought about serving these with a simple arugula/rocket salad as Selma did with hers, but I was out of any and so instead went for a fairly simple romaine, fennel and grape salad with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The fennel and grape flavors work really well with the tartlets, and so I would definitely recommend them in the salad, whether you have romaine, arugula/rocket or even watercress, all of which I think would work.
These tartlets are best served warm and make a delicious lunch but would also work as an appetizer. There’s something nice about having your own individual tartlet, except for the fact that when it tastes this good, there’s not extra to come back for seconds. I still plan to make Selma’s original tartlets some time soon, but in the meantime I think this adaptation is a fitting, tasty tribute to a talented cook and blogger. Whether you knew her or not, I hope you, as I hope she would have, like these goats cheese tartlets as much as we did.
Caramelized onion and goats cheese tartlets
- 1/2 onion
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp butter 30g, divided
- 1/4 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 oz white bread 50g, weight with crusts removed
- 4 oz soft goats cheese 115g
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp plain yogurt
- 2 handfuls arugula rocket, or sliced romaine or watercress
- 10 green grapes approx, halved
- 1/4 bulb fennel thinly sliced
- 1 tsp olive oil approx
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar approx
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
- Start by dicing the onions or cutting them into quarter rings. Warm the olive oil and 1/2tbsp butter in a skillet/frying pan over a medium heat then add the onions. You want to cook them in a relatively thin layer, keeping them moist and avoiding them burning. Stir them now and again and reduce the heat if they are browning too quickly. They should brown gradually over around 20 minutes or more. Towards the end, add a little balsamic vinegar to add a little flavor and help the caramelization.
- While the onions are cooking, lightly grease two small tartlet pans (2 3/4-3in diameter).
- Make the bread into breadcrumbs (I use the food processor) and melt the remaining 2 1/2tbsp butter.
- Add the breadcrumbs to the butter and stir then divide the crumbs between the two pans and press the crumbs down and gently up the sides. Place on a baking sheet then bake the crusts for around 10-12mins until just starting to brown.
- While the bases are cooking, make the filling by mixing together the goats cheese, egg and yogurt along with a couple grinds of salt and pepper until smooth (I used food processor but a blender or by hand will also work).
- Once the bases are lightly brown, divide the onions into 4 approximately equal piles and spread 1/4 into the base of each tartlet. Then spoon the cheese mixture on top and put back in the oven to cook for around 10-12minutes until just starting to brown and mixture is set.
- While they are cooking, mix together the salad by tossing the arugula or other leaves, grapes and fennel in a little oil and vinegar.
- Once they are ready, leave the tartlets to rest a minute before removing from the pans.
- Top with the remaining onions and serve while still warm with the salad.
Try these other tasty dishes with goat’s cheese:
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