The summer months are not for cooking in my house. I like to take advantage of all of the food festivals, weeknight lakeside dinners, cookouts and light fun meals. But summer coming to a close in a few short weeks means the return of indoor cooking and thoughtful meal planning. I purposely used the phrase thoughtful meal planning because when I do cook, I don’t often think of “what else can I do with this.” I end up tiring of what I cooked and throwing it away. But not this time!
On a recent trip to the grocery store, I purchased a rotisserie chicken for a quick weeknight dinner. Knowing I wasn’t going to eat all of it in one sitting, I quartered it and saved the other half to make Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Tart.
I didn’t come up with the recipe for the Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Tart on my own. I borrowed the general recipe (to be used as my guide) from The Chopping Block's Food and Wine of the French Rivera demonstration class. As side note, if you haven’t taken a demonstration class yet, do yourself a favor and sign up for one. It’s all the fun of a dinner party without the burden of cleaning the kitchen!
Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Tart
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 onions, thinly sliced
1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, rough chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Pernod
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
2 cups arugula, chiffonade
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place the sheet of puff pastry on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Top with a piece of parchment paper, and cover with another sheet tray. This will help keep the pastry from puffing too much.
3. Bake the pastry until golden brown and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the top sheet tray, and allow the puff pastry to cool.
4. While the pastry is baking prepare the toppings. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add olive oil and butter. Add the sliced onions and fennel and sauté until both the fennel and onions are nicely caramelized, about 12 minutes. If a lot of fond builds up on the bottom of the pan, add a splash of water to deglaze.
5. Once the onions and fennel are well caramelized, deglaze the pan with the Pernod, removing any fond that’s built up on the bottom of the pan.
6. Stir in the thyme, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.
7. Using an offset spatula, evenly spread a thin layer of mustard on top of the baked puff pastry.
8. Sprinkle the onion and fennel mixture over the top followed by the goat cheese.
9. Place the tart in oven, and bake for about 10 minutes or until hot all the way through.
10. Cut the tart into squares, and then sprinkle with the chiffonade of arugula.
I started as the directions stated, but my modifications started at step 5. As I did not have any Pernod, I substituted chicken broth which added a little extra chicken flavor to the caramelized onions. Step 7 was also a modification as I used honey barbeque sauce instead of spreading mustard on the top of the puff pastry. Step 8 I added the shredded rotisserie chicken and proceeded with the recipe as it was written.
The best thing about the tart is that the ingredients are easily interchangeable to suite what was already in my fridge, so it made my journey to loving leftovers an easy one. The modified recipe turned out great and was a real boost to my confidence and getting a head start to spicing up my fall/winter weeknight leftover meal planning ideas. This is definitely a keeper and one recipe that I won’t get bored with!
If you are anything like me you are constantly in search of tasty weeknight meals, so stop by either Chopping Block location to see what we are cooking up. Our new hands-on class Quick and Healthy Weeknight Meals happens this Saturday, August 24 at the Mart. Don't miss learning how to make two meals that will blow you away.
- Meal #1: Seared Chicken Breasts with Roasted Summer Squash, Sautéed Spinach and Red Pepper Coulis
- Meal #2: Sautéed Shrimp with Pan-Steamed Broccoli, Sun-Dried Tomato Couscous and Herb Gremolata