Yesterday I posted a cookbook review of Smoking Hot & Cold by Charlotte Pike. And a recipe for Smoked Onions, too. Here’s the way author Charlotte Pike suggests using those smoked onions: in a dramatic Smoked Onion Tart with Spinach, Blue Cheese and Sage. This is a “big” dish in terms of flavor and impact on a meal.

The tart can be a magnificent side dish — imagine this next to your Thanksgiving turkey. No, it won’t replace the stuffing that day, but it can happily sit on the table with all your traditional goodies. Made once, this will become a family tradition.

Or, serve larger pieces with a side salad and a fine wine. The result will be a tear-evoking memorable meal.

The cheese selection here is Gorgonzola and Parmesan. You can alter the proportions, switch cheese types or keep these two but add a third of your preference. The lovely thing about this tart is that it cannot become boring: it is certain to taste differently each time, but deliciously different.

Smoking vegetables is one of the major themes in Smoking Hot & Cold. It’s a great bookand one you can use on a weekly basis.


Smoked Onion Tart with Spinach, Blue Cheese, and Sage

Yield: serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 large hot-smoked white onions, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces spinach
  • 13 ounces ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry
  • 1 ¼ cups Gorgonzola dolce or soft blue cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan, finely grated
  • 15 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Crisp green salad, to serve

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Set aside a large, shallow, nonstick baking pan I or sheet, at least 8 x 12 inches.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic gently for about 10 minutes until smelling sweet and fragrant. They will look translucent and should not brown.

When the onions are softened, reduce the heat and stir in the spinach, stirring to encourage it to wilt gently.

Meanwhile, prepare the tart crust. Lay the pastry dough on the baking pan. I Use a small, sharp knife to carefully score a border around the pastry dough, about ¾-inch from the edge.

Spoon the onion and spinach mixture carefully and evenly into the center of the dough, up to the scored borderline, but not right to the edge. Carefully a dot chunks of Gorgonzola over the spinach and onions, followed by the Parmesan and sage leaves.

Finish by carefully brushing the beaten egg over the exposed pastry border; this will give it a wonderful shine and rich brown color.

Bake the tart for 20 to 30 minutes until the topping is bubbling and golden brown, and the crust has puffed and is a rich brown color. Serve warm or I cold with a crisp green salad.


Source: Smoking Hot & Cold by Charlotte Pike [Kyle, 2017]