Onion Tart with Wild Garlic and Herbs
This Onion Tart combines sweet, caramelised onions with a selection of herbs. I have used chives, parsley and wild garlic, which is in season in England in late spring and early summer. However, you can use any herbs that you like and which are available.
What you need to know about this Onion Tart recipe
- I generally make my own pastry. I was a late learner when it came to pastry and for years used ready-made versions. However, a few years ago I decided I had to get to grips with pastry-making and discovered how easy it is. If you have the time to make your own pastry, it is really worth doing as the taste will be much better than anything you can buy in the shops. However, if you don’t have the time or inclination, you can make this recipe using ready-made pastry and it will still taste pretty good.
- Whether you are making your own pastry or using ready-made, it is really important to bake the empty pastry case in the oven for 20 minutes before you add the filling (step 7). This sets the pastry and means that it is properly cooked so it will be crisp and delicious rather than soft and soggy.
- It also makes a huge difference to the taste of your tart if you make sure that the onions are soft and caramelised (step 5). Keep the burner as low as possible, stir occasionally and watch that they don’t burn. You want the end result to be very pale golden brown. Taste them to check and if you wish you can add a little brown sugar to sweeten them up a bit more.
- You can use any combination of herbs in this recipe. However, soft herbs work better than woody herbs (such as rosemary). Also, you need to be aware that some herbs (such as mint) have particularly strong flavours and will overpower others. I used chives, parsley and wild garlic in roughly equal amounts for my recipe. I’ve listed a few other herbs and flavourings that I think go well in this tart but please feel free to experiment.
- Tarragon – I would use it on its own and put less (between one and two tablespoons) in the tart as it has a strong flavour.
- Sage – a classic partner for onion and again I would put less in the tart as has a strong flavour.
- Thyme – one of my favourite herbs but it can be a bit fiddly getting all the little leaves off the woody stems. I would combine this with a few other herbs such as chives or parsley.
- Garlic – if you are not using wild garlic, you can add a clove of garlic to the onions once they are caramelised and cook for one or two minutes (step 5).
About Wild Garlic
When I lived in London, I ordered a weekly vegetable box which contained a selection of vegetables. I didn’t get to choose what was in the box – I was just given what was in season. Opening the box was a bit like a mini-birthday every week . Sometimes you opened it up and were delighted. Sometimes you opened it up and were a bit disappointed. There were definitely times when I thought that I had really eaten all the swedes that I ever wanted to eat.
One of the best extra things I got in the box was a big bunch of wild garlic. It seemed so fresh and exotic with its pretty white flowers. I wasn’t entirely sure whether I would cook with it or put it in a vase. I tried many times after that to get hold of it when I was in London but never succeeded. It was clearly a rare and special ingredient.
Later I moved to a rural part of Gloucestershire to a house situated by a small wood. In early May, the first year I lived there, I started to get garlicky wafts of scent whenever I went in the garden. Slightly puzzled, I went for a walk in the wood and found that it was covered in a carpet of small white flowered plants. I discovered that wild garlic is to be found in early summer in many woodland areas and is clearly not so rare after all!
It is well worth looking out for wild garlic in early summer. As with any foraged food, you need to make sure that you have identified the plant correctly. In the case of wild garlic, this is pretty easy as you just need to crush one of the garlic-scented leaves to check.
Other quiche and tart recipes
I make a lot of quiches and savoury tarts. In my view, they are one of the most versatile and useful dishes. They are easy to make and easy to divide into portions, they can be made in advance, they can be served hot or cold, there are a lot of vegetarian options which still seem to please meat-eaters and there are lots and lots of possible flavour combinations. In addition to this Onion Tart, some of my favourites from this are listed below.
- Asparagus Quiche
- Beetroot Tart
- Butternut Squash Tart with Chilli and Sage
- Caramelised Onion Tart
- Carrot Tart
- Crab and prawn tart with chilli, lime and coriander
- Feta Quiche with Roasted Peppers
- Garlic Tart
- Herb Tartlets
- Shallot Tart with Thyme and Anchovy
- Smoked Salmon Tart with Prawns
- Spinach Tart
- Tomato Tart
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Line tart dish with pastry Bake until pastry has set Fry onions slowly until caramelised Put caramelised onions into pastry case Add chopped herbs Add beaten eggs and cream. Season to taste and bake for 30 minutes.
Recipe for Onion Tart with Wild Garlic and HerbsPrint
This easy vegetarian Onion Tart is flavoured with a selection of fresh herbs including wild garlic. It is fresh and tasty and can be eaten warm or at room temperature.
For the pastry:
- 275 g (10 oz) plain flour
- 125 g (5 oz) fat (I use a mix of half butter and half Trex as I think this makes the lightest pastry)
- A little water
For the filling:
- 4 large onions – about 450 g (1lb)
- 50 g (2 oz) butter and 1 tablespoon oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
- A bunch (approximately 15 g or 0.5 oz) of mixed fresh herbs such as Wild Garlic, Chives and Parsley
- 120 ml (4 fluid oz) double cream
- 2 eggs
- Set your oven to 180 C, 350 F or Gas Mark 4.
- Make the pastry. Put the flour in a bowl. Add the fat and combine – either by “rubbing in” by hand or processing – until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Add a little cold water (2-3 tbsp) and shape the mixture into a dough.
- Peel and chop the onions.
- Heat the butter and oil in your frying pan. It helps if the pan is good quality with a thick bottom as this will disseminate the heat evenly and prevent burning.
- Add the onions to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook at a very low heat for about 30 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they are not burning and stir occasionally. The onions are done when they are light brown, soft and, when tasted, are sweet. You can add a teaspoon of brown sugar to increase the sweetness of the onions at this stage if you wish.
- Set the onion mixture aside to cool slightly.
- Roll out your pastry and use it to line your quiche or flan dish. Bake for 20 minutes in the oven to allow the pastry to “set”. This will stop the filling making it soggy.
- Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the cream, and beat until combined.
- Wash and finely chop the fresh herbs.
- Place the onion mixture and chopped herbs in your pastry case and then pour in the egg mixture.
- Place your quiche or flan dish in the oven and cook for 25 minutes.
- The tart can be eaten hot, room temperature or cold.
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