We often think that South African cuisine is all about meat and starches, but that is not true. In the time of the Early Cape the Company Gardens had an impressive selection of fruit and vegetables. The gardens also grew herbs such as thyme, parsley, oregano, marjoram, basil, rosemary, celery, coriander, fennel, borage, savory, catnip, veronica and pimpernel and even nuts such as chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios were available. No surprise then that the housewives of those days came up with innovative ideas with fruit and vegetables. Those recipes and inspirations survived and today still we enjoy our fruit and vegetables in a variety of ways, from fresh to cooked to preserved.
Join us in celebrating our food heritage with this delicious onion tart with aged cheddar. It is delightful on its own with a fuller-bodied white wine such as the La Motte Chardonnay, but it also works as a side dish - even when you braai!
Onion and Matured Cheddar Tart Recipe
1 sheet good quality puff pastry
2 medium white onions
1 red onion
50 g butter
2 egg yolks
A little mustard vinaigrette
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celcius.
Peel all the white onions and slice very finely. Place in a sauce pot with a pinch of salt and the butter. Cook over low heat and stir occasionally until the onions have developed a sweetness and is golden brown. This should take about 45 minutes. Be patient. The slower the cooking, the sweeter the onion. Once golden brown remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Poke the sheet of puff pastry with a fork, leaving a edge of about 2 cm untouched.
Finely slice the red onion and dress with an little olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary.
Spread the caramelised onions on the pastry but work quick as not to heat the pastry too much. Leaving the edge of 2 cm uncovered.
Place the tart in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes. Brush the edges with the egg yolk at least twice, returning the tart to the fridge during the 20 minutes.
Bake the tart at 190 degrees Celcius for 10 minutes and remove.
Place the raw red slices of onion on top of the tart and return to the oven for a further 5 to 10 minutes to roast and char a little.
Remove the tart and cool to room temperature.
Grate over a healthy helping of matured Cheddar and dress with a little vinaigrette.