Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sweet Onion Zucchini Tart, Peach- Spring Green Stack with Raspberry Balsamic

Once I decided to make an onion tart for dinner, I immediately groaned at the thought of making pie dough. Even though the filling takes little effort to put together, it does take some time and I wasn't interested in spending more time on dough. Instead of buying a pre-made crust, I went with puff pastry. This way I can still form the dough around my tart pan and the result is a light, crispy, buttery layer that holds the filling with ease.

This onion tart, loaded with sweet Walla Walla onions and a creamy pine nut layer is such a great meal for a warm summer night. Eaten hot right out of the oven or at room temperature, pair this tart with a fresh fruit salad of peaches, raspberries and my thick homemade raspberry balsamic. The combination of the warm, savory tart with the fresh summer peaches provides a great contrast in texture, temperature and flavor.

Sweet Onion Zucchini Tart with Pine Nut Cream
4 tbl extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 large walla walla onions, halved, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
8 fresh thyme sprigs, divided
1 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup firm silken tofu
1 tsp cornstarch
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
2 zucchini, thinly sliced rounds

Heat a large saute pan with 3 tbl of oil over medium heat. Add all of the onions, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and leaves from 5 thyme sprigs. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally until soft and light brown.
Combine the pinenuts, almond milk, garlic and 3 thyme sprigs in a small pot. Heat over low for 7 minutes but do not boil. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and a pinch of black pepper. Remove the thyme sprigs and transfer this mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the tofu and garlic and puree for 5 minutes until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 375.
Toss the zucchini slices with 1 tbl olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Thinly roll out the puff pastry sheet to fit the size of your 9" springform tart pan. Grease the pan with canola spray. Lay the puff pastry into the pan and fold any excess dough over and tuck inside the pan. Prick the bottom of the tart all over with a fork to prevent the dough from puffing up. Line the bottom of the tart with zucchini in a circular fan motion. Top with the pine nut cream and spread to completely cover all of the zucchini. Tightly pack all of the onions on top and bake for 40 minutes until the onions and crust are golden brown.
Let sit for a few minutes before slicing.

Peach and Spring Green Stack
1 peach, thinly sliced
2 cups baby spring greens
3 tbl minced chives
1/2 cup fresh raspberries

Combine salad ingredients and toss with raspberry balsamic vinaigrette.

Raspberry Balsamic
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbl agave
1/2 cup fresh (or frozen and thawed) raspberries
pinch of black pepper
salt, to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2-4 tbl water, as needed

Combine the vinegar, agave, raspberries and black pepper to a small pot. Mash the raspberries with a fork. Bring to a simmer and reduce down for 15 minutes over medium-low heat until the mixture is very thick and syrupy. Transfer to a blender and add the oil. Season with salt. If the vinaigrette is too thick, whisk in water to desired consistency.

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