Note: Please welcome Serious Eater Michael Natkin of the vegetarian blog Herbivoracious. He will be dropping by every Wednesday to share a delicious recipe to expand our vegetarian repertoire. This week, a savory tart. Take it away, Michael!
Most of my home-cooked meals tend to be both relatively easy and healthy--but this tart is definitely an exception. No getting around it, this is a bit of work and on the rich side. I think it's best served as a three-bite appetizer, where you can really enjoy the big flavors of the caramelized onions, smoked paprika, and blue cheese. I improvised it for an annual block party, and let's just say the entire sheet pan was gone in about 15 minutes.
I call for cabrales, a traditional Spanish cheese because it goes well with the smoked paprika, but you could just as easily use gorgonzola or another blue cheese of your choice.
The recipe will give you enough dough to fill a standard jelly roll pan, rolled out rather thin. You can also cut the recipe in half, roll it out thicker and bake in a 9-inch tart pan to serve in wedges. This sort of tart is best served warm or at room temperature after it sets up a little bit. You don't want to eat it piping hot from the oven.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (12 ounces)
- 8 ounces very cold unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into 1/4" cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 2.5 pounds onions, sliced (about 3 large or 5-6 medium)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 heaping tablespoon smoked paprika (pimenton de la vera or pimenton dulce)
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, sliced 1/8" thick
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 pound cabrales, gorgonzola or other crumbly, meltable blue cheese
- 3/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley for garnish
Add one half of the ice water and stir with a fork, trying to form a ragged ball of dough. As needed add more water a tablespoon at a time, but err on the side of using less. You want just enough to bring it together. Flatten into a rectangle, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Saute the onions in olive oil in a large skillet over a medium-low flame until caramelized, about 30 minutes. Stir in the smoked paprika and season with salt to taste. They should be quite red in color. Reserve.
Combine the potatoes and cream with 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a microwave safe bowl and loosely cover. Microwave for five minutes, and then one more minute at a time until you can pierce with a fork but they are still holding their shape. The cream should have become quite thick at this point. You could also do this on the stovetop. Reserve.
Oil a standard half-size baking sheet (18" x 13", also known as a jelly roll pan). Preheat the oven to 400°F. Convection is fine if you have it.
Flour a board or your counter and roll out the dough until it about 2" larger than the sheet pan in both directions. Roll the dough onto your rolling pin, transfer to the pan and roll back out. Press into place, lining the entire bottom and sides. Prick in several places with a fork to prevent bubbling. Brush with a bit of olive oil to limit moisture entering from the vegetables.
Top the crust with a single layer of the potatoes. Distribute the onions evenly, then sprinkle on the gorgonzola.
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the edges of the crust are golden brown. Peek underneath with a spatula and make sure it is well browned.
Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with the parsley, cut into squares, and serve.