Onion Tarte Tain

I can’t take all the credit for this one. Scot Kirton, a.k.a. “Scottish”, put a dish onto The River Café’s menu while we were running it, which was a version of this, only he used a nice thin slice of Spanish onion and topped it with melting porcini mousse. Mine is a girly version that can be served as is or drizzled with olive oil and topped with shaved Parmesan and wild rocket.

Serves 4 to 6


Great value

Description: Description: Onion Tarte Tain

Onion Tarte Tain

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 45 minutes

·         Butter 2 T

·         Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

·         Garlic 2 cloves, crushed

·         Pearl onions or shallots 15, peeled and halved through the root

·         Caster sugar 100 g

·         Balsamic vinegar 1 T

·         Butter puff pastry 350 g

·         Fresh thyme a few sprigs

·         Thyme or wild rocket, to garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 1600C. Place 1 T butter, seasoning and garlic in a wide-bottomed pan. Add the onions, cut-side down.
  2. Slowly fry the onions until they soften and the cut side is pale golden in-color. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Place the sugar in a saucepan and cook over a low heat until a caramel forms. Add the balsamic vinegar and the remaining butter. Pour a thin layer of caramel, about 2 to 3 mm thick, into a shallow saucepan or ovenproof tatin dish. Place the onions on top of the caramel, cut-side down.
  4. Roll out the puff pastry to a thickness of 3 to 5 mm and cut out dish. Place over the shallots and tuck in the edges so the pastry forms a “cup” to hold in the shallots. Make a small air hole in the centre of the pastry and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden.
  5. Turn out the Tatin and serve garnished with wild rocket.


Wine: Stellenbosch Hills Chenin Blanc 2011

Onion Marmalade Souffle

Serves 4 to 6

A little effort

Great value

Description: Description: Onion Marmalade Souffle

Onion Marmalade Souffle

Preparation: 30 minutes

Cooking: 15 minutes

·         Red onions 8

·         Olive oil 1 t

·         Butter 40 g

·         Flour 40 g

·         Bay leaf 1

·         Goat’s cheese 1 x 50 g log, crumbled

·         Milk 1 ½ cups

·         Large free-range eggs 4, separated

·         Nutmeg ¼ t

·         Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 1800C. Slice 2 red onions and sweat in the olive oil and 1 T butter over a very low heat until reduce and sticky. Puree until smooth then set aside.
  2. Halve the remaining onions through the root and hollow out. Season well and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until soft. Set aside.
  3. Melt the remaining butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the flour and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Cool slightly then add 3 – 4 T onion puree and the bay leaf.
  4. Add the goat’s cheese, then the milk, stirring continuously. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until thick. Transfer to a bowl, cover and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time. Add the nutmeg and season to taste.
  6. In a separate, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites, until stiff peaks form. Fold a third of the egg whites into the sauce and mix well. Carefully fold in the remaining egg white and immediately transfer to the hollowed onions. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Fat-conscious, health-conscious, meat-free

Wine: Thelema Sutherland Viognier/ Roussanne 2010

Buried treasure

Unearth the versatility of onions with the great selection available at Woolworths:

Brown onions, the most common type of onion, are an everyday cooking staple that keep well and requite little more than peeling and chopping, grating or slicing. Rich in antioxidants, they’re a versatile base for fried, roasted or baked dishes.

Cipollini onions (also called Borettana onions) are sweet-flavored and a welcome addition to sandwiches, salsas, salads and dips. Easy to slice and not prone to falling apart when cut, they are just as tasty served raw as they are slowly caramelized or oven-roasted.

Red onions – sometimes called purple onions – have a deep maroon-colored skin and pink-tinged flesh. Medium to large in size with a mild to sweet flavor, they are best enjoyed grilled or lightly cooked with other ingredients, or added raw to salads for color (their red hue tends to diminish when they are cooked).

Shallots have a mild taste that combines the flavor of sweet onion with a hint of garlic. Favored by chefs for their firm texture and aromatic versatility, they are excellent in stir-fries, sauces and salad dressings. Peel and serve whole or sliced, sauté gently in butter or oven-roast drizzled with olive oil and scattered with fresh herbs.

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