Friday, August 21, 2009

Great Party Food

My friend, John invited me to join some of our other friends at a house party. I was in the middle of building my huge bookshelf and thought it would be good to take some time out for myself and some fun. What to bring? I had this old William-Sonoma catalog that I had been meaning to throw out, but only after I wrote down the recipes. There were so many good ones in that issue and I had tried several. This one was one I wanted to try.

The picture above should have mixed greens on the top with goat cheese and oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. I prepped everything when I got to Scott and Renee's. Sorry, I didn't bring my camera! It's actually very pretty and everybody loved them and they tasted sublime. They are very easy and look impressive.

Onion Tarts With Mixed Greens
Serves 8

Savory Tart Dough

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp sugar
12 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (1 1/2 sticks)
6 to 7 Tbs ice water

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until pea-size crumbs form. Add the water 1 Tbs. at a time and mix with your hands, adding more water as needed until the dough comes together. It should be moist but not sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, divide into 2 balls and shape each into a 5-inch disk. Cover separately with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out each dough disk into a 12-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Using a small knife, trim the uneven edges.

Transfer each round to a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Use as directed in your tart recipe. Makes enough dough for two 10-inch tarts.

Onion Mixture

2 rolled-out rounds savory tart dough, each 12 inches in diameter
5 Tbs olive oil
4 yellow onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp minced fresh thyme
2 Tbs minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 oz. mixed salad greens (I used an herbal mix, it was delicious)
2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Place the dough rounds on separate parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F.

In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 3 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onions, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the thyme, parsley and 2 tsp. of the vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Spread half of the onion mixture on each dough round, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold the dough up and pinch together at 2-inch intervals. Lightly brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg. Bake the tarts until the crusts are golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the tarts cool for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tsp. vinegar, the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil, salt and pepper to form a vinaigrette. Toss half of the vinaigrette with the salad greens, then place the remaining vinaigrette in an oil mister. Top the tarts with the salad, dividing evenly, and sprinkle with the cheese. Mist the salads with the remaining vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

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