This tart looks posh and colourful but is surprisingly easy to make. The highlights for me are the cheat’s caramelised onions made in 20 minutes (the secret is balsamic vinegar), and puff pastry. The balsamic onions are great because I generally like to add balsamic vinegar to anything I can, but also they’re quick, easy and beautiful. Nothing was ever going to go wrong with those onions. I want to add them to everything. Pastry is less predictable, but I love making puff pastry because the trick is not to try too hard. Don’t mix in the butter too well. Don’t roll it out too much. Just go with it, pop it in the oven and hope for the best, and ta-da! The sight of the pastry puffing despite my limited pastry making abilities fills me with joy.
350g puff pastry (buy ready rolled to make your life easy)
2 red onions
100g feta cheese
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp vegetable oil
Takes about 45 minutes
Stage one: Preheat the oven to 200C/fan180C. Slice the red onions and put them in a pan with 1 tbsp vegetable oil over a medium-low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have gone soft. If they start to burn, lower the heat and add a tbsp water and miraculously everything gets better. After the 10 minutes are up, add the balsamic vinegar and then cook 10 minutes more. They’re going to go the most wonderful red-pinky colour, and taste just like you’ve been caramelising them for hours. But you haven’t! Muahaha. Remove them from the heat.
Stage two: Put the spinach in a colander, fill and boil the kettle and then pour the boiling water over the spinach to wilt it. Leave the colander in the sink for the spinach to cool and drain.
Stage three: While the spinach is cooling, roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle about the thickness of a pound coin. Fold over the edges to make it look fancy. Brush it with the tsp of vegetable oil, and then put it in the oven for 15 minutes until it’s gone golden and puffed up in the middle. While the pastry is in the oven, squeeze as much water as you can out of the spinach.
Stage four: When the pastry is done, gently press the middle down with the back of a spoon. Spread the spinach over the base of the pastry, and then spread the onion over it. Admire the wonderful colours. Finally, crumble the feta over the top, and then pop it in the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese has gone golden. Serve immediately, although it works great cold too!