Carmelized Onion Tartlets

One more holiday to go, everyone.  Here’s a terrific little recipe to serve at your New Year’s soiree.  These cheeky little tartlets are frugal yet elegant, but most importantly, they’re really super yummy.  Sweet yellow onions are slow-cooked to a deep golden brown, blended with fragrant and earthy fresh sage, and spooned into crisp phyllo pastry cups.  Place them on a pretty platter and watch them disappear.  And a bonus:  the filling freezes beautifully, so make it when you have some time and stash it away – you’ll have little bites ready to go faster than you can say “auld lang syne”.

Happy New Year. : )

Makes:  2 dozen tarts 

SOURCE:  Adapted from

2 large yellow onions (Mayan Sweet Onions are on sale)
2 slices good-quality bacon, minced (it’s helpful to freeze the bacon for a few minutes, then stack the slices, and mince them together)
1 t. sugar
1 t. salt
2 t. (or more) Sendik’s Balsamic Vinegar
1 T. chopped fresh sage or fresh rosemary, plus additional sprigs for garnish
1 egg
¼ c. heavy cream or half & half

2 packages frozen phyllo tart shells

Cut the onions in half from root to tip.  Peel off the skins and discard.  Place the onions cut side down on your cutting surface, and cut the onion in half again, root to tip (slice off the tip and discard that too).  Begin slicing the onions as thinly as you possibly can, all the way down to the root end; discard the tough end/core piece.

Preheat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute the bacon until almost crisp.  Add the onions, sugar and salt to the skillet.  Reduce heat to medium and cook the onions, stirring often, until reduced by two-thirds.  Reduce the heat to low, add the balsamic vinegar, and continue to cook and stir until the onions reach a deep golden brown color, this will take about 25 minutes and will require patience on your part (you should hear a gentle sizzling sound while they cook).  Don’t be tempted to rush the onions or they will burn instead of carmelize.

Stir in the sage or rosemary.  Taste the onion mixture and adjust the seasonings.  If they taste too sweet, add a bit more balsamic vinegar.  Cool slightly; add the egg and the half and half.  (You can freeze the filling at this point; cool completely before covering and placing in the freezer).

Preheat the oven to 350.  Place tart shells on a cookie sheet and fill shells with onion mixture (I like to use a fork).  Bake the tarts for 15 minutes, or until filling is set.  Transfer to a serving platter and serve; garnish platter with additional herb sprigs if desired.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | December 25th, 2012