Frozen puff pastry is a boon to busy cooks, as it makes a great starter for all kinds of tarts. Here, it forms a flaky base for an elegant pear, blue cheese and caramelized onion tart served with a crisp spinach salad alongside—an elegant yet easy option for a light meatless Monday meal.
Pear, Blue Cheese and Onion Tart with Spinach Salad
- 2 1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 1/4 cups (8 oz./250 g) thinly sliced yellow onions
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) dry white wine
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- All-purpose flour for dusting
- 1 sheet (9 oz./280 g) all-butter puff pastry
- 1 1/2 pears, cored and cut into 1/8-inch (3-mm) slices
- 3/4 cup (3 1/2 oz./105 g) creamy blue cheese (such as Cashel), crumbled
- 5 oz. (155 g) baby spinach
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 hard-boiled egg, peeled
1. Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 8 minutes. Add the wine and simmer, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until the onions are very soft and evenly browned, 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 10-by-14-inch (25-by-35-cm) rectangle; transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and brush the edges with water. Fold up 1/2 inch (12 mm) of the dough around the perimeter and gently press down to create a thick border. Working inside the border, spread the onion mixture over the pastry. Lay the pear slices on top in a single layer. Sprinkle the cheese over the pears. Bake until the pastry is golden-brown and puffed, 25 minutes.
4. In a large bowl, toss the spinach with the lemon juice and the remaining 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Push the egg through a small sieve over the salad. Cut the tart into 4 squares and serve with the salad alongside. Serves 4.
Find more simple, healthy meals for every night of the week in our book Weeknight Vegetarian, by Ivy Manning.