Goat Cheese, Pancetta, and Caramelized Onion Savory Tart

Goat Cheese, Pancetta, and Caramelized Onion Savory Tart

I brought this lovely little tart to a dinner party at Matt’s boss’ house and it was a huge hit. Since the party was on a weeknight, I needed something that I could make the night before and keep at room temperature to bring to the party. I found this recipe on Pinterest and tweaked it just a touch. This recipe was so easy and required pretty minimal effort, especially because I used store-bought puff pastry. I will definitely make this again but may even change it up a bit by adding some drizzles of a good balsamic, or a touch more goat cheese.

You can buy frozen puff pastry if you don't know how or feel like making your own... this one above is from Pepperidge Farm and is available at both Harris Teeter and Fresh Market, and presumably other stores as well, these are just the ones I knwo for sure

You can buy frozen puff pastry if you don’t know how or feel like making your own… this one above is from Pepperidge Farm and is available at both Harris Teeter and Fresh Market, and presumably other stores as well, these are just the ones I knwo for sure

 

The Elements:
4 oz pancetta (cubed)
1 puff pastry dough sheet
1 TBL butter
1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
2 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp thyme
3-4 TBS goat cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork
Fresh thyme for garnish

 

 

 

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 400
In a large fry pan, over medium heat, cook pancetta until brown and crispy.  Remove from pan and place in a bowl while  draining excess fat from the pan.
Next, add the onions, reduce heat to low/low-medium, and add butter, sugar, and thyme.  Stir with a wooden spoon to evenly coat the onions with butter, sugar, and thyme.  Cover and allow the onions to caramelize, stirring occasionally to avoid burning/scorching the onions.
Meanwhile, roll out the puff pastry on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and take a small knife and make a small indentation around the edge (leaving about 1/4-1/2 inch crust) and place the dough on the sheet back in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

Caramelized Onions

 

Once the onions are fully caramelized (about 20-25 minutes) they will look a beautiful deep caramel color.
Take the dough out of the fridge, spread the onions over the dough (within the square that you previously cut with a knife) and then top with the pancetta.  Dollop goat cheese sporadically over the top (see finished product at top and you will get the idea).  Take a pastry brush and brush the crust with the egg wash (this will assist it in turning that beautiful golden color!)

Pop it in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes.  Crack some fresh pepper over top and then garnish with the fresh thyme sprigs.  It is unnecessary to put salt on the tart because pancetta is naturally salty, so avoid the temptation to do so!

The Verdict:
So simple and a huge hit.  Everyone at the party loved it… I even got an email this morning asking me to post it… Hi Dianne!  I would definitely make this again.  Although it takes time to let the onions caramelize, the hands-on time is very limited, and so that’s what makes it so easy.  I think you could easily change this up to be more to your liking.  A couple ideas:

If I were going to add in balsamic, I would do so during the caramelizing of the onions, or maybe even to the pancetta as well.
You could also add some arugula after the cooking of the tart, and omit the thyme.
In the winter months, you could add some rosemary or sage to make it a little heartier.
Add in some thinly shaved radicchio.. I have another flat bread with this and I’ll post that at some point.
The ideas are endless… comment with some of yours!  And of course, if you try it, let me know in the comments!

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