Thursday 10 September 2009

Fontina onion and potato tart

I’ve been busy this week. Life has been full of playing with Sylvia and her blocks, long walks, pureeing food for her, and – when I really have to cook – sitting her in the high chair in the kitchen beside me. I’ve found time for eating, of course. Cranberry and raisin bread with sliced banana and sugar. An easy sesame slice (which I will share later). My fabulous vegetarian lasagne. I’ve tidied and organised some of the clutter (not that you would know it to look at the house). It doesn't leave had much time for blogging.

So I have dredged up a stodgy old tart from my backlog. It is not a terrible tart but it was a little rich and heavy. It had a lot more cream and eggs than other tarts I have made lately, but at least there was no plastic on the bottom. I made it so long ago I can hardly remember a lot of details. Half the time in doing this post was spent seeking the magazine where I found it. I can tell you that E was not overly impressed with the tart.

I think that the side dishes weren’t inspiring enough for E. He wasn’t so keen on the kale on the side the first night nor the broccoli mash the next night (recipe below). I enjoyed the mash but I am not sure if it was quite right for the tart. In fact, I think what might have helped is a sharp sauce like the Cheat's Beetroot Chutney (recipe below) that I made for the broccolini and brie tart recently. I made the chutney in dire need of a sauce in the middle of winter when it seemed silly having tinned beetroot in my pantry. One day I will made a proper beetroot and apple chutney to store in jars in my pantry but this cheat's chutney did the trick for a couple of nights.

I made the potato and onion tart because I needed to use up fontina cheese after the buckwheat pasta bake. Although heavy, it gave a high degree of comfort in my book. Maybe some sharp cheddar might be better than fontina. And if I continue making pizza bases like last weekend, I might just be interested in taking the magazine up on the suggestion of using the onion and potato and fontina cheese as pizza topping. Now that sounds much more our style.

Fontina, caramelised onion and potato tart

From BBC Australian Good Food Guide June 2009
Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 large onions, finely sliced
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 500g potatoes, cut into 1.5cm and par cooked
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry, thawed
  • 2 eggs
  • 100ml cream
  • 100g fontina cheese
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves, plus extra to serve

Cook onions in oil in a large frypan for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add sugar and vinegar and stir for about 20 minutes until onions are caramelised. Stir in potato.

Line a baking tin with pastry (I used a lamington tin, which is 30 x20 cm). Trim edges and place strips of extra pastry along edges. Spread potato and onion inside pastry edges. Lightly whisk together eggs and cream with a fork or small whisk. Pour over onion and potato (sounds easy but there wasn't much in the way of edges to keep the cream mixture in and some of my flowed over the edges). Scatter with cheese and thyme leaves.

Bake at 200 C for 20 minutes or til puffed and golden. Garnish with extra thyme leaves.

Broccoli and parsnip mash
Inspired by Diet, Dessert and Dogs
makes enough for leftovers that make good soup with some stock

  • 5 small broccoli heads, chopped
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium potato, chopped
  • 50g blue cheese (or other cheese)
  • 2-3 tbsp yoghurt

Cook parsnip and potato in salted water for about 15 minutes. Add broccoli and simmer another 5 minutes. Mash with cheese and yoghurt. Check seasoning. If you have leftover mash, it will easily transform into a soup.

Cheat’s beetroot chutney
serves about 4 as a side

  • 1 tsp oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • ½ x 400g tin of beetroot with juice
  • 1 apple, grated and peeled
  • slurp of vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • good shake of cayenne pepper

In a medium saucepan, fry the onion in the oil for about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer gently for about 30 minutes or till chutney thickens but is still spreadable. Serve warm or room temperature. I used it within a couple of days so am not sure how long it would keep but it was good when fresh.

On the Stereo:

(The Sunday Mail Freebie) – 10CC


  1. Oooh, Johanna, I just fixed your incredible buckwheat pasta bake recently, and we loved it!! Zach couldn't stop raving about it, and I couldn't stop counting the hours until we could have some of the leftovers for supper the next day too! Thank you so much for the amazing recipe!

    I do love fontina cheese... :-) Your tart looks beautiful, and your idea of using the fontina, potato, and onion for pizza sounds brilliant!

  2. Everything sounds so delicious, Johanna. I agree on the idea of fotina and mushroom pizza. Try it! I have done it before and it's absolutely delicious.

    Things have been quite busy with me as well. All work and study related though so my stress level is really high. :(

  3. I like what you did with the mash! And I am absolutely going to make that cheat's chuteny--my kind of dish. :) I seem to be into tarts lately, so thanks for the new idea. And not "much time for blogging"? You still manage to post almost every day!! (can you tell I'm entirely envious of this ability of yours--??) ;)

  4. Thanks Astra - glad you liked the pasta - I have never had fontina cheese before so still a little unsure about it

    Thanks Anh - sounds like the pizza idea is popular - interested to try it - you sound like you need a relaxing pizza evening :-)

    Thanks Ricki - I don't feel I have had much time for blogging this week - and if you feel jealous then don't forget about your cookbook - now that is a huge achievement!

  5. Who doesn't love the combination of potato, onion, cheese and a crust. Yum!!! Too bad you guys didn't love it though. Broccoli mash sounds intriguing.

  6. thanks Ashley - it is a good combination but quite heavy with the cream and eggs and not enough other veg! Yes I loved the broccoli mash and want to keep trying other veg mashes


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