when the season gives you onions and cabbage...
...make a Carmelized Onion and Cabbage Tart!
This savory vegetable tart, courtesy of Martha Rose Shulman at the New York Times, takes us on a little trip to France for a rustic tart that seriously elevates the humble onion and cabbage - with the help of a little Gruyère, bien sûr.
The crust is a whole wheat yeasted olive oil pastry - if you choose to make your own. I did, and although I was tempted to go with my tried and true pâte brisée - I'm glad I tried something new. Substituting olive oil for butter, and using whole wheat flour makes for a healthier crust, plus it's smoother and easier to work with. There's none of that pesky cracking of a short crust. It's simple enough to make and while it rises on the counter, you have time to make the filling. Plus, there is no need to blind bake this crust, you just roll it out, plop it in the tin, fill and bake.
Step 1 - Make the crust
Whole Wheat Yeasted Olive Oil Pastry - makes 2
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 envelope)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature, beaten
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purpose unbleached flour (more as needed)
3/4 teaspoon salt
Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water, add the sugar, and allow to sit until the mixture is creamy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg and the olive oil. Combine the flours and salt, and stir into the yeast mixture. You can use a bowl and wooden spoon for this, or a mixer - combine the ingredients, using the paddle. Work the dough until it comes together in a coherent mass, adding flour as necessary. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently for a few minutes, adding flour as necessary, just until the dough is smooth - do not overwork it. Shape into a ball. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a draft-free spot until doubled in size, about one hour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, gently knead a couple of times, and cut into two equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball without kneading it. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for five minutes. Then roll out into thin rounds and line pan with one of them. If not using the second crust, freeze the dough to prevent it from rising and becoming too bready. The dough can be transferred directly from the freezer to the oven.
Step 2 - Make the carmelized onion and cabbage filling
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, cut in half root to stem, then thinly sliced across the grain
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small cabbage (or half of a large cabbage), shredded or chopped (about 6 cups)
3/4 cup lowfat milk
1 teaspoon fresh sage - finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1/2 cup tightly packed (2 oz) Gruyère cheese
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, and cook, stirring, until they begin to sizzle and soften, about three minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt and the garlic. Stir everything together, turn the heat to low, cover and cook slowly for 45 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are very soft, sweet, and light brown. Add sage and thyme to onions.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat in another large skillet. Add the cabbage. Cook, stirring often, until it begins to wilt, then add salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until the cabbage is tender and fragrant. If it hasn't wilted yet, add 1/4 cup of water to cabbage and cover for 5 minutes. Stir in the onions, simmer together for about five minutes or until there is no longer any liquid in the pan, and remove from heat.
Heat the oven to 350°. Oil a 9 or 10-inch tart pan and line with the dough. Beat the eggs and milk in a bowl and season with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Stir in the onions, cabbage and cheese and combine well. Scrape into the tart pan, and place in the oven. Bake 40 - 45 minutes until the top is lightly browned. If you want to brown it further, put it under the broiler for a minute or so.