Genoese onion tarts

Drain the anchovies, then soak in milk for 20 minutes. Drain again and cut into 12 even-sized strips.


serves 6
215 g (7 1/2 oz) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
50 g (2 oz) can anchovy fillets
12 black olives, halved and stoned


500 g (1 lb) onions, finely chopped
25 g (1 oz) margarine or butter
1 tablespoon olive oil or corn oil
4 streaky bacon rashers, chopped
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
1/2 teaspoon French mustard
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Make the filling: heat the margarine and oil in a frying-pan, add the bacon and fry over moderate heat for 7-8 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Remove the pan from heat and cool for 10 minutes.

2. Add the onions to the fat remaining in the pan and fry very gently for 15 minutes until they are soft and lightly coloured.

3. Heat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.

4. Meanwhile, dampen 6 individual 7.5 cm (3 inch) tart tins. Roll out the pastry very thinly on a lightly floured surface and cut out 6 rounds with a 9 cm (3 1/2 inch) plain cutter. Use to line tart tins and then prick base of each pastry case with a fork.

5. Add the herbs to the onions in the pan, together with the mustard, egg and milk. Mix well together, then season with salt and pepper.

6. Divide the filling between the pastry cases, spread evenly and garnish with a cross made of
anchovy strips and 4 olive halves.

7. Bake above centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and the filling is browned on top. Remove the tarts from the oven then carefully transfer them to a platter and serve while still warm.

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