This is a great dish to serve for lunch or as a starter. It goes best with a fresh salad as this compliments the richness of the tarte. Not only is it really easy but also big on wow factor. Everyone will think that you have cooked something really complicated when in reality it is really low maintenance. I found this recipe in the Riverford Autumn and Winter cookbook and made it vegan.
Ingredients, serves 4
50 grams vegan margarine
500 grams shallots, peeled but kept whole
120 ml balsamic vinegar
Small bunch of thyme
Ready rolled puff pastry (vegan)
Heat the oven to the temperature indicated in the puff pastry instructions.
Heat the margarine in an ovenproof frying pan if you have one. I don’t so I used a heavy bottomed pan. You do not need a large pan as the shallots shrink. Add the shallots and cook on a medium heat until they start to brown. This should take about 10 minutes turning occasionally.
Add the balsamic vinegar, thyme, a teaspoon of salt and enough water to cover the onions. Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes, adding more water if the liquid evaporates too much.
Remove the thyme stems and then bubble the liquid until it becomes syrupy. Remove from the heat.
Cut out a circle of pastry that is a bit larger than the ovenproof frying pan or oven dish you are using. I used an 18cm flan dish but you can also use a shallow cake tin that is sealed.
Put the shallots and juices into the oven dish if using one. If you have an ovenproof frying pan then you keep the mixture in the pan. Then lay the pastry on top, tucking the edges down the sides (inside the dish). Cut some slits for steam vents in the top.
Place into the oven and cook until the pastry is puffed up and golden.
When cooked, leave to cool for 5 minutes. Then invert onto a large plate and serve!