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13 April 2009

Caramelised Onion and Haloumi Tarts

I have seen a lot of recipes around for onion and goat's cheese tarts. As I am not keen on goat's cheese, I decided to try one and use haloumi instead.

With respect to the caramelised onion itself, I wanted to use a combination of spices in order to enhance the flavour. I decided to use a combination of coriander seed, lemon myrtle, wattleseed and akudjura (bush tomato). Once combined, these spices were so deliciously fragrant I decided to use this same combination with the crumbed flathead I was serving as the main meal. The caramelised onion tasted wonderful - I had to quickly put it in the fridge to stop myself from constantly eating bits of it. It would also be lovely served with steak.

These tarts are easy to prepare. I caramelised the onion in advance and then stored it in the fridge until I was ready to put the tarts together. Just before Renee and Todd arrived I cut out the pastry rounds and placed them on the baking tray and then a bit later topped the pastry with the onion and haloumi and popped them in the oven. Very simple!

Ingredients (Makes 18)

Olive oil for frying
3 brown onions peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon lemon myrtle
1 teaspoon wattleseed
1 teaspoon ground akudjura (bush tomato)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 sheets puff pastry thawed
250g haloumi cut into 18 slices
Olive oil for drizzling


Combine the spices in a mortar and pestle and grind to combine. Set aside.
Cover the bottom of a medium sized saucepan with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and stir to cover with the oil. Add the garlic. Cook for 30 minutes or so until the onion is very soft and has caramelised. The quantity will look quite a lot smaller.

Add the spices and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Close to serving time, preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Use a cookie cutter to cut 8-10 cm round from the pastry. Use a slightly smaller cutter to cut partway through each round to that a border is formed.

Use a teaspoon to divide the onion evenly among the rounds. Top with a piece of haloumi. Drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden. Serve immediately.

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