Struggling to find inspiring vegetables in the middle of winter? Just have a look at the selection of onions, big or small, brown or red, in a variety of shapes to choose from. This is a perfect time of the year for warming meals starring onions.
Today, three types of onions made it onto the menu, accompanied by tofu, soya milk and fresh thyme. Thatâ€™s mid-week dinner upgraded to a home-made hearty countryside inspired tart.
For the pastry
250g spelt flour
125g vegetable margarine, cold
75ml cold water
For the filling:
500g brown onions, finely sliced
250g red onions, finely sliced
4 shallots, halved
1 tbsp olive oil
250g tofu, crumbled
200ml soya milk
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp golden sugar
Fresh thyme sprigs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Rocket salad to serve
To make the short crust pastry, in a large bowl mix the flour and salt. Add the margarine and chop it into pieces with a knife and then mix with your hand until small crumbles begin to form.
Add cold water and knead the dough lightly until a smooth dough forms. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180 C / gas mark 4.
In the meantime, prepare the filling. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan, add the sliced brown and red onions and cook, covered, for about 5 minutes until the onions soften. Add the sugar and fresh thyme leaves and cook for another 2-3 minutes uncovered, stirring constantly. Add the salt and pepper, cover again and cook for another 10 minutes stirring from time to time, so that the onions donâ€™t stick to the bottom of the pan. Remove the cover, add the shallots halves and cook for another 5 minutes until all the liquid evaporated. Remove from heat.
Sprinkle the onions with flour and mix lightly. Add the crumbled tofu and soya milk and stir gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough. Place it in a tart case with loose bottom. Cover it with baking paper and fill with baking beans and bake blind for about 15 minutes. Remove the ceramic beans and bake for another 5 minutes.
Place the onions and tofu mixture on the tart, arranging the shallot halves on top. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the filling is set.