Caramelized Onion & Portobello Tart with Thyme-Rosemary Cream
Sometimes you need a dish to impress. Something to knock their socks off and make them sing your praises. But, something that won’t take days of prep, hours in the kitchen, or tons of expensive ingredients.
Enter this magical, mystical tart. It has wine. It has caramelized onions. It has fresh herbs. It looks beautiful. And, as fancy meals go, it’s pretty darn simple. A little chopping, a little sautéing, and a quick bake. Boom.
The keys to the extraordinary flavor of this dish are slowly caramelizing the onions, adding bouillon to the mushrooms to make them explode with flavor, and using miso to bring a nice savory note to the cream. (Check out the Novice Notes below for more on miso.)
Strap on your cape, and pop into your superhero get-up. You’re about to win at dinner.
- - Vegan pie crust* (1 crust for a pie pan, 2 for a large tart pan)
- - 2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
- - 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- - 1/4-1/3 cup white wine
- - 3 Portobello caps, chopped
- - 1 Tbsp EVOO
- - 1/3 of a vegetable bouillon cube
- - Pinch of salt (more if the bouillon is salt-free)
- - Pinch of black pepper
- - 1 package of silken tofu (the kind for smoothies)
- - 1 Tbsp miso paste
- - 1 tsp lemon juice
- - 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- - 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- - 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- 1. Follow the directions on your pie crust for thawing. Mine said to leave it sit out for 3 hours (thus the long prep time).
- 2. Set a large skillet over medium heat, and add the coconut oil. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add your onion. Occasionally stir, allowing the onion to caramelize. This should take between 20-40 minutes. Once the onions are beginning to turn a lighten golden color, add the wine and stir. Let the liquid cook off completely.
- 3. While the onions are caramelizing, sauté the mushrooms in the EVOO over medium heat. Once they begin to release their liquid, add the bouillon, salt, and pepper. Cook 5-7 minutes until they are dark and very fragrant.
- 4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- 5. In a blender, combine the tofu, miso, lemon juice, and cornstarch. It will be very runny.
- 6. Roll your pie crust into a tart pan or a pie pan. If you are using a large tart pan, as I did, the first pie crust should fill the bottom of the pan, but not come up the sides. I cut long strips off the 2nd pie crust and patted it up the sides, cutting off any excess. This is not necessary, but makes for a pretty presentation.
- 7. Add your onions to the base, spreading evenly. Then add your mushrooms, spreading evenly. Carefully pour your miso mixture over the top of your filling. You may not need all of the cream sauce. You want everything to just be covered, but not swimming.
- 8. Sprinkle your fresh herbs over the top.
- 9. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
- 10. To serve, top with the greens of your choice, or a small drizzle of finishing oil. Enjoy with a glass of wine.
- * Need a gluten-free version of this tart? It’s easy! Skip the pie crust. Instead, mix 2 Tbsp of ground flax seeds with 6 Tbsp of very hot water. Let sit 5-10 minutes. Mix into 2 cups of cooked quinoa with some salt and pepper. Voila! A quinoa crust. Just firmly pat the crust into the bottom and up the sides of your dish.
First, the caramelized onions. Caramelized onions take time. The slow cooking allows the onion to lose it’s bite, and turn into something silky, soft, and very sweet. Don’t rush an onion when you’re trying to caramelize it. You don’t have to stir it constantly, so you can work on other steps of the recipe as they’re cooking down. Just stir them every few minutes to ensure even color and heat.
Miso paste is made from fermented soy. I know that doesn’t sound appetizing, but the health benefits are profound and the flavor is unforgettable. If you’ve had miso soup in a restaurant and hated it, don’t worry. You’ll enjoy it when it’s used as a flavor enhancer, rather than the main star. Miso keeps FOREVER in the fridge. You’ll usually find it refrigerated near the tofu, or in the International aisle. Miso comes in many colors and pungencies, so opt for a mild yellow or white miso. If you’re allergic to soy, they now have alternative miso options. Your local health market should have chickpea and brown rice miso. The chickpea miso I tried was incredible.
Curious about what wine to use? Pick something you’d enjoy drinking. I prefer sweeter wines, so I opted for a Riesling to compliment the sweetness of the onions. And please…go cheap. Very cheap. The bottle I picked up ran about $6. WOOHOO!