French cooking can excel in its simplicity.
Such as Tarte Provençale : onions… pastry and onions.
I love onions. I can have had the worst day, but chopping a few onions and dropping them into hot olive oil, and inhaling the fragrance that ensues, just makes the whole day go away.
For this recipe, the onions are cooked very slowly in oil. So they soften without colouring.
Add garlic, with maybe a few olives, salt and pepper, and here I’ve added roasted yellow pepper. And that’s it. Simple. Very. And all the better for it.
This tart is great hot or cold, lunch to go, and nice for a picnic.
- 250gms. puff pastry – homemade or ready-made
- 3 tbs. olive oil + a little extra for roasted peppers
- approx. 400gms. white onions
- 75gms. black pitted olives
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tbs. dried mixed herbs ( I used rosemary and thyme)
- 1 medium yellow pepper
- 1.5 tsp. salt
- 1.5 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1-2 tbs. nutritional yeast
- Pre-heat oven to Gas Mk. 7 /220C
- Keep pastry refrigerated until ready to use.
- Wash and slice yellow pepper into ribbons, removing seeds and pith.
- Peel and slice onions into thin rings.
- Peel and crush garlic cloves.
- Grind dried herbs to a fine powder.
- Spread sliced pepper on a lightly-oiled baking tray and sprinkle with 0.5 tsp. salt and 0.5 tsp.ground back pepper.
- Roast in oven for 15 mins. or so.
- Remove from oven and set aside.
- In a deep-sided pan, on a medium heat, add 3 tbs. olive oil.
- Add the onions and stir until coated in oil.
- Reduce heat to lowest setting (use a heat diffuser if necessary), cover, and cook gently for 20 mins.
- Then add crushed garlic, stir in, and cook for a further 10 mins.
- Line a baking tray approx. 38cm x 28cm. with lightly-oiled baking parchment.
- Roll out the pastry to a rectangle slightly larger than the tray.
- Place the pastry on the parchment, and fold in the edges. Decorate the edges.
- Lightly fork the inner section in several places.
- Put the pastry in the oven Gas Mk. 6/ 200C for 10 mins, until edges are slightly golden.
- Remove from the oven.
- Spread the onions evenly across the pastry.
- Sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. ground black pepper and ground mixed herbs.
- Place the strips of yellow pepper in diagonals ( see photos).
- Sprinkle with 2 tbs. nutritional yeast.
- Distribute olives evenly across tart.
- Raise oven heat slightly : Gas Mk.7/ 220C.
- Return tart to oven for 15-20mins. until pastry is golden.
Serve hot, warm or cold.
I served it with a tomato and broad bean salad with a garlic and balsamic dressing.
A colourful match!