Caramelised Onion and Feta Tart

The tart in the photos was made for a farewell morning tea for a colleague. I’ve worked with her for over 11 years and will miss her knowledge and her willingness to share that knowledge and I’ll also miss her on a personal level.

We had one of my workplace’s famous morning teas to farewell her. Unlike most of my colleagues who are sweet tooths she has a savoury tooth. For that reason instead of making a cake or other sweet baked good I made a caramelised onion and feta tart

This tarts amazing, it has to be as its pushed my incredibly popular spinach dip out the way in most requested thing I make. it sends people into a eating frenzy

Make this and people will be requesting you make it over and over. But that’s ok because it’s so delicious

Lets make us a tart

all of this makes the caramelised onion

and all of this makes the pastry

pastry plus caramlised onions = tasty tasty

Caramelised Onion and Feta Tart – recipe adapted from the Free Range Cook by Annabel Langbein

Caramelised Onions

6 red onions cut into thin wedges

375ml water

100gbrown sugar

75ml balsamic vinegar

2tbsp oil

1/2 tsp salt

Place all the ingredients into a large pot and bring to the boil then simmer gently, stirring now and then, for about 1 hour until the liquid has all but evaporated and the onions are very soft. It important to keep a close eye on it towards the end to make sure the onions don’t catch and burn/

Remove from the heat and cool before popping into a container and storing in the fridge.

Pastry – you can use puff pastry instead, but this pastry is really yummy
250g strong white flour the stuff you might use of making bread
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
220g frozen butter grated
4tbsp cold water

To make the pastry, mix the flour and baking powder in food processor.

Add the grated butter and process in bursts until it resembles rough crumbs.

Add the cold water a bit at a time until you have a soft dough, Try not to over work the dough otherwise the pastry will end up tough.
Place a large sheet of baking paper on your work surface and tip the dough onto it. Place another sheet of baking Roll the pastry out between 2 sheets of baking paper until you have about a 35cm circle.

Leave between the baking paper put on a baking tray. Chill in the fridge for min 10 minutes or until ready to use.

Filling
Caramelised Onions (recipe above)
150g feta cheese
2tsp fresh thyme

Preheat your oven to 200C

Take the pastry from the fridge and remove the top layer of baking paper.

Spread the onions over the top leaving an approx. 4cm border all around.

Crumple the feta over the top and sprinkle with thyme.

Fold the pastry edges toward the centre to partially enclose the filling, I will look a little rustic, that’s ok.
Bake for 40 minutes or until pastry is golden and crispy.

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Jupiter Creek Farm CSA box – week 5

Up to week 5 of our Jupiter Creek Farm CSA box (more info on the whole CSA thing here). I totally missed posting about last week’s box as life got in the way. I also almost missed out on a box for this week, cue panic. But all ended well and I got a box.

Anyway, what was in the box

  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Parsnips
  • Onion
  • Spring Onion
  • Cauliflower
  • Pumpkin
  • Celery
  • Apples
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Plums

So how did I use all this amazing produce

The Spinach, well I’ll definitely use it in green smothies, or served as a side dish, as I’m the only one in the house who really fancies it

There were only 2 carrots so I really don’t think I’ll make a meal wound them, but together with the potatoes and parsnip and onion I might do a meal of roasted vegetables, perfect for a winter dinner

The spring onions, well I’ve used them in omelettes, fried rice and maybe just maybe might whip up some cheesy spring onion potatoes

The cauliflower, well I’m roasting some right now with olive oil and cumin seeds. I might do a soup, or make cauliflower with cheese, which really is up there as ultimate winter comfort food.

The pumpkin well, its one of those gorgeous heirloom pumpkins – potimarron. I’m so excited about this as it was amazing last we had it. I’m thinking I’ll make this pumpkin tart and any leftover will go into the roast vegetable party I’ve described above.

There were only 2 sticks of celery and I used one in a fried rice and I’ll snack on the other one.

Apples well, we’ve been chowing down on these as they are so good, but if I can save a couple, I reckon I can see an apple tea cake in our future

Kiwi fruit, daughter loves them, so there are all hers (she’d be most unimpressed if someone else ate them)

Plums well, they were pretty good and have just been eaten by themselves (in fact I ate the last one while typing this post).

For more info on Jupiter Creek Farm see here

 

Part of the In her chucks CSA link up party

My Minestrone Soup

It’s coming into winter, which equals open fires, red wine, casseroles and of course soups

I make soup at least once in the cooler months. Obviously its tasty, but it’s also cheap and filling and usually easy. This soup we would have at least once a fortnight. It’s a thoroughly unauthentic and probably nothing like a minestrone. I suspect it started of as minestrone and throughout time it’s kind of morphed into what it is, which is delicious.

It’s also really flexible and I always make it with Italian soup mix, potatoes, carrots, celery and tomatoes, but whatever else that goes into it is what I have on hand. Always add the pasta last and don’t overcook it. If you aren’t serving it straight away only par cook the pasta as it will go on cooking in the hot soup after it’s been taken off the stove.

Let’s make minestrone soup

There is chopped onions & garlic

Potatoes, celery and carrots

Italian soup mix

Zucchini

Kale & spinach

Pasta

Minestrone Soup (makes a lot adjust as required)

1 cup Italian soup mix (the dried Italian bean mix, in where you also find dried lentils)

1 tbsp good olive oil

1 onion chopped (sliced leek also works well)

1 clove of garlic chopped

1/2-1 chilli chopped (depending on how spicing you want it and the quantity your making)

1-2 medium potatoes large diced (depending on how much you want to put in)

2 sticks of Celery sliced

2 carrots sliced

1/2 Zucchini sliced (optional and I only ever put it in if I have some, you could also put in some chopped capsicum in its place or just leave it out)

handful of spinach and or Kale, roughly chopped ( again this is optional I only use it if I have it)

1 810g can of crushed/chopped tomatoes.

1 cup of small pasta (in this case I used small spirals but have used macaroni or spaghetti broken into smaller pieces)

small handful of herbs (Basil/oregano/thyme/parsley whatever I have on hand that is vaguely Italian)

The first thing you need to do it cook your beans. You can do this via soaking them in water overnight and then boil them for about 1 hour. I’m never that organised so I do them in my pressure cooker. For this pop them in pressure cooker cover with water to a depth of about 10cm, pop lid on and bring up to pressure, then simmer 10 mins turn off heat and let it cool down and depressurise (is this a word?). Either way strain beans.

Heat oil in big stock pot or very large saucepan, then add garlic, onion and chilli fry until soft. Then add in potatoes, celery and carrots as well as beans, and tomatoes. Fill can tomatoes came form with water add this to soup. Bring to boil and simmer 15 mins or until carrot and potato are nearly cooked

Add Zucchini and spinach, simmer 5 mins. Add pasta, cook till done if serving straight away, if serving later par cook pasta as it will go on cooking in the hot soup after it’s been taken off the stove.

Serve hot. I like mine with basil pesto and parmesan I doubt this is at all authentic and nobody else in the family likes it like this, but I like it and think it adds to it in a delicious way.

Garlic bread goes spectacularly well with this

Jupiter Creek Farm CSA box week 3

Another post about the produce. This week was the third week of our Jupiter Creek Farm CSA box adventure (see Jupiter Creek Farm CSA box for more info on what a CSA is).

The box was picked up taken home, the lid removed to reveal

  • Broccoli
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet corn
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Spinach
  • Permissions
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Oranges

What did we or will we do with the produce

Broccoli, I suspect a stir fry will be on the horizon and broccoli will go perfectly in it. Otherwise I haven’t tried the roasted broccoli and after the success of roast cauliflower this week I’m keen to try it.

Potatoes, well as a potato loving family there are many ways we will use these. I may use them in a frittata or some other creative way or maybe my famous potato bake or just make mashed potato (comfort food).

Onions, well these are the real work horse of the kitchen and I cook nearly every day with them so there is no quesiton that they will be used.

Pumpkin, well I think pumpkin is my favourite vegetable at the moment. I’m full to the brim with recipes and different ways to use it. I’m quite keen to try one of these 2 recipes out Cheesy Pumpkin Tart or Pumpkin Pie.

Sweet corn, well there was only 1 cob, so I’m guessing that will be an accompaniment to a meal during the week.

Carrots were again really flavourful and will be eaten as a snack or as an accompaniment. I’m never quite mastered roasting them so might give that a crack this week, of course if I’m going to be naughty I could always make an awesome carrot cake.

Zucchini, these were quite small and I suspect have a delicate flavour. Sorely tempted to use them in a frittata or may roast them and work that into a meal we are having this week.

Spinach, this is the hardest open to sue as my husband really won’t eat it. I’m thinking some sort of curry (not a fave of husbands either) for work lunches during the week. Of course will definitely use some in green smoothies.

Permissions I’m and not at all familiar with them, only having had them once in one of our boxes. They were quite tasty on their own, but stumbled upon a recipe for permission bread (not sure I have the right type of permissions), I’ve also had a Permission paste recipe dangled in front of me and might have to follow up on that as it would go well with my feta cheese I’m told.

Apples, well they are so delicious, crunchy, sweet & tart that we will jut wast them as is, same for the pears.

Oranges, well eat them as is, or juice them with a pomegranate left over from last week. My inner baker is crying out for an orange cake to be made or I did a baking class where we learnt to make lemon cream cheese cupcakes and think this could be adapted to use oranges.

Part of the In her Chucks CSA Link party

Jupiter Creek Farm CSA box

There’s no recipe involved in this post, this one’s about thing produce behind the cooking.

This week I got my first CSA box from Jupiter Creek Farm. What’s CSA you ask? It stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Essentially it’s a box for fruit and veg that comes direct form the farmers, no middle man (or 20) involved. In this case it comes from a farm called Jupiter Creek Farm. They grow a large chunk of what’s in the box and source the rest from other farmers. It’s all organic and local, and soo fresh. I like it for these reasons.

Yeah its more expensive than popping down to the supermarket and you don’t get to choose its contents but I like spend my shopping dollar in supporting local farmers and giving them a fair price for their produce as well as buying seasonally. It doesn’t provide all our fruit and veg needs but a least a fair chunk of them.

Back to the actual box. You pick it up from a local pick up point (PUP) and take it home to find out what’s inside. In this case there were

  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Permissions
  • Plums
  • Spring onions
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Sweet Corn

What did we do or will we do with the produce?

The Apples, Oranges and plums well these are eaten as they are, super fresh and delicious. The plums tasted like the ones we pick from our own tree, so full of flavour which you just don’t get from supermarket/shop bought ones. The permissions well I haven’t encountered them before so after a bit of research I’ve left them in the fruit bowl to ripen up where by I should be able to cut the tops off and eat them with a spoon.

The spring onions I’ll use them in place of onions where I can swap them around and probably make my favourite carb cheese combination – baked potatoes halved with the filling scooped out and mixed up with some grated cheese and sliced spring onions then this mixtures is popped back into the potato halves and some more grated cheese is sprinkled on top and browned in the oven – YUM

The spinach – well my husband doesn’t like it (read hates it) so it’s a bit hard to make a meal based around it but I generally treat it with love and respect and don’t over cook it. This morning it was lightly sautéed in butter with garlic and served with bacon and eggs.

The potatoes well they could be used above in the spring onion cheese carb fest or they will accompany a roast I’ll do later in the week.

The pumpkin is gorgeous, it was a variety I hadn’t seen before and after a bit of hunting around I was informed it was a heirloom French variety potimarron, best served baked. This will be roasted up to either accompany the roast or even just by itself or with olive oil and may some cumin seeds as cumin and pumpkin go so well together. I might even make some haloumi cheese as that also goes well with roasted pumpkin.

The onions well they could be used any number of ways and won’t go to waste.

The carrots were real proper carrots, funny shaped and all. They reminded me of the carrot s my grandfather used to grow where they weren’t all shaped perfectly and tasted so carroty (for lack of a better word). The carrots will in honestly probably just be eaten raw as a snack or otherwise included in the above mentioned roast, a stir fry or salad.

The celery well like the carrots will probably be snacked on and included in a stir fry or casserole or pasta sauce. That’s one of the things I love about celery you can just use it so many ways.

The sweet corn well I love sweet corn and could happily eat it just boiled and plain or another really good way is to remove the leaves and silk and rub some olive oil on it season with salt and pepper or rub some butter with lime zest grated into it and chilli and bbq it. However I think we will use these in corn fritters as it fits in well with the menu for this week.

For more info on Jupiter Creek Farm see here

Part of the In Her Chucks CSA link party