Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Ultimate Spring Onion Phyllo Tart

When I first thought about what I wanted to make and then eat for Earth Day, onions were the first thing to come to mind. I had just discovered - and fallen in love with - ramps, I had leeks and green onions handy, and I’ve always been an onion fanatic. A tart using spring onions would be the perfect main course. The only problem was that I’d never cooked a tart before. I made a French Onion Pie once but that’s not exactly the same. So I searched the internet looking for a good onion tart recipe, and you know what I found? A whole lot of nothing, or at least nothing good. None of the onion tart recipes I found were vegan for one thing, the only vegan recipes I could find that came even close were for vegan French onion pie which I absolutely did not want to make. The vegetarian recipes were all very heavy on egg and cheese, and the non-vegetarian recipes were heavy on eggs, cream, cheese and meat. All of those things I might have been able to remedy however, but the problem was that almost none of the recipes used more then 1 kind of onion! Only one kind of onion? What kind of tart was that? Where was the creativity? Where was the onion love?

No, no, no... they wouldn’t do at all. I wanted to showcase a variety of onions in my tart, particularly fresh spring type onions. I wanted a ton of onion flavor, pure and simple. I didn’t want my tart stuffed with mushrooms and veggie meats, and heaping cupfuls of non-dairy cheeses. I didn’t want it full of breadcrumbs and other such nonsense. I just wanted onions. I didn’t think that was asking too much, but by the looks of the recipes I found it was. Sometimes despite all the cook books I own, and the wealth or recipes available I just feel like there’s a lack of creativity out there. Like everyone gets stuck in the same culinary vacuum. Not that there aren’t creative people out there, because there are, I read lots of awesome vegan blogs written by the most inspirational and talented people, but it’s like that old saying. Sometimes if you want something to get done and get done right you just have to do it yourself.

So I had to put on my thinking cap and figure out how to work out this tart. It didn’t take a lot of time to come up with a recipe and I’m so, so happy I was able to put this together because this Onion tart is simply incredible! I’m telling you, it’s a plate of absolutely mouth-watering, mind-blowing awesomeness. Really, I am going to be making this again and again! Really, It's got five kinds of onions, plus garlic!  If that isn't Ultimate I don't know what is. It was also rich, creamy, buttery and full of good old onion flavor. However, despite the massive amount of onions in this dish the onion flavor wasn’t overpowering at all. It was perfect, and just a tad sweet thanks to caramelized onions.  However if you prefer a little more sweetness you can add in the optional sugar I’ve listed, I don’t think it’s necessary but decide for yourself.

This turned out to be the perfect main course for my Earth Day dinner. Everything about it was amazing. For me the dish really embodied spring, so I hope you make it and enjoy it too. Oh, and FYI - It tastes even better reheated the next day!

The Ultimate Spring Onion Phyllo Tart 

2 Large Shallots
10 Garlic Cloves minced
3 Knob Onions sliced (White and Green parts)
1 Large Leek sliced (White and Green parts)
12 Ramps (Bulbs and Leaves)
1/3 C Sliced Green Onions
2 Tbsp Earth Balance or other non-dairy butter
3/4 tsp ground Thyme
3/4 tsp dried Sage
3/3 tsp dried Summer Savory
½ tsp Smoked Paprika
1/4-1/2 tsp White Pepper
Sea Salt to taste
½-1 Tbsp Sugar (Optional)

1/4 C Non-dairy Sour Cream
8oz non-dairy Cream Cheese
3 tsp White Miso

1/4-1/2 C Melted Earth Balance or other non-dairy butter
Sliced Green Onions to Garnish
Black Sesame Seeds to Garnish
10oz Phyllo Dough

- Preheat oven to 375'F

- Heat 1 Tbsp of non-dairy butter in a pan over medium heat. Saute garlic, shallots, and white parts of knob onions until caramelized. About10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside in a bowl.

- Heat remaining 1 Tbsp of non-dairy butter in pan, and add the leeks, ramps and green parts of knob onions. Saute over medium heat until fragrant and soft. 8-12 minutes. Remove from heat and add to the bowl with the other onions.

- Add Thyme, Summer Savory, Sage, Smoked Paprika, White pepper, salt, Green Onions, Sour Cream, Cream Cheese and Miso, and sugar if using to the bowl with the onions. Stir until well combined. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, then set aside.

- Lightly spray a 11 inch quiche or tart pan with non-stick spray. Melt a quarter cup of Earth Balance or other non-dairy butter and keep handy. Carefully layer sheets of the phyllo dough into your quiche pan, covering the bottom and sides. It’s okay if some over hangs. Lightly brush every sheet of phyllo with melted non-dairy butter before adding another sheet.

*** Note - Ultimately how many sheets you decide to use is up to you. You want enough to form a nice crust on the bottom, but not so much that there isn’t room for the filling. Also a sheet of phyllo dough isn’t going to fit your quiche pan perfectly, so it’s okay to cut the sheets into workable pieces that you can layer in 8-10 sheets (depending on the size of your sheets) should be more then sufficient. Also don’t worry about it looking perfect, a little looseness around the edges will give it a nice rustic look. ***

- Once you’ve layered your phyllo sheets into the bottom and over the sides of the pan, add in your filling. Spread the filling evenly inside the pan.

- Carefully layer more sheets of phyllo over top of the filling. Use roughly the same amount that you used to form your crust and make sure to brush each sheet with melted non-dairy butter before applying it.

- When you’ve finished layering your top crust, carefully break or cut away any excess dough hanging over the edges. A little hang is okay, but you don’t want excessive dough hanging over or it’ll just burn. Brush the top crust with a little melted non-dairy butter then sprinkle with black sesame seeds and sliced green onions.

- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until your tart is a nice golden color.

- Let cool 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

PS: Don't let all the steps worry you, this is actually really simple and pretty easy to make. Phyllo is a pain in the ass to work with, but once you get over that, this tart's a snap! and it's SO worth it!


  1. This article is really good, I like it so much, there are some nice things you share in your blog. Damiana

  2. Oh, I've forgotten how good this dish was! You're right, it does taste even better reheated, which is surprising since it was so good the first time. I love your creativity in the kitchen! It pays off.