On the table this week:
- Candy onions
- 1 tsp chopped garlic, or garlic scapes
- about 20 basil leaves
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons white wine or apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons cold butter cut in cubes
- 1/4 cup ice-cold water
- 2 lbs thinly sliced candy onions (or other sweet onions)
- few sprigs of thyme
Use a pastry blender or a plastic scraper to cut the butter into the flour and salt, until a few large clumps remain. Pour in 3/4 of the water, and stir it in with a fork. Using scraper, continue lifting and folding the dough over onto itself until it holds together, about a minute. Add more water, a few drops at a time, if needed. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate it for an hour.
In the meantime, cook onions in a large skillet with four tablespoons of butter or olive oil (or both) and a few sprigs of thyme. Cook at least thirty minutes, until they are very soft and juicy, keeping in mind that they will still cook nearly an hour in the oven. Season well with salt. When they are cooked, cool onions for at least ten minutes in a bowl.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Roll out dough on a floured surface to a fourteen-inch circle. If the dough is hard when it comes out of the fridge, let it sit on the counter for twenty minutes to soften up. Pinch together any cracks that form while rolling. Place the circle on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and let it firm up in the refrigerator.
Spread the onions on the dough, leaving a small border all around and removing the thyme sprigs as you go. Fold the border over the onions, brush it with egg wash if desired, and cook for about 50 minutes, until the bottom of the crust is well browned. Let it cool completely on a rack. This tart tastes twice as good at room temperature, so try to be patient.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise andthinly sliced (about 4 1/2 cups)
- 4 medium potatoes (about 18 ounces total), peeled, diced
- 4 1/2 cups (or more) vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, or garlic scapes
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, and stir to coat with butter. Cover saucepan, and cook until leeks are tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes. Cover and cook until potatoes begin to soften but do not brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add 4 1/2 cups broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Puree soup in batches in processor until smooth. Return to saucepan. Thin with additional broth if soup is too thick. Season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with chives or scapes.