This post is sponsored by Legends From Europe. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the foods and brands I use and love!
I have a new favorite cheese, thanks to the folks at Legends From Europe, who invited me to participate in their Market Basket contest. Legends from Europe is a three year campaign in the US to increase awareness of five Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) products from Italy, and to celebrate their quality, tradition, and taste.
I love everything Italian, especially Italy, so I was very familiar with four out of five of their products: the amazing cured hams- Prosciutto di Parma and Proscuitto di San Daniele, and world-renowned cheeses Parmigiano Reggiano, and Grana Padano.
I was, however, a little bit worried about the cheese I was assigned to work with, Montasio, because I had never heard or it, and to make matters worse, the cheese department at Whole Foods hadn’t heard of it either. Thank heavens for Wegman’s for introducing me to this cheese, because it is absolutely delightful!
Montasio is a hard cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano, but it has a much more mild, mellow flavor, almost a bit sweet and spicy at the same time. It’s delicious all by itself, with a glass of wine and some fruit, and I found that it complements foods with a bit of sweetness in them, like the onions in this tart.
Caramelized Onion Tart
- 1 premade pie crust
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 2 large sweet onions halved and sliced thin
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon fresh thyme divided plus 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 5 oz Montasio cheese, shredded or Gruyere
- 2 large eggs
- 3 Tbs half and half
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the salt, and 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme plus the 2 sprigs of thyme. Cook the onions until they are completely soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs.
- While the onions saute, press the pie crust into a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom pressing the crust halfway up the sides. Cover the bottom of the tart crust with parchment paper, and fill it with pie weights, or alternately, prick the crust several times with a fork.
- Bake tart crust 15-20 minutes, until it starts to turn golden. Remove from oven and let cool a bit.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- Place the cheese in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, and process it until it's finely grated. Add remaining ½ teaspoon fresh thyme to cheese, and pulse about 8 times until everything is combined.
- Beat eggs with half and half in a small measuring cup and set aside.
- Remove any pie weights and parchment paper from the cooled tart crust.
- Spread grated cheese-thyme mixture evenly over the bottom of the tart crust.
- Spread caramelized onions over the cheese, covering the entire crust.
- Pour the egg-cream mixture evenly over onions.
- Return the tart to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes at 350℉, until golden brown and the filling is set.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Have you ever tasted Montasio? Ciao!