Leslie and I were recently on vacation in Berlin, Germany visiting with friends. It was a splendid time, but as is always the case, not quite long enough. Despite that, there was enough time to enjoy great food and even greater company.
The night before our return flight home, our friends Melanie and Dan hosted a dinner party. Melanie cooked up a storm and fed us a dazzling variety of savory Alsatian-style flatbread tarts. My favorite of these had bacon cubes and onions sitting atop a thin layer of sour cream. I had four slices and could have eaten four more had there been anything leftover!
Upon our return to the U.S., I got a hankering to make a tart of my own and the recipe below is what I came up with. Leslie was extremely happy as we ate, so I see a new phase of savory tart dinners on the horizon.
Although it only takes about 5 minutes of active time to make the dough, you can skip this step and buy some pre-made refrigerated pie crust from the supermarket. Just roll it out on a floured surface and add the toppings.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp. warm water
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 cups chopped kale, thick parts of the stem removed
- 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
- Parmesan cheese for grating
- Olive oil
- Salt to taste
- a pinch of sugar
- Caramelize the onions. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a pan and, over medium heat, cook the onions until soft, stirring occasionally (3-5 minutes). Put the heat on low and let the onions cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until they are very soft and have turned mostly golden brown. Add extra oil if necessary to keep the onions from drying out. Reserve the onions in a bowl when done.
- While the onions caramelize, make the dough. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt, then mix in the water and oil with a spoon. Finish by kneading the dough for about 3 minutes till soft and pliable and the dough doesn't stick to the bowl. Dust with additional flour if the dough is still too sticky. It should feel slightly tacky to the touch. Cover with an inverted bowl and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450° F
- Make the rosemary oil. In a small pan, heat approximately 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Add the rosemary leaves and let them sizzle in the oil for about 30 seconds. The leaves should become dark and crisp. Remove from heat.
- Wilt the kale. Add the chopped kale to boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cool water. Squeeze out whatever water is left and put in a bowl. (Alternately, you can wilt the kale using a steamer insert or cooking in a covered pan with 1/4 cup of water for a few minutes.)
- Roll out the dough. Flatten the ball on a lightly floured cutting board and use a rolling pin to roll into a circle or square shape - whatever size will fit the pan you plan to use. The thinner the dough, the better. Place on a nonstick or parchment-lined baking tray.
- Assemble the tart. Drizzle the rosemary oil over the dough and rub it over the surface evenly with your fingers. Then spread out the caramelized onions and finally the kale. Sprinkle with salt and a pinch of sugar. Finally, grate the parmesan over the tart - it can be as much or as little as you'd like.
- Bake it, baby! Place the pan in the center rack of the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes. Check after 7 minutes and if the edges aren't slightly browned and crisp, let it go another minute or two.