Since we have landed in our beautiful new little town, it has been pretty non-stop. Unpacking, organizing, meeting with doctors, finding a hospital, doula, nanny, housekeeper, pediatrician, pre-school, dog groomer, dry cleaner, farmers markets, organic grocers, etc etc etc. My point: I have been full steam ahead without resting, to then pass out every night somewhere around 8pm.
But yesterday, the inevitable happened. I lost my shit in a complete and utter breakdown. For the record, I have always been the kind of person who needed something dramatic to happen in order to inspire change. Something in that heightened pressure has always helped motivate me to get off my ass and begin. And now, because of yesterday’s event, I can mark physical trauma to that category as well since it seemed to have the same affect.
You see, my 2 yr old son accidentally (but very forcefully) head butted me in the nose. The pain was so intense that it triggered something within which left me sobbing and uncontrollably repeating out loud “I can’t do this anymore – I am pregnant and I’m so exhausted!” My son began to hug and kiss me and then cry with me, which kinda made it better but not by much. Then my husband walked into the room, silently sat down next to me and gently began to stroke my back as he calmly whispered, “Why don’t you go upstairs and take a nap.”
Naps are important. Necessary. Healing. Very needed especially when pregnant. I know this, but there has been so much to get done and there is so much more to do! But I thankfully listened through my stubbornness, took that much need nap to then feel refreshed and starving when I arose. Inspired to make something rich, creamy, nourishing and oh so satisfying – a caramelized onion and goat cheese tart!
Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Tart
2 1/4 cup whole spelt flour
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted cold butter, cut into small bits
6 TB ice water
2 TB unsalted butter
3 medium yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 TB fresh thyme leaves or 2 tsp dried
freshly milled black pepper
1/3 cup crème fraîche
1/3 cup goat milk
4 ounces soft goat cheese
1 cup sharp goat cheddar or gouda, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make the crust: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment put the flour, salt and butter and turn mixer to low speed until butter has broken into small, pebble-size pieces. Drizzle in ice water until dough looks clumpy and damp and holds together well when squeezed together with your hands. If too wet, add a little more flour, if too dry a touch more ice water. (You can also do this old school in a large bowl and patiently incorporate the butter and ice water with your hands.) Form dough into a round disk and wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made a day ahead.
In a large sauté pan or cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium-low flame. Then add sliced onions, thyme and 3/4 teaspoon salt, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit. (These can be made a day ahead and refrigerated until ready to use.)
Use a 9-inch tart pan, a square tart pan, or a rectangular one, all with removable bottoms. Roll dough to fit your tart pan of choice, then drape dough in pan. Neatly press dough up the sides of the pan and shape it, making sure the crust is evenly distributed all around. Especially up in the corners and up the sides so no unwanted holes form.
Set on a baking sheet and bake crust for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. While cooling, in a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, crème fraîche, goat milk, 1/4 tsp fine sea salt and a handful of turns of some freshly milled black pepper.
Crumble the soft goat cheese and scatter on the bottom of the crust, then scatter about 1/2 of the cheddar or gouda on top of that. Evenly distribute the caramelized onions on top of the cheeses. Pour the egg mixture over the tart filling and sprinkle the remaining cheddar or gouda on top.
Carefully place the baking sheet on the middle rack of oven and bake tart for about 45 minutes or until surface is golden brown. Let cool to warm before carefully removing tart from tart pan. Cut into slices or squares and serve with a nice crisp green salad. Any leftover re-heats beautifully in the oven as well.