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Green Onion, Thyme and Goat Cheese Tart

Green Onion, Thyme and Goat Cheese Tart
You can make this tart with sautéed leeks in place of the green onions: Use the white portions and about 1 inch of the green parts of 6 leeks. Cut into 1/2-inch dice and place in a saucepan. Add 2 cups water and cook over medium heat until very soft, about 20 minutes.

Ingredients:

For the short-crust tart shell:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, out of the refrigerator for 15
      minutes, cut into pieces
  • About 1 1/2 Tbs. water

For the filling:

  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 24 green onions, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
  • 2 heads green garlic or 2 regular garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
      (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or water
  • 1/4 lb. fresh goat cheese (chèvre)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, plus thyme sprigs for garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

To make the tart shell, in a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the flour and salt, and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the motor running, add water as needed to bind the ingredients. Gather into a ball, flatten into a disk 6 inches in diameter and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Gently press the pastry into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, forming a slightly thicker layer on the sides. Place the shell in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Line the pastry with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and reduce the temperature to 375°F. Continue to bake until lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes more.

While the tart shell is baking, make the filling: In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the green onions, garlic, if using, and the broth and stir well. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the green onions are soft, about 15 minutes.

Remove the pastry shell from the oven and set aside. Position the rack in the upper part of the oven. Leave the oven set at 375°F.

In a bowl, mash together the goat cheese and sour cream with a fork until soft and well mixed. Add the eggs and chopped thyme and mix well.

Uncover the green onions and raise the heat to high. Cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir the green onions into the cheese mixture, then season with salt and pepper. Pour the cheese mixture into the prebaked pastry shell.

Bake on the top rack of the oven until a skewer inserted into the center of the tart comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with thyme sprigs. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves 6 to 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Spring, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).