savory tarts: the final word.

January 15, 2013

mushroom and onion tart with fig goat cheese When I first lived in France at age 20,  I discovered the secret of the savory tart from a woman who was a master at turning the contents of a near-empty fridge into dinner every single night. Fabienne would cook for her own two girls in addition to me and not only was she gracious about my vegetarianism, I daresay, she embraced it. I try hard not to make too many generalizations about the French, but it’s fair to say that welcoming a vegetarian lovingly to your table is far more the exception than the rule. I’ve lucked out more times than I count.

Eight years after my first tarte aux poireaux, the savory tart is still one of my favorite foods. If you’ve been reading these tea leaves for any length of time, you know this. I’ve written about several variations on the theme and I hope you’ll forgive me the repetition, I haven’t tired quite yet.

My New Year’s resolution #9853 is to open our tiny space to more guests in 2013 and I’m counting on savory tarts to get me there. The savory tart is the perfect meal to share with guests because it’s easy to prepare ahead of time and you can get all of your dishes out of the way while it bakes. For friends who enjoy cooking up their brussels sprouts in whatever animal fat they can find, there’s always an option to include a hearty dose of meat, but I find that even the meatiest of friends enjoy a good vegetarian version without complaint.

A few weeks ago I made this version for The Neighborhood: caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms topped with fig goat cheese and thyme. Full recipe, here.

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32 Comments

  • Reply Ashley M. [at] (never)homemaker January 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Oh, goodness. This looks delicious. Maybe when I take a break from all my adventures in sourdough, I'll try my hand at a delicious tart. Well done!

    • Reply Erin January 16, 2013 at 1:48 pm

      I say we make a swap–I'll try my hand at sourdough, you try yours at tarts!

  • Reply Olivia James January 15, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    love this! the woman i lived with in france was too, a vegetarian. there were many tomato tarts and lentil soups.

    bookmarking this recipe. sounds divine! x

  • Reply Erin H. January 15, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Beautiful. I remember the first recipe I learned when I lived in France: a tarte aux aubergines. There were no more than 5 ingredients and yet it was perfection. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Have you attempted puff pastry for any of your tarts? I made a Galette des Rois recently and, while tasty, the puff pastry simply didn't puff. Thoughts?

    • Reply Erin January 16, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      Oof. I've never have made puff pastry! I am so daunted by the prospect of a Galette des Rois–you should be proud of yourself for making it, puff or no!

  • Reply Sandi G January 15, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    My daughter experienced something similar – went to France when she was 20 and rented from a woman who created delectable vegetarian dishes like this. I'll have to send her this way..

  • Reply Chloe Moon January 15, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    I didn't realize that you can make a tart that wasn't a dessert. One of my New Year's resolutions is to become a better cook and baker and quiches have been on mind for the past few days…But this is a tart not a quiche right? I'm not sure the difference…Wikipedia here I come! =)

    This tart looks delicious!!!

    Ergo – Blog

    • Reply Erin January 16, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      Quiche = more eggs, deeper pan!

  • Reply Neurotic Workaholic January 15, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Mmm, that looks delicious and makes me want to eat more vegetables. And usually what I want to eat is more candy, but that picture and your post made me change my mind.

  • Reply felicita January 15, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    looks amazing. where is that beautiful red coming from?

    • Reply Erin January 16, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      I think it comes from a combo of the rich mushrooms and the fig jam!

  • Reply Little Kitchie January 15, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    WOW! This is stunning. Heading right on over to the recipe…

  • Reply Sara January 15, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Looks delicious. I love food that looks as good as it tastes, and this looks like it tastes fabulous.

  • Reply Allison January 15, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    I'm not vegetarian, but I've been looking to incorporate some vegetarian dishes into my meals. This one looks like I wouldn't even notice the absence of meat!

  • Reply Adriana F January 15, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Tarts are the best. I too discovered them the first time I lived in France, at age 18. I lived with a French family and they always prepared simple, delicious meals that I loved. I can't wait to have a working oven so I can make them at home too!

  • Reply Mary January 15, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    This looks amazing. Please do not let this be the final word on savory tarts!

    After studying French for eight years in school, I'm finally going to visit France with my husband this summer. I'm a vegetarian also, but I'm thinking of going non-vegetarian to get the full impact of French cuisine. The French are probably the only ones I would make this exception for.

  • Reply Lisa-Marie January 15, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    I love a savoury tart. LOVE. I quite often do an onion one that is pretty much caramelised onions and cream cheese on puf pastry. Simple, but a winner! I love the ones that are more of a meal in a quiche too. YUM.

  • Reply Carol GK January 16, 2013 at 3:28 am

    As you point out, some of the ingredients can be swapped out but I'm intrigued by the fig goat cheese. Where can I get it? (I'm in Brooklyn twice a month so you can send me to wherever you buy it.)

    • Reply Erin January 16, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      It's nothing fancy, just a little natural foods grocery called Perelandra (not sure it's worth the trek for the visit)–next time I'm there I'll check out the company that makes the cheese and see if you can find it in your neck of the woods!

  • Reply A Very Small Animal January 16, 2013 at 5:51 am

    this looks beautiful! i am looking for some 'having people over' recipes and some 'meat free monday' recipes for my long list of new years resolutions and this fits both! will have to give it a try.

    • Reply Erin January 16, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      perfect, then! hooray!

  • Reply suzie January 16, 2013 at 7:22 am

    that made me laugh about the french not embracing vegetarianism…when I came to live in my village 7 years ago I was 'welcomed' by the local chasse with the gift of the hindquarters of a deer they had killed earlier that day. When I thanked them but said I was vegetarian they just laughed as they thought it was a joke!
    But by and large we have been well catered for in any french home, even if they are slightly bemused by the idea.
    Of course, now I'm a vegan…that's another story 🙂

    • Reply Erin January 16, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      ha! yes! i endured many a.."oh, you're vegetarian? have some chicken!" still, i mostly exaggerate: countless vegetarian meals entirely on my behalf by very willing friends!

  • Reply IndiaMorgan January 16, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    I was wondering if you were a fellow vegetarian! And you're right – when I make savory tarts like this, my animal-eating boyfriend doesn't miss meat at all.

    • Reply Erin January 17, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      twinsies.

  • Reply Elizabeth January 17, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I made this for dinner last night and it was outstanding! Thanks for the idea. 🙂

    • Reply Erin January 17, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      So glad to hear it!

  • Reply Shoko January 18, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    so impressed. this is magazine-worthy!

    • Reply Erin January 18, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      thanks, friend! it's dinner-worthy at any rate!

  • Reply Inge January 20, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    This sounds (and looks) delicious! I'm going to cook for 6 people in two weeks and I think two of these tarts and a big salad will be a fine meal.

  • Reply Spinster Beth January 22, 2013 at 11:58 am

    I made this exactly as the recipe instructed, and it was fabulous! Well, exactly except for more mushroom, which I love …

  • Reply Itsasne February 4, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Hey Erin!
    How big is the tart/the pan u used?
    I can't wait to make this!
    PS. I made your 'thank you' pumpkin bread a few times, everyone LOVED it

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