A Thanksgiving Tart

So it is Thanksgiving this upcoming weekend here in Canada, which usually means turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie in many households. My sister and I used to make turkey dinners for the family each year, but now that I am based in la belle province, my Thanksgiving meals have been a much small endeavour. However, I still do have a few people dropping in this weekend so I went ahead and cooked up a Thanksgiving Dinner Lite which, in this case, means roasted chicken and a few sides, including an onion and olive tart.

I got this recipe from New York Times’ Mark Bittman, though I tweaked it to make it a speedier and a bit more colourful than his original version. This tart is so well received I have already made it a couple of times for both dinner parties and civilized eating at home. (Eating home alone for me usually entails cracking open a can of beans and dumping it into a pot of frozen vegetables and Campbell’s soup.) I also like to use a roasted bulb of garlic instead of just using raw, minced garlic for the recipe. Today, I made two tarts, as it is so easy to just double the recipe and give one away. See? Very easy to give thanks.

Onion and Olive Tart

(Adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe for the New York Times)

Serves 4-6.


Frozen 9-inch pie shell

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

3 large onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), sliced 1/8-inch thick

Salt and pepper

2 (roasted) garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped

4 ounces ( 114 grams) fresh ricotta (or goat cheese for olive version)

4 ounces ( 114 grams) stuffed manzanilla olives

4 ounces (114 grams) crème fraîche, or double cream if not available


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Defrost the frozen pie shells for at least 5 minutes. Poke several holes at the bottom of the shell using a fork.

2. Heat the butter or olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion slices (already broken up into individual slices) and cook until brown and wilted. After about 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper, and add the garlic and thyme. Remove pan from heat, and set aside.

3. Mix the goat cheese and half the crème fraîche, and spoon over the bottom of the frozen pie shell. Spoon the onion mixture evenly on top, then scatter the olives over the onions. Spoon the rest of the crème fraîche over the olives.

4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the shell is lightly browned. Serve at room temperature.

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