An ideal vegetarian Christmas alternative


  • pastry:
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 25 g parmesan cheese (finely grated)
  • 0.25 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 free range egg, beaten
  • 6 mini tart tins; 3½"(9½ cm) in diameter, ¾" (2 cm) deep
  • filling:
  • 4 tblsp balsamic vinegar
  • 675 g red onions
  • 150 g soft goats cheese log
  • 12 sage leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • butter
  • cayenne pepper
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper


  • Pre heat oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
  • In a large roomy bowl rub the butter into the flour until it resembles
  • breadcrumbs. Stir in the cheese, mustard powder. Add 1-2 dessertspoons of cold water gradually and bring together with your finger tips to make a smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Lightly oil the tart tins. Roll out the dough and line the tart tins. Prick with a fork. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack.
  • They can be stored in an airtight container for 1 week. Peel, half and slice the onions very finely. Over a medium heat melt a dessertspoon of butter and sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and 6 of the sage leaves finely chopped. Season with salt. Allow to cook slowly until the vinegar has reduced and the onion is soft. Set aside to cool.
  • This can be made a day or two in advance and then the tarts assembled and baked when needed. Before baking, brush the tart cases with beaten egg and bake in a preheated oven for 5 minutes to seal and crisp the pastry.
  • Fill the cases with the red onion mixture. Slice the goat’s cheese log into 6 rounds. Place a round on top of the onion mix.
  • Dip the sage leaves in olive oil and place 1 on each tart. Sprinkle with a little cayenne pepper. Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Serve with a little dressed rocket salad leaves.

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