We found echalions at our local supermarket and I just had to try them. The first time we just baked them and served them with the Blue Cheese Cauliflower Bake. They were so delicious they inspired a whole dish.
Echalions seem to be a new variety of onion crossed with shallots. They are very sweet when cooked and more mild than most onions. Given they are still uncommon, as an alternative you can use shallots or red onion wedges prepared the same way, or leeks fried in a little butter.
I love the combination of onions and goats cheese. It is such a beautiful marriage of sweetness and tanginess, perhaps it’s because you’d expect the onion to be tangy and the cheese to be smooth that they opposite takes you by a delicious surprise in each mouthful.
I am not providing a pastry recipe because it is not my forte. I am not a pastry inventor but a filling inventor. I still made my tart pastry and recommend you do to. If you must use store bought, try to get a good quality shortcrust. There is no point having a luscious filling if you skimp on the pastry.
Echalion and Goats Cheese Tart
A tart pastry case
4 echalions, cut in half lengthways
Rosemary salt (or plain salt)
Oil or butter
4 cherry tomatoes
75g goat cheese
½ cup of cream
Salt and pepper
Place the onions on a baking tray cut side up, sprinkle with salt and thyme and then either place a small blob of butter on each or a light spray of oil. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for up to an hour until the onions are cooked through and soft. 15 minutes before the onions are cooked, place the halved tomatoes on the tray to cook briefly.
Blind bake your pastry for 20 minutes until just turning golden. Mix the cream and eggs until well combined, season with salt and pepper being mindful that there is salt on the onions and the cheese is salty. Pour the mix into the tart case (this is so that you can place the other filling on top which is less likely to result in spillage and makes for a pretty tart).
Bake for around 50 minutes until set at 180 degrees Celsius. Serve with a light salad, rocket and cherry tomatoes went perfectly.