Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Savory pear tart with gorgonzola and caramelized onion (raw-inspired)

One of my new favorite things to experiment with this summer has been pear. Their flavor is subtle, but distinctive. They are such versatile fruits for cooking with, and can add a very unique element to all kinds of dishes, savory or sweet. As you may know, pear with certain cheeses is a classic pairing, and you can find the combination often in such things as adventurous pizza recipes. 

But I became intrigued by the idea of a savory tart from a series by Tastemade on Youtube called Raw. Vegan. Not gross. In one video, Laura Miller makes a savory tomato tart, with mock savory custard and all. While my tart is neither raw nor vegan, I hope she can appreciate my creative divergence. 

I combined lightly roasted pear with caramelized onion, fresh basil, and gorgonzola cheese, dressed with a sweet and sour white balsamic vinegar reduction. Though it is a bit rich with all the walnuts and cheese, I hope you'll enjoy this treat as much as I did. 

Savory pear tart with gorgonzola and caramelized onion

1.5 c walnuts
.5 T nutritional yeast
1 T olive oil
pinch salt

1.5c walnuts, soaked overnight, water drained
.5 T lemon juice or white balsamic
.5 T olive oil
.5 T nutritional yeast (optional)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
pinch salt
white pepper

2 ripe pears
1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1 medium caramelized onion
few leaves fresh basil

balsamic reduction
.5 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried sage leaf
white pepper

Combine crust ingredients in food processor. Pulse gradually, favoring the retention of some texture. Press into your tart tin (I used a spring-form pan) and bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours. Slice pear thinly or with the use of a mandoline, season lightly with salt and white pepper, and bake for 30-40 minutes along with the crust, until tender.

Combine filling ingredients in food processor. Process to a smooth consistency. Remove s-blade and fold in crumbled gorgonzola with a spatula.

Slice onion thinly and caramelize slowly with a dash of oil in a skillet on low. Season with salt and pepper lightly. Slice basil into ribbons.

While caramelizing onions, combine balsamic reduction ingredients in a small pot and boil gradually until reaching a honey-like consistency, being careful to stir often and not allow burning. Allow to cool.

The crust fully baked, add the filling to the tin and level with spatula. Lay pear slices on top and sprinkle with caramelized onion and sliced basil. Drizzle with white balsamic reduction. May be enjoyed chilled, warm, or heated.

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