Jess Zalph/Food Editor

Now and then, things get taken away from people. Things that people love. Most vegetarians will be able to tell you about a time that this painful reality struck them without warning. When I was in preschool, I learned that Skittles—one of my favorite candies—were not vegetarian (though this has since been changed). With grace, I gave them up. However, the decision left a small, oblate spheroid hole in my heart.

Unfortunately, I had a similar experience over spring break. It turns out that the onion tarts I loved so much at a certain French restaurant were not vegetarian. “Lots of duck fat,” said the waitress, though I probably would have preferred a bit of sugarcoating on her part.

Rather than wallow in my loss—and a loss it was, given the critical role onions play in my life—I decided to live on the rebound and make onion tarts for myself. I refused to allow these delicate, savory pastries to escape so easily.

This recipe for onion tarts is surprisingly easy to make, given the intensiveness of labor usually required for tarts and quiches. The filling is simple, and more-than-adequate puff pastry can be purchased in most grocery stores. Having never before worked with puff pastry, I was taken aback by the sheer amount of puff; I failed to roll the dough thin enough, and my first batch came out taller than they were wide.


Onion Tarts

(Adapted from


2 tbsp. olive oil

2 medium red onions, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 lb. goat cheese

1 sheet puff pastry (10” x 15”), defrosted

1 egg, beaten

1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley



1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion until it becomes soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute, ensuring the onions do not burn.

3. Put the onion and garlic in a bowl. Crumble the goat cheese into the onions and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Roll out the puff pastry until it is about 1/4” thick. Cut out circles approximately 3” in diameter, and lay them on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.

5. Prick each round several times with the tines of a fork, and brush each with the beaten egg.

6. Spoon onion and goat cheese mixture into the center of each round, leaving a 1/8” border.

7. Put the tarts in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes until puffed and golden brown.

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