Tallegio Tarts with Bacon and Caramelized Onions

Taleggio is an Italian cow’s milk cheese.  Fontina could be substituted.

What you need:

4 slices of bacon, cut into small dice*
1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
½ pound puff pastry
4 ounces Taleggio cheese, grated

What you do:

In a medium-sized skillet, cook the bacon until crisp.  Drain on paper towels and set aside.  Add the sliced onions and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the onions are softened and browned, about 15 minutes.  Do not let the onions burn. If the liquid in the onions evaporates and they start to stick to the pan, add water, a couple of tablespoons at a time, every minute or so, during the last 5 minutes to help the onions caramelize.  Season the onions with salt and pepper to taste. Let the onions cool and mix with the cooked bacon and grated cheese.

Roll out the puff pastry 11”x11” square and cut into 2 1/4-inch rounds.  Transfer the pastry rounds to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and prick them all over with a fork.  Bake the pastry in a 375° oven until golden brown, about 6 minutes.  Deflate the rounds again with the fork and bake an additional 4 minutes.

Remove the tarts from the oven and top with the cheese, onions and bacon mixture, lightly pushing down into the inflated pastry.  Bake until the cheese has melted, about 10 minutes.

Serve warm.

*Culinary Advisory!

You might want to cook a little extra bacon – first because you probably won’t be able to resist snacking on some of the bits while you’re cooking; and second because, sure as suns set and winds blow, anyone passing by will snaffle some.

John’s Wine Pairing:

 I’m a bit torn on this dish between a light red or a nutty white, so I’ll recommend either/or, which is not my normal path.  The red could be a Barbaresco from Italy or a light Pinot Noir.  I like a Bogle which brings a comment I’ve been wanting to make.  Bogle is not an expensive wine but fits one of my requirements that a wine must drink better than its price.  An inexpensive wine that fits or exceeds this requirement is a pleasure to find and enjoy. If you choose the white with these lovely tarts, I would suggest a Pinot Blanc such as an Alma Rosa or a rich Rhône blend that is popular these days.