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Since I have been back at work after my maternity leave, I haven’t taken a day off. I’m very very lucky to be able to work 8-5 Monday to Friday and weekends off, but ten months is rather a long time in which not to take even a day off. Especially when being a single mum to a one year old. Days off don’t exist in the way they used to (this is not a complaint in any way shape or form don’t worry), sleep ins are a thing of the past and free time, is now spent cleaning up after and cooking for a toddler.

Alexander is blooming into the most beautiful child. He is kind and loves to give kisses. He shares his food with the dog (and occasionally his mummy) and is a good friend to his buddies in creche (when he isn’t biting them that is). But I have a list the length of the height of my three story house of things to do around the house and things to make and blog and just everything. I have gotten so lax in doing anything that the guilt and pressure to do them, pushes me further behind. So this week, I took my first holidays. We will get a few days away but to start, I am taking it easy, having sent Alexander off to creche anyway and doing a little cooking just for me. We started the week out rough with a dose of the vomiting bug but now on the mend and hopefully the week and our appetites will improve.

I actually feel so much better having cooked something just for me, a new recipe and a new blog post. I just hope this kickstarts me into a new wave of energy to continue.

ONION, THYME AND PARMESAN TART

This really is an easy recipe, not too many ingredients, but it takes a little bit of time as most tarts do. It works with many different cheeses and vegetables so feel free to explore with whatever you have in the fridge. I also don’t add salt for my son’s benefit, but also the parmesan cheese lends the dish enough saltiness to keep the adults happy.

      • 1 qty of Shortcrust Pastry (made using unsalted butter)
      • 4 large onions, roughly 400 g when sliced
      • 3 large cloves garlic, crushed
      • 2 tbsp olive oil
      • 40 g unsalted butter
      • 3 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
      • 1 pinch of dried oregano
      • 100 ml cream
      • 2 large eggs
      • 1 tsp dijon mustard
      • pepper
      • 40 g parmesan, grated

THE HOW

heat the oven to 190 C and line a tart tin with the pastry. I used a large shallow tin (13cm x 36cm). Prick the pastry with a fork , on top of the pastry line the tin with baking paper and using baking beans or rice or pulses, bake blind for 15 minutes. Then remove the beans and cook for a further 5 minutes. remove from the oven and allow to cool. turn the oven down to 170 C.

While the pastry is baking, slice the onions. In a large pan, heat the oil and butter.

Add the onions and stir. Use a low heat as you want the onions to cook long and slow so not to colour or burn. Saute for about 20 minutes, keep stirring.

When the onions are soft, add the thyme, oregano and garlic and stir for about 2 minutes and then turn off the heat.

Smear the dijon onto the pastry case (I use a pastry brush).

In a jug, whisk the cream, egg and about 3 grinds of fresh pepper together.

Place the onions, in the tart tin and sprinkle with half the grated parmesan. Pout the egg mix over the top and sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the top.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin, before removing so the tart firms up and you can avoid breakages.

 

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