When I find that I am missing my beloved France, I will often turn to my favorite cookbooks for recipes or even cocktail ideas. Last night, I planned a French evening for my family, which was a huge success!
I made French 75 cocktails for everyone to start with, accompanied by sweet and salty rosemary cashews and almonds.
For dinners, we are working our way through what we have in our pantry, so this night I decided to make a French country onion tart (tarte campagnarde a l’oignon) from my favorite cookbook, A Passion for My Provence by Lydie Marshall.
It is so easy to make, and the smell of the onions braising with Herbes de Provence fills the kitchen – it’s really delicious!
It’s just two pounds of regular yellow onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs, 2 eggs and a pre-baked tart shell.
It takes about 20 minutes to put together and bakes for about 45 minutes. The tarte is beautiful and delicious, as the braised onions take on almost a sweet quality that contrasts with the flakiness of the shell – yum.
I served it up with a big green salad and a crisp glass of Muscadet from the Loire Valley.
After dinner, we sat down and watched the film “Midnight in Paris” and were transported to some of my favorite spots in the city. This is my go-to movie when I’m missing my walks around Paris.
Of course, I’d rather be in France right now, but travel from the comfort of one’s home is quite enjoyable and will do in a pinch! Enjoy!
Diane’s French 75
*Note: Make the cocktails first, so you have what you need for the rosemary cashews and almonds.
2 oz vodka
1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp rosemary simple syrup (½ cup sugar, ½ cup water, 2.5 tsp chopped fresh rosemary. Put it all in a small pot to boil until the sugar melts, let it cool and then strain it into a bowl. Reserve the rosemary pieces and don’t wash the pot yet.)
Champagne or prosecco as a topper
Add the vodka, lemon juice and strained simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Fill halfway with ice and shake like mad. Strain into a champagne flute. Top with champagne and garnish with a rosemary sprig.
For the Rosemary Nuts:
Add 1 T butter to the pot in which you made the simple syrup. Melt and add the chopped rosemary back in. Add nuts of your choice (I like cashews and almonds), stir until coated, and serve warm.
Country Onion Tart
3 T olive oil
2 pounds onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
Herbs de Provence to taste
1 T Dijon mustard
1 10-inch partially prebaked tart shell
Nicoise or Gaeta olives
Sprigs of fresh rosemary
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a 6 quart dutch oven, combine the oil, onions, salt, pepper, and herbes de provence with ¼ cup water. Cover and braise for 30 minutes, occasionally stirring.
Once the onions are translucent and very soft, put aside to cool. Once cooled, add in two beaten eggs.
Spread the mustard on the bottom of the prebaked tart shell and spread the onion mixture on top. Make a decorative pattern with the olives and the rosemary.
Bake in the middle of the oven until the top is golden brown, about 30-40 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve at room temperature.
Please note that A Passion for My Provence by Lydie Marshall is out of print but used versions are widely available online.