Caramelized Onion and Feta Tartlets

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Secret Recipe Club: Caramelized onion and feta tartlets drizzled with honey, and a tip for making them for a last minute appetizer!

Caramelized Onion, Feta, and Honey Tartlets

This was my toughest assignment yet with the Secret Recipe Club. OK, except for that little mixup I had on my first post with this fabulous group. Not because I couldn’t find anything to make on my newly assigned blog, Karen’s Kitchen Stories. To the contrary – I’ll be trying recipes on her delicious blog for the next few months. No. The problem, as many of you know, is we’re in the middle of a kitchen remodel.

I really thought we’d have that range installed by now, and for one brief shining moment we almost did. But when we uncrated the new baby, it was the wrong stove. So we spent the next hour (unsuccessfully) trying to solve the Rubik’s Cube of fitting all the foam and cardboard packing paraphernalia back into the crate with the range.

Now we wait a little less patiently for the correct stove — the one we originally pointed to in the showroom to the salesman — to be delivered. Until then, I’m working skillets on the gas grill on the back deck to whip up dinners that have become less amazing with each passing week. The sense of adventure I initially felt is gone.

Yes, I know. I live in California so don’t have five feet of snow or slush through which I must  shovel a path to the grill, and yes we’re in the middle of one of the worst droughts we’ve had in a long time. But, and this is a big but, because we’re remodeling, it’s now raining. Every few days, in fact. God knows, I can’t complain because of the whole drought thing…. if I squawk, people will think I’m just a teensy bit self-involved. So our contractor erected a tent on the back deck for fabricating, sawing, and other things that make a mountain of wood chips and a lot of noise for the neighbors and their dogs to enjoy. The grill is just outside the tent.

A couple of nights ago, I cooked dinner wearing a large black rain hat — which I suddenly realized resembles a witch’s hat and may never wear again,  my body angled against the flaps of the tent so they wouldn’t blow up, catch on fire and create an even bigger remodeling project, one hand working the skillet on the grill, the other holding the grill lid part-way down to keep the rain off the food. It worked out fine, but I was a bit of a mess by the end. If you’re still with me, my point is, my cooking and baking support systems are a bit lean right now.  And Karen at Karen’s Kitchen Stories is a master baker – and particularly with breads.

And this is why this was a tough assignment for me this month.

I love to bake bread. I love everything about it. The meditative quality to kneading, the magic of rising dough, and periodic spraying to get a nice crust. If you want to expand your bread baking skills I urge you to visit her blog. But don’t stop at the breads, go look at her cakes, cookies. and tarts too. But I’ll be back with more of her recipes over the next couple of months, starting with her Basic Sourdough Bread, since I’ve got a sourdough starter I’ve been feeding for the last couple of months as a birthday gift for our stepdaughter, Robin. Then I’m moving onto Karen’s Apple Kuchen, Assyrian  Spinach Pies, Carrot Bread, and Jalapeño Cheese Bread with Corn. For a non bread-y recipe, I want to make her Mexican Breakfast Casserole. And I must warn you, her photography is lovely, guaranteed to make you hungry.

Go check out her blog and come on back to see what I chose to make for today: Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese and Balsamic Tartlets. I made a couple of changes – I had some favorite sheep’s feta on hand that I used in place of the goat cheese. It was delicious with the feta, but I’m sure the goat cheese would be great too. And I switched honey in for the balsamic syrup – it was going to be a little too tricky to make that the syrup on the grill. These little tartlets were really, really wonderful, and don’t forget the fresh thyme. It makes a surprisingly huge difference.

As an entertaining note: if you’re in a jam for time and have guests coming soon, this can be a great last-minute appetizer if you have some caramelized onions on hand. I frequently do, but you can also purchase onion confit or onion marmalade to have on hand and quickly pull together a beautiful appetizer that, trust me, everyone will love.

Caramelized Onion and Feta Tartlets with Honey Drizzle
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 9 tartlets
  • 9 Tbsp caramelized onion jam
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten with a bit of milk (or cream)
  • 9 Tbsp feta cheese from sheep's milk (or goats cheese)
  • Thyme leaves from about 4 sprigs
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Honey for drizzling
  1. Make (or purchase) the caramelized onion jam. Bring to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
  3. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter or cookie cutter, cut the puff pastry sheet into nine rounds and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut halfway through the rounds using a 2-inch biscuit cutter or cookie cutter, creating a thin border all around the each round. Be careful not to cut through the dough. Pierce the center of the rounds several times with a fork and brush the border with the egg yolk or cream.
  4. Spoon one tablespoon onion jam in the middle of each pastry round, and top with one tablespoon of crumbled feta, and a twist of fresh black pepper. Bake for 20 minutes until puffed and golden brown.
  5. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves and drizzle with honey.
The cooking time include 75 minutes dedicated to making the caramelized onions.
And now, go check out the rest of the SRC monthly posts!

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  1. says

    I hear you! I’ve been through the same, and keeping up with the SRC (as well as blogging in general) was NOT easy

    but, hang in there, this too shall pass!

    I love Karen’s site, and you picked a fantastic recipe, quite involved for someone going through a kitchen renovation, so I am very impressed!
    SallyBR recently posted..SECRET RECIPE CLUB: CHAI BROWNIESMy Profile

  2. says

    These are a few of my favorite things; these tartlets look amazing and sound delicious. Your challenges getting through this recipe are definitely not evident in your presentation and pictures which are beautiful. Hang in there, the remodel will be over soon! Happy reveal day.

  3. says

    Those are soooo pretty!!! I love the idea of the feta. I’m so sorry you have been in remodeling purgatory! As a Californian, I’m grateful for the rain you are having. Wish we had some down here! Thanks so much for the kind words. I feel the same way about baking bread. xo

  4. says

    Oh no, Susan!!! You are a serious champ! I loved the description of the witch-like rain hat and the wrestling of the tent flaps while cooking–that sounds like such a chore. A lesser soul (i.e. me) might resort to canned soup or something in the event of just an outside grill for a cooking mechanism! You are amazing! And to produce tartlets as beautiful as these in spite of it all?? Major props!! I love the combination of honey and tangy cheese and sweet caramlized onions…swoon.
    Erika recently posted..Sesame-Almond Cabbage Egg NestsMy Profile

  5. says

    Doing everything on the grill – sounds like my Thanksgiving a couple years ago when my oven caught fire. The grill was our makeshift oven for the day. At least we didn’t have to worry about rain too!

  6. says

    I can empathize with the kitchen remodel. Ours took 1.5 years (no, that was not a typo). My husband decided he was going to build the cabinets from scratch, while he continued his day job! Ugh…what a nightmare, but we did have a huge party to celebrate when it was finished.

    The tartlets look and sound divine…I adore goat cheese, so these are now on my list of goat cheese creations to try. Good luck with the rest of the remodel, Susan!

  7. Couscous & Consciousness says

    Oh gosh, I can totally relate to the “joys” of kitchen renovation. Actually for the first couple of years I was writing my blog, I didn’t even have a proper kitchen – I got by with a single hot plate, a little toaster oven, a George Forman grill, and a slow-cooker. I definitely got pretty good at the “one pan wonder”.

    These tarts were a great choice. They look fabulous, and I would be happy to make these for company. Gorgeous photo too, by the way.

  8. says

    I love Karen’s blog, too! And I can’t believe you grilled these tartlets. Mine would have been black! Maybe that’s b/c the hubby refuses to buy a gas grill, so whenever I try to gently grill anything, it gets burnt to a crisp! These look spectacular…as I know your kitchen will, too, when it’s finished.
    Liz recently posted..Orange Marmalade Filled Sweet Rolls #TwelveLoavesMy Profile

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