I recently bought a pack of The Fickle Fish hot smoked anchovies from Waitrose just because they looked a bit different and I also really like anchovies. I was wondering what to do with them and then I discovered that I had a roll of all-butter puff pastry in the fridge, and so that’s how I came up with the idea for this wonderful caramelised onion and anchovy tart. The French make something similar with a dough base but this version is beyond delicious, dead easy to make and works well as either a light lunch with a green salad (this will serve 4) or as a kind of ‘pizza substitute’ party or buffet supper snack with a cold beer.
You will need…
- 1 pack of hot smoked Fickle Fish anchovies
- 1 50g tin of anchovies in oil (30g drained weight)
- 3 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 40g butter, 1 tsp light olive oil
- A fresh bay leaf, a sprig of fresh rosemary or thyme
- 375g pack of all-butter ready rolled puff pastry – I used Sainsbury’s ‘Taste the difference’ but Jus-Rol is also pretty good
- Optional: a handful of black pitted olives
- Preheat the oven to 220°.
- Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan, add the onions and herbs. Season lightly with salt. Cook them down gently for about 15 minutes until they are very soft, sticky and sweet. Remove the herbs and set aside.
- Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
- Unroll the puff pastry sheet onto the parchment and trim it to fit the baking sheet. Lightly score a ‘frame’ into the pastry with a sharp knife. Be careful not to cut it right through, it needs to be about 2cm in from each outer edge. This allows the edge to rise as it bakes and contains the filling.
- Drain the can of anchovies and mash them into a paste. Spread the paste evenly inside the ‘frame’ outline you’ve made in the pastry. Spoon over the onions and lay the smoked anchovies in a kind of herringbone pattern. Lightly brush the pastry edge with a little water, milk or egg wash. You could also scatter it with a few pitted black olives if you like.
- Bake it in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes until golden and bubbling.
- Remove from the oven, allow it to cool slightly before cutting into slices but serve it whilst still warm.
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