Recipe: Alsatian Cottage Cheese & Onion Tart

Since you all are such big fans of cottage cheese, we’d like to turn your attention to a use of cottage cheese not yet mentioned in the lively thread: an Alsatian Cottage Cheese and Onion Tart.

Inspired both by the recipe in this month’s Gourmet and having witnessed Jacques Pépin make something similar in our French Culinary Institute days, here is our take on an Alsatian Onion Tart:

Alsatian Cottage Cheese & Onion Tart
makes about a dozen appetizer-size portions

1 puff pastry sheet (from a 17 1/4-oz package), thawed
6 oz. thick-cut bacon (4-6 slices), sliced crosswise into 1/2″ pieces
1 medium-sized vidalia onion, thinly sliced (on a mandoline if possible)
1 medium-sized red onion, thinly sliced (on a mandoline if possible)
1/2 cup whole-milk cottage cheese
1/4 cup crème fraîche
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface into a rough 12″ square, then transfer to a large baking sheet, lightly dusted with flour.

Cook bacon slices with in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to brown, about 5 minutes. (Bacon should be tender, not crisp.) Remove from heat. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on paper towels. Add onion slices to hot pan with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook over medium heat, covered (opening occasionally to stir with a wooden spoon) until wilted and pale golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool completely, and combine with bacon slices.

Stir together cottage cheese, crème fraîche, eggs, remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and nutmeg in a large bowl, then add 3/4 of onion/bacon mixture.

Spread cheese/onion/bacon mixture evenly over pastry, leaving a 1″ border all around. Sprinkle with reserved onion/bacon mixture, and parmesan. Bake until pastry is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm.