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Caramelized onion tart with fresh thyme & chevre

¼ cup butter
3 large onions*
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream
1 8-inch tart shell, pre-baked till golden brown
2 tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
4 oz. fresh Chevre (goat cheese), crumbled
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

Cover a baking sheet pan with foil.  Place the tart shell in the center and set aside until the onion filling is prepared.

Melt the butter in a large non-stick sauté pan over low heat. Slice the onions in half down through their root ends. Remove inedible portions from tops, then peel them and slice them in ¼-inch slices. Place the onion slices into the melted butter and sprinkle them lightly with some of the salt. Gently stir the onions so they are all cooking at the same rate. When the onions have begun to turn translucent (after 20 minutes or so), increase the heat to medium-low. Continue to cook the onions, stirring gently and often as they begin to turn brown. When the onions have become a deep caramel color they are done; this can take as much as an hour. Remove onions from heat and let them cool to room temperature.

Mix together the eggs, cream, a pinch of salt and a couple grindings of fresh pepper in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the cooled caramelized onions until the mixture is evenly blended. Pour the onion mixture into the tart shell and spread evenly to the edges of the tart. Place the tart into a preheated 375 degree F oven. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until the onion filling has turned a light brown on top and has risen up slightly. Remove tart from oven. If serving hot, cut into 8 slices, sprinkle with chopped herbs and Chevre. Serve immediately. Alternatively, this tart can be cooled and served at room temperature, also with the herbs and the Chevre. Makes 8 servings.

*Caramelizing onions is a slow process, but be patient! Trying to rush them will result in uneven cooking and some may even burn. Onions carefully prepared are well worth the extra effort and time—they freeze well, too, so make yourself some extras!

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