Aboard the Legend of the Seas, there was one night at the Romeo & Juliet Dining Room when my friend Osang ordered an onion and cheese tart for her appetizer. I ordered my favorite — escargots with pesto and cream. That dinner was so inspiring that I decided to combine both appetizers into this clam and onion tart, seasoned with pesto and topped with cream cheese.
And how did it turn out? Wonderful. Although, next time, I think I’ll use four eggs instead of two. But it is delicious as it is.
I recommend fresh clams but for those who might find it difficult to obtain them, canned shucked clams may be substituted. I also recommend homemade pesto although this tart can be completed with store-bought pesto.
Feel free to use some other kind of cheese. A dish is always best when you go by your personal preferences.
You will need a tart pan with a removable bottom to easily remove the tart and transfer it to a plate.
- single pie crust
1 k. of fresh clams
1/2 k. of sweet onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsps. of olive oil
3 tbsps. of pesto
125 g. of cream cheese, at room temperature
2 eggs (use 4 for a firmer tart)
2 tbsps. clam water
2 tbsps. milk
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
Lay the pie crust on the tart pan and trim the edges. Prick the bottom and sides with a fork to ensure that the crust won”?t rise during baking.
As an added insurance that the crust won”?t rise, lay a piece of baking paper on the crust and weigh down with beans.
Bake the crust in a 375F oven for 10 minutes. Then, take it out of the oven and allow to cool.
Cook the clams in about a cup of boiling water just until the shells open. DO NOT OVERCOOK or the clams will shrink too much.
Shuck the clams. You should have 3/4 to 1 cup of clam meat.
Heat 2 tbsps. of olive oil in a pan. Over medium heat, gently cook the onions.
With occasional stirring, let the onions sweat until translucent.
Patience is required as you must wait until the onions caramelize.
When the onions are lightly browned, add the pesto.
Stir the pesto into the onions until well blended.
Pour the onion mixture into the prepared pie shell. Smooth out so that you get an even layer.
Top the onions with the clams. Distribute evenly.
Tear the softened cream cheese into small pieces and arrange on top of the clams.
Whisk together the eggs, milk and clam water with a little salt and pepper. Pour over the clams and onions.
Bake at 375F for 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
Cool a bit before cutting and serving.
Cooking time (duration): 50 minutes
Number of servings (yield): Makes a 10-inch onion tart to serve 4