Just before we had kids, my husband and I journeyed to Spain and Portugal for one more adventure. In Spain, we headed south to Seville. We stayed at the charming Taberna del Alabardero hotel where on the first floor, there's a restaurant run by the Culinary Institute of Spain. In the evening, we indulged in tapas in the intimate hidden courtyard adjacent to the restaurant. There, I first tasted the classic combination of manchego cheese and serrano ham. It was a long time ago, but in the winter, we occasionally light the fireplace, pour a glass of wine, and set out a platter of manchego cheese, fig spread, toasted walnuts and prosciutto or serrano ham to nibble on; it always brings back flickers of distant memories of warm climates and our time in Andalucia. This recipe comes together quickly with the help of purchased puff pastry (I recommend Dufour brand because it's very buttery and flaky), and purchased fig spread (Dalmatia). Pair with a winter greens salad and a glass of wine. - kaykay —kaykay
Test Kitchen Notes
The classic combination of figs, prosciutto, walnuts, and cheese that goes into those wonderful wrapped and broiled fresh figs so popular a few years ago becomes a great "anytime treat" in this lovely recipe. The directions were perfect, except the egg for the egg wash is missing from the ingredients. The tart goes together easily, bakes quickly, and is truly delicious. It would be a great for a tapas party ...or any party where you want something just a little different. The flavors blend together so completely that they become distinguishable and, although each part in this recipe is tasty on its own, the whole is definitely more than the sum of its parts. For something fast, easy, and unique...this is a keeper. Thanks so much for sharing. My “trip" back to Seville was brief but delectable. —Pat E. in SLO
Over medium low heat, saute onion, sprig of thyme, and olive oil for 7-10 minutes, stirring constantly, until lightly golden. Add balsamic vinegar and stir to coat for 1 minute. Remove thyme sprig and season onions with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. To assemble tart: on a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry sheet to 11 x 14 inches. Using a sharp knife, cut 1 inch strips from the edge of each side. Transfer puff pastry rectangle to greased baking sheet or parchment paper covered baking sheet. Neatly brush a 1 inch wide border of beaten egg along the edge of the puff pastry rectangle. Top with corresponding strips of dough, pressing gently to adhere. Cut off any excess border.
Using a fork, poke holes in the bottom of the rectangle at 1/2 inch intervals. Bake crust for 10 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Remove crust from the oven and spread evenly with fig spread. Cover with prosciutto, followed by manchego slices. Top with onions, then sprinkle evenly with toasted walnuts.
Return tart to oven and bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs if desired.
I love cooking because you don't have to follow rules.
I have dessert after breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
I'd choose cioppino over fettucine alfredo any day.
I love that my 6 and 9 year old daughters are epicurean adventurers and will plow through a huge bowl of mussels, sweat their way through Indian curry, or savor raw sushi.
I can't pick my favorite meal until the end. Then, I will reflect back and choose one that truly stood out after after a lifetime of culinary indulgence.