Who can resist puff pastry? Crispy, buttery and always the container for something lovely. Here, from Amuse-Bouche, is a very simple yet sophisticated idea: little puff pastry tartlets filled with onion and herb. Author Rick Tramonto does suggest you try other onions beside the Spanish in this recipe. He recommends a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, but, look, it’s herbs. Right? So you should feel happy to mix and match.

You may for example hate thyme but love rosemary. Or, rosemary may give you hives but parsley makes you very happy. And makes you think of Simon and Garfunkel.

Beyond a changeup of onions or different herbs, a splash of balsamic would be a lively additional flavor layer. This recipe is a great template for your personal culinary experiments.

For the puff pastry, try to find a high end brand, like Dufour which you can get through Amazon. Or, consult one of the serious pastry/baking books from Dorie Greenspan or Rose Levy Beranbaum, and take the plunge.

Imagine your next Monday around the water cooler. “What did you do?” a friend will ask.

“I made my own puff pastry,” you can say with just that undertone of pride you cannot suppress. Your office status will be elevated.

Warm Onion Tartlets with Herbs

Yield: serves 6


  • 1 Spanish onion
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions


Peel and cut the onion in half through the root. Trim the ends and then julienne the onion lengthwise.

Melt the butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes or until the onion is a deep golden brown. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 4oo°F.

Unfold the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured work surface and turn over to prevent the creases from splitting. Pat down gently to flatten the sheet.

Using a 1-inch round fluted cookie cutter, stamp out 6 rounds and transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

Transfer the rounds to a wire rack to cool. When cool enough to handle, use a serrated knife to split each round in half horizontally.

Assemble the tarts on small plates by spooning a generous amount of the warm onion mixture onto each of the bottom halves. Replace the tops and serve immediately on small plates.

Source: Amuse-Bouche by Rick Tramonto [Random House, 2002]