This recipe for caramelized garlic tart is hands-down the best I’ve ever eaten.
When I lived in Venice Beach, California, I frequented the Rose Cafe for lunch regularly. The food was excellent and great for vegetarian salads with lentils, quinoa, barley and veggies. It was quite civilized with classical music and local Art adorning the walls. Neighboring Santa Monica folk ate there too and it was a great people watching spot with the odd celebrity popping in for coffee. The place was always packed.
They had a small gift shop with kitschy stuff, cool cards, aprons, fun canvas bags, Chinese tea pots and bowl sets, soaps and lotions, baby gifts and a small selection of new cookbooks. Plenty from Ottolenghi sat on the shelf with it’s beautiful cover of roasted eggplants and buttermilk sauce, studded with pomegranates seeds. I took it down and flicked through the book salivating over every page. The garlic tart caught my attention and I thought, dam! I have to have this book. I purchased a copy and tucked it under my arm as I walked home to my apartment on a lovely tree-lined walk street.
That Christmas I gave that book as a gift to family and friends. The garlic tart was the first recipe I made and although a bit tricky for me, it turned out amazing. The whole combination of flakey crust, creamy, custardy, cheesy, garlic filling is a match made in heaven. I have made this many times over the past years and never felt the need to alter the recipe. However, when frying the blanched garlic cloves make sure you brown them. It reheats well, too.
What you need:
- 13 oz all-butter puff pastry
- 3 medium heads of garlic, cloves
- separated and peeled
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup water
- ¾ tbsp fine sugar
- 1 tsp chopped rosemary
- 1 tsp chopped thyme, plus a few whole
- sprigs to finish
- 4 ¼ oz soft, creamy goat’s cheese
- 4 ¼ oz hard, mature goat’s cheese
- 2 free-range eggs
- 6 1/2 tbsp heavy cream
- 6 1/2 tbsp crème fraîche
- salt and black pepper
Use a loose-bottom 11 – inch tart tin