UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics


Long-suffering students who survive my Ph.D. course are invited to a traditional end-of-semester party. Here are the recipes for a few of the favorite dishes I have prepared in recent years. Enjoy!

Caramelized Onion Tart

If you have a low discount rate, this is an easy dish to prepare. Here is what you need:

  • 4 lbs. of yellow onions
  • Kleenex (for wiping the tears from your eyes after cutting the onions)
  • ¼ lb. of bacon (Nueskes bacon preferred)
  • One package of puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm is a brand easy to find in the frozen food case)
  • Salt & white pepper

Cut the bacon up into tiny strips and saute slowly in a large saute pan over medium heat. You want to extract fat without making the bacon crispy. Thinly slice the onions into rings (the thinner the better--it helps if you have a mandolin slicer). Add the onions to the pan with the bacon. After the onions have softened, add salt (maybe 2 teaspoons). Also add copious quantities of ground white pepper at this stage. Cook the onions over medium heat for a long time. The idea is not to slowly cook the onions until they finally turn brown, caramelize and become sweet. You will have to stir them frequently and it will probably take an hour or so to get caramelize them. Be patient--it will happen. If the onions are sticking too much to the pany, you can add a few tablespoons of butter. Near the end of the process, take out a sheet of puff pastry. Roll out with a rolling pin so that it is the correct size for a 14 inch (+/-) shallow pie or tart pan (tart pans have removable bottoms and are best at serving time. Add more salt or white pepper if desired to onion mixture and then fill the tart shell with the onion mixture. Bake the tart in a 325-degree onion until the crust is cooked and browned (15-20 minutes). Serve and enjoy!

You can make this without the bacon, replacing it with a quarter pound of butter. Olive oil mixed with at least a bit of butter will also work.

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