Savory Pear and Gruyere Tart
Cooking food that is emblematic of fall is part of what makes it possible for me to embrace the new season and accept that summer has slid into the past. Piles of colorful squash, juicy Concord grapes, luscious figs, apples of every stripe, and gorgeous ripe pears make me forget that stone fruit season (along with summer holidays) is behind us. It makes me want to tie on an apron and cook recipes like this Savory Pear and Gruyere Tart.
If you’re accustomed to eating pears in sweet preparations, you might be surprised by how good they are when done savory. And if playing with pastry scares you, don’t let it, especially puff pastry. You can find it in the freezer section of most markets and in my opinion, is nothing short of miraculous in the way that it rolls out with ease and rises into a golden puff. Of course, if you are brave, and up for such a thing, you can make your own puff pastry, something I confess I’ve never done.
Once the dough is rolled — no tart pan required — layer on red onions that have been caramelized with rosemary. Next goes grated Gruyere and arugula. Finally, top the whole delicious mess with thinly sliced, barely ripe pears. The combination is excellent and makes a pretty lunch or supper along with a generous salad. You can also serve it as an appetizer for your next party, sliced into small squares.
Savory Pear and Gruyere Tart
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large red onion , cut into ¼-inch-thick half moon slices
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough (about 9 ounces), thawed according to package directions
- All-purpose flour for rolling out the dough
- 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese (2 ½ ounces)
- 2 gently packed cups arugula or baby kale
- 1 pound firm pears that are just beginning to ripen
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Set a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl in the pan. Add the onion, rosemary, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook the onion, stirring from time to time, until the slices are tender, brown, and caramelized, about 10 minutes.
While the onion cooks, prepare the dough. Lightly flour your work surface and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to an 11 x 15-inch rectangle. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet. Moisten the perimeter of the dough with a little water using the tip of your finger. Fold the edge of the dough over to form a ¾-inch-wide border.
Lay the cooked onion slices over the surface of the tart, within the border. Scatter the cheese over the onion and lay the arugula across the top.
Cut each pear off of its core in 4 cuts. Lay the pear pieces flesh-side down on a cutting board and cut into thin slices (1/16-inch). Arrange the slices in three rows down the length of the tart, overlapping about ¼-inch. Add a small pinch of salt over the pears and put in the oven to bake.
Bake the tart until the pastry is golden brown all over, 20 to 25 minutes. Peek in the oven once or twice during baking. If a section of dough puffs up notably, poke it with the tip of a knife to deflate.
Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes, and serve.