Tama's Caramelized Onion and Gruyère Tarts

Sweet caramelized onions complement the nutty, slightly salty taste of Gruyère. Enjoy as an appetizer course or with a tasting of pinot noirs.

Servings: 12 large or 48 mini tarts

Cook Time: 1 1/2 hour

Pair With: This recipe will pair with a wide range of wines, try with a Syrah.

Source: Recipe and photo courtesy Tama Takahashi, Touring & Tasting Food Editor


2 tablespoons butter

1 large onion

1 teaspoon ground sage

1/8 cup Passito or brandy

8 oz.  frozen phyllo dough

spray olive oil

2 cups grated Gruyère

1 pint half-and-half

6 eggs

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon white pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel and quarter the onion, then slice very thinly. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over lowest heat. Cook the onion in the butter, stirring often until the onion is soft and golden brown. This will take from 30 to 45 minutes. Stir in the sage and Passito* and continue cooking until the liquid is evaporated.

Spray each sheet of phyllo dough--the easiest way to do this is to stack the layers, spraying with the olive oil as each sheet goes onto the top of the stack. Cut the stack into quarters and peel off two sheets at a time. If you are making mini-tarts, the two sheets will be enough to line each tart cup. If you are using regular muffin tins, line one half of a tart cup, then use two more sheets to fill in the other side. Fold the corners underneath and press the phyllo into the cup so there is space for the filling. Spray the tops of the phyllo cups with olive oil.

Whisk the eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper together using a whisk. Put a pinch of grated cheese at the bottom of each tart cup. Pour a bit of the egg mixture into each cup, so it is divided equally. Then, place the onion on top, dividing between the tarts. Finish with a layer of the rest of the grated cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the egg is set and the phyllo is nicely browned.


Visit our Wine Store to find a wine for this recipe.

Touring & Tasting adds new wine pairing recipes every week. Check back for tasty new recipes to pair with wine!

Chef's Notes:

Passito is a sweet Italian wine made with raisinated grapes--grapes dried to concentrate the flavor and sugar. I you can't find Passito, you can substitute brandy--use one with a taste you like as the tarts will have its flavor.

These tarts are a hit every time I make the, serve large tarts with a salad for lunch or the mini-tarts as a starter course.