On hope, resolutions, and a caramelized onion and bacon tart

 “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘it will be happier’…”

~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

I like the idea of hope smiling from the threshold. Such a joyful notion. Even the concept of hope smiling, seems itself, designed to elevate our happiness. Hope is so fundamental, so paramount.

Tennyson, Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom and one of the greatest poets of the Victorian era, wasn’t known for being particularly light-hearted or happy. Grief and death were themes that permeated both his personal life and his work. Hope was the thing that gave him balance. Hope lured him on.

Hope has to be the single best thing that each New Year’s brings us. A fresh start. A chance to put our misfortunes, our grief, and our sorrows to rest. Hope helps us re-evaluate our lives, live more purposefully. To move forward in honorable, useful, compassionate ways. It gives us the opportunity to start again – a new shot at happiness.

That’s why New Year’s resolutions are so important. Don’t scoff. Cast aside your skepticism, cynicism, doubt, scorn, disdain, sarcasm, and contempt. Throw away all that negativity.

Today on the threshold of a New Year, I’m optimistically making resolutions. Lots of them. A whole ‘to-do’ list of hope-filled resolutions that include:

  • Making charitable donations and buying extras for the food bank
  • Reading more
  • Cooking more for others
  • Taking night classes in conversational Spanish
  • Committing a single poem to memory
  • Traveling to places near and far. To Montreal, Mexico, England, France, Spain, Australia, Lake Superior. “You know how it is. Sometimes we plan a trip to one place, but something takes us to another.” ~ Rumi
  • Doing more yoga, more walking, hiking, running
  • Actually getting my kayak into the water instead of just talking about it, and
  • Following my heart.

I’m looking forward to bidding farewell to 2014 – a year of massive upheaval in my life. And I’ve started as I mean to continue, by getting into my kitchen – one of the great ongoing sources of happiness in my life – and making this savoury cheese, bacon and caramelized onion tart. This rich dish uses very little meat, packs a huge flavour punch, and the combination of fried onion and bacon will make your house smell like heaven. It pairs perfectly with a salad of mixed organic greens and a white wine – perhaps an off-dry Riesling.

Ricotta, Caramelized Onion, and Bacon Tart

  • 6 slices of thickly sliced butcher shop bacon
  • 4 medium-sized onions, diced (I used a combination of red and yellow onions)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil (may not be necessary depending on how fatty your bacon is)
  • 300 grams ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheese (I used a combination of asiago, old cheddar and Parmesan)
  • salt and pepper
  • pastry for a 9 inch flan, pie, or Quiche dish

Begin by frying the bacon until the bacon is browned but not over-cooked. (It will be cooked again when the tart bakes). Remove the bacon from the pan and set to cool before chopping. Meanwhile, add the diced onion to the bacon fat and cook over medium heat until the onion begins to brown, adding olive oil as necessary. Once the onions are lightly browned, add the balsamic vinegar and keep cooking until the onions are completely caramelized – about 20-25 minutes in total.

While the onions are cooking, roll out the pastry and line the flan dish. Mix together the ricotta and beaten egg. Add the grated cheese and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread the cheese mixture onto the pastry.

tart in progress

Next add the caramelized onions, and finally top with the cooked, chopped bacon.

Bake at 350 deg F for 25-30 minutes or until pastry is browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

26 thoughts on “On hope, resolutions, and a caramelized onion and bacon tart

  1. Beautifully said Lindy, but then you always have a way of putting things in perspective, adding insight and positivity to just about anything. That is one of the primary reasons I so enjoy visiting your blog, it’s about much more than food. Best wishes for a wonderful, happy and healthful 2015. All the best to you and yours. PSL I do love that tart you are a great cook.

  2. Bacon and caramelized onion…YUM! We have several New Years resolutions in common Lindy. Let’s make it happen – All the best in 2015. Patty

  3. I love the idea of carmalized onion and bacon in this tart, and adding the wine would be perfect tonight! Yum!
    I went through a time in my life when I quit making resoultions because i had had so little success with follow through. Then I realized that I needed the hope of making the next chapter of my life better than the last. I needed the dream to help me chart my course….I’m reminded of this quote from Victor Hugo (Les Misérables) “There is nothing like a dream to create the future.”
    So I will join you, Lindy, in making lots of resolutions…..cherishing my hopes for a wonderful 2015, and dreaming of what I can create.

    1. That’s such a great quote Ned. Victor Hugo wrote one of my favourite lines ever written – “There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.”
      Make stacks of resolutions and keep adding to them! And all the very best for 2015…

  4. That would keep me happy, without the caramelised onions and bacon! With both of those added this is, of course, divine. Actually, I still haven’t had bacon since last year. As I can’t stand the smell of the processed stuff cooing. And can’t get (nor afford, probably) the proper thick cut bacon. I’m on a not dissimilar theme, with Brie and fresh thyme within my Kentish oast cakes, an idea I came up with yesterday. That’s how I’m starting the New Year. Well, with my customary very strong coffee, that is. Glad you’re baking for yourself, and others!

  5. Gosh, you would be a wonderful neighbour to drop in on from time to time for inspiration and encouragement let alone the fabulous food! So as a blog” neighbour” I thank you for your wonderful writing and a very Happy New Year full of hopes and dreams and good comfort!

  6. What a beautiful sentiment and beautiful recipe. It’s been so wonderful getting to know you this year and getting known by you. You really value relationships and that’s so obvious in your cooking and your writing. You really are a kind and giving person. I like your list, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get to all of it. It’s ambitious, but the fruits of the attempt will stay with you much longer than a year. As for the tart…it’s gorgeous. I’ve been looking for a savory tart recipe and this is just beautiful. Have a wonderful year…Make it so, Lindy. xo

    1. Thank you Amanda – I especially love the bit about getting known by each other. Poignant and true. And yes, I’m both too ambitious and not ambitious enough with my resolutions. Figuring out the contents and desires of my heart should be first on the list. And probably, I could just leave it there. The rest will follow…
      All the best and most beautiful wishes to you for this year Amanda and may our paths continue to cross. xo

  7. You had me at caramelized onion! I do wish you a very happy 2015 and I think your final resolution should be the one you stick to the hardest because it will always be the truest (is that a word?) and the one that will take you the furthest.

    1. Dear Maria – yes truest is a word!! And you’re absolutely right of course. But it’s harder to simply follow one’s heart than one ever imagines, isn’t it? Even understanding the contents of our hearts is challenge enough but perhaps that’s where we start.
      Happy New Year and so many more to come!

      1. Right Maria – I think that could be the wisest thing I’ve heard in a very long time. THANK YOU. I’ll begin with taking a few small steps in that general direction….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s