You may, dear reader, have wondered at my uncharacteristic silence over the past week. Or perhaps you didn’t, because I think there are approximately three of you. In any case, fear not—I have not fallen ill, moved to a desert without internet, or suddenly lost all desire to cook. I have been celebrating Canada Day, Montreal-style.
Some brilliant person came up with legistlation ensuring that most leases in Montreal are July-June, meaning that a good proportion of the city’s residents, particularly the student population, spends our national holiday lugging boxes across the city by bike, little red wagon, or—if we are very lucky—parental minivans. I have been speculating as to the reasoning behind this odd practice. Thus far, theories have included: Quebec would far rather everyone celebrated La Fête nationale du Québec rather than Canada Day; movers have some sort of shady deal with the government in order to get double pay for a holiday; someone thought it would be pleasant to celebrate new dwellings with fireworks; sheer incompetence.
In any event, I was one of the lucky few with parental minivans, and lots of hands to help besides, so moving was as painless as I think it can be, in spite of having to schlep everything between four different apartments. (It’s going to be a bit of a nomadic summer for me.)
Life is slowly—and marvelously—settling back to normal after the excitement of moving, the Fringe Festival, and final paper-writing season. This means, among other things, that I can cook again. Heavenly! I’m ready to leap right into summer with basil and tomatoes.
Tomato and Onion Tarts with Basil
- 1 recipe pie crust
- 2 onions, sliced
- olive oil
- 1/2 lb cherry tomatoes, sliced in two
- 1-2 oz goat cheese
- 3 tbs basil, cut into a chiffonade
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Divide the pie crust in two and roll out both halves into large circles.
Meanwhile, caramelize the onions: heat the olive oil over a medium flame, add the onions, turn to low, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes, until the onions are golden and sweet. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Put half the onions on each circle of dough. Arrange cherry tomato halves over the onions, artistically or haphazardly as you prefer. Sprinkle on little chunks of goat cheese, and top with the basil. Fold the edges of the dough up around the filling, transfer them to a buttered and floured cookie sheet (parchment paper would be even better, but my parchment paper is in the wrong apartment at the moment.), and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the crust is crisp and lightly browned.