Slice onions from pole to pole (root to stem), about ⅛″-¼″ inch thick. Cutting the onions this way prevents them from breaking down too much during the caramelizing process.Melt 2 tablespoons of salted butter in a large heavy skillet over MEDIUM heat.Add sliced onions and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions start becoming translucent.Reduce the heat to MEDIUM-LOW, and continue to cook the onions, stirring occasionally for 40-50 minutes, or until they are soft, almost jammy, and rich brown in color. Remove from the heat and set them aside.
Grape Leaf & Walnut Pesto
Cut the stems off of the grape leaves and chop them coarsely.Blanch grape leaves by placing them in a pan and covering with boiling water. Do not heat on the stove. Let them sit for 3-5 minutes, and then rinse in cold water in a colander and set aside.Heat a small frying pan over medium heat until it is hot. Add walnuts to the pan and stir constantly until the nuts begin to smell “toasty” and slightly darken in color. (Do not let them burn.)
Combine the blanched grape leaves, basil, garlic, Parmesan, olive oil, and toasted walnuts in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to form a textured paste. It’s ok if there are granular lumps; you just don’t want it to be chunky. The pesto-making process can also be done by hand, using a molciete, or large stone mortar and pestle.(The kind you might may guacamole in.)
Preheat oven.• Standard aluminum pie plate – 450°F [232°C]• Glass pie dish & anodized aluminum plate – 425° F [218°C]Lay the pie crust into a shallow pie dish or tart pan. Crimp or trim edges.
Spread prepared pesto over the bottom of the pastry. Layer on caramelized onions, and then feta.Cover the entire tart top with cherry tomatoes.
Bake 20 minutes, checking crust edges after 15 minutes. If they are getting too brown, cover with a strip of aluminum foil or a pie shield.The tart is done when the cherry tomatoes begin to burst and the crust is a light golden brown.
Remove tart from oven and allow to rest 10 minutes. Sprinkle with a chiffonade of fresh spinach just before serving.
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