Onion Tart with Market Greens, Roasted Beets, Candied Fennel Seed Pecans, and Basil Vinaigrette

by Kelly Wangard, Executive Chef at Summerwood Winery & Inn, Paso Robles, CA
Shopping for produce at farmer’s markets is valuable in more way than one. Besides the obvious of getting the freshest produce in season, it is most flavorful because it is picked at the peak of ripeness. Produce that must travel long distances to meet a market will be picked ‘green’ and therefore the flavor and texture will be jeopardized. It is essential for your body to get a variety of different fruit and vegetables and that could be exactly why we have seasons. 
Spring is such an exciting time of year as the grass begins to green, we see artichokes, leeks and onions, beets, lettuces, mushrooms, avocados, citrus, and herbs are plentiful. 
This salad has a warm onion tart with fresh greens, beets, and candied fennel seed pecans and herbaceous with the basil vinaigrette. We are so fortunate to be on the Central Coast with the abundance of produce available year round and markets daily.

Chef Wangard visited the North County Farmer’s Market to create this recipe. The farmers she utilized were:
Perez Farms, lettuces
Bautista Farms, beets, onions
Rick Cody, pecans
Bounty of the Valley, lettuces
Peacock Farms, basil

Onion Tart with Market Greens, Roasted Beets, Candied Fennel Seed Pecans, and Basil Vinaigrette
Serves 2-4
4 cups market greens, your choice
1 cup beets, roasted, and sliced thin (45 minutes-1 hour at 350 degrees, peel after roasted, no oil necessary)
4 tablespoons candied fennel seed pecans, recipe follows
4 tablespoons basil vinaigrette, recipe follows
2-4 Onion tarts, recipe follows
Place greens on a plate with the roasted beets, top with the pecans and drizzle with the basil vinaigrette. Top with the warm onion tart and serve immediately.
Basil Vinaigrette, Use 2 tablespoons per salad
6 leaves basil
½ shallot, chopped
3 cloves, garlic
¼ cup honey
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
Blend all ingredients together in a blender. Set aside or refrigerate.
Candied fennel seed pecans, Use 2 tablespoons per salad
2 cups pecans
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon fennel seed
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place in pecans and cook for 4-5 minutes or until they float to the top and become a bit paler in color. Scoop out with a slotted spoon or strain the nuts.  Toss in a bowl with the fennel seed and powdered sugar. Bake in 375 degree oven for 5-10 minutes or until they are a little golden and the sugar looks off white in color.
Onion Tart
2 sheets phyllo dough
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced very thin
Using a small saucepan over low to medium heat, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add the sliced onions and cook 10-20 minutes or until they be come a medium golden brown. Season the onions with a pinch of salt. Let cool for 10 minutes. Carefully lay out one layer of phyllo dough on a cutting board. Drizzle with ½ tablespoon of olive oil and using a pastry brush to spread the oil all over the phyllo dough. Add another layer on top and add the remaining oil. Spread the remaining oil over the entire sheet and cut into four pieces. Add a quarter of the onion and place at the bottom of the cut sheet. Fold into a triangle shape. Repeat with the other three pieces of phyllo to make four triangle onion tarts. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown. 
Nutritional Facts: 348 calories, fat 25g, Sodium 349, Carbohydrate 28g, Fiber 5g, Sugars 11, Protein 6g