Sweet Onion and Anchovy Pastries

Recipes that get made over and over in my kitchen have short ingredients lists and big flavors. This sweet onion and anchovy tart from Chef Shane Osborn’s Appetizers fits the bill to a T.

For pastry bases

  • 12 oz. frozen puff pastry thawed

For sweet onion topping

  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 large onions peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • salt

To finish

  • 40 white anchovies in oil, drained
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for drizzling
  • small flat-leaf parsley sprigs

Make sweet onion topping

Melt the butter in a medium pan. Add the onions, garlic and a pinch of salt, and fry gently until the onions begin to soften. Turn the heat down to very low and cook, uncovered, for about 40 minutes so the onions caramelize slowly. Stir from time to time to prevent them from sticking and burning. When ready, they will be deep brown and taste very rich and sweet. Set aside to cool.

Make pastry bases

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Roll out the pastry to 1/4 inch thickness and cut four 8″ x 4″ rectangles. Place these on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Prick the pastry all over with a fork.

Spoon the sweet onions onto the pastry bases and spread gently and thinly, leaving a 1/4″ border around the edges. Bake until well risen and golden brown at the edges, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Turn the oven down to 400 F.

To assemble

Arrange the anchovies on the tarts in a criss-cross fashion.

To serve

Return the tarts to the baking sheet. Cut four paper rectangles, slightly larger than the tarts. Lay the paper on top, against the skin of the anchovies. Reheat in the oven for 6-8 minutes until the paper is very hot to the touch; don’t let it burn. Remove the paper and lift the tarts onto a cutting board. Cut into small squares to serve as a canape. Drizzle with olive oil, garnish with parsley, and serve warm.

Makes 32 small canapes.

As a starter, lunch, or supper

The beauty of this dish is that it can be upsized easily. For a starter to serve 8, simply halve the rectangular tarts to give larger squares. For a lunch or supper to serve 4-6, make one large rectangular tart. Cut into generous slices and serve with a leafy salad. The cutting of the pastry is flexible and you can intersperse the anchovies with small black olives to vary the topping.

Recipe adapted from Appetizers by Shane Osborn.

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6 Responses to “Sweet Onion and Anchovy Pastries”


  • for a fancy version of this, use italian red torpedo onions (at the farmers market in season now until end of november). slice lengthwise and caramelize, cut side down on low heat with butter until super soft (don’t turn them over). you’ll get this beautiful dark golden crust, and then you just add it to the crust. it’s more of an aesthetic thing, but hey, that’s a part of great food.

  • wow is all i have to say! you’ve got to love anchovies to eat this – and you also have to eat this with someone you love (and who loves you back – can you imagine the breath after eating this!?). looks absolutely divine.

  • Umami Mama – I’m gonna make this dish for my grandparents in a few weeks and will use your tip. They’re suckers for good presentation!

    WANF - Dude! The Astronomer’s breath was totally kickin’ post-tart. I love the boy, but man, those little fishies are intense!

  • Savory pop tarts! Yum.

  • lol, i’m sure this would incite my kitties to prowling in front of the oven… looks delicious to me!

  • scrumptious!!!! All these ingredients are on my favorites list….together this will fit the bill wonderful.
    Wonder what would happen if I add just a tad of my Cranberry relish as accompaniment…….guess I will find out ;)

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