A tomato/onion recipe for people who don’t like tomatoes or onions

I remember, years ago, when I worked in television news a handful of reporters, photographers and producers were sitting around eating burgers for lunch. I noticed every single one of us had picked the tomatoes and onions off of our sandwiches. They just laid there on the wrappers discarded like the garbage we thought they were.

All of us – tomato and onion haters. At the time I figured it was some sort of weird personality flaw. Maybe those of us with the skills to be journalists conversely lacked the tastebuds to enjoy tomatoes and onions.

But I now realize were weren’t alone. Tomatoes and onions are among the most disliked foods in America. Tomato haters even have their own webpage: Anti-Tomato.com (“We hate tomatoes. And we want to eradicate the seed from the earth”) and their own Facebook page, Anti-Tomato Squad (“dedicated to the warriors who hate tomatoes”).

But I believe I might have changed my tune back in the 1990’s when my sister, Cheryl Lausch, found a recipe in Gourmet magazine that meant all bets were off. It used the hated tomato and onion and made them absolutely delightfully delicious. They became part of a buttery, cheesy, rich tart that melted in my mouth. It’s worth a try. It might be time to make up with the tomato and onion. Watch us make it in this week’s “The Great Indoors with Tracy Briggs” on shesaystv.areavoices.com.


2 large onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), sliced thin
2 tablespoons olive oil
Butter pastry dough for a single-crust 12-inch tart (see recipe below. You can also use a store bought pie shell)
1/2 pound Jack or Gruyère cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
1/2 pound plum tomatoes cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1/2 pound medium yellow tomatoes (about 2) or 1/2 pound plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1/4 cup Niçoise olives, pitted

In a large heavy skillet cook onions with salt to taste in oil, covered, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 20 minutes. Remove lid and cook onions, stirring occasionally, until golden and any liquid evaporates. Remove skillet from heat to cool onions slightly.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
On a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin roll dough into a 14-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick). Fold round in half and transfer to a 12-inch tart pan with a removable fluted rim or a 12-inch quiche dish. Unfold dough, easing to fit, and trim overhang to 3/4 inch. Fold overhang toward center and press against side of pan or dish. Spread onion mixture over dough and top with cheese. Arrange tomato wedges and olives in concentric circles over cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Bake tart in middle of oven 1 hour, or until pastry is golden, and cool on a rack. Remove rim of pan if necessary.
Serve tart warm or at room temperature.

Butter Pastry Dough
(Makes enough dough for a single-crust 12-inch tart)
May be prepared in 45 minutes or less but requires additional unattended time.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
6 to 7 tablespoons ice water
In a large bowl whisk together flour and salt and with a pastry blender or fingertips blend in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork to incorporate, until mixture begins to form a dough. On a work surface smear dough in 3 or 4 forward motions with heel of hand to slightly develop gluten in flour and make dough easier to work with. Form dough into a ball and flatten to form a disk. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour. Pastry dough may be made 1 week ahead and chilled.