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Light Meals, Sides & Soups / Dinner + Condiments & Staples
Silverbeet, Thyme &
Onion Tart
Balsamic Onions


Silverbeet, thyme and balsamic onion tart

Silverbeet, Thyme & Balsamic Onion Tart


Although spring is a time when the vegetable harvests are relatively lean in our garden, silverbeet is the constant mainstay that finds its way into lots of meals this time of the year. Its deep earthiness combines well with sharp flavours, and in this tart the silky custard filling is laced with tangy sweet spikes of balsamic onion which complements the wilted greens throughout. The addition of yoghurt in the pastry (and the custard) adds probiotic goodness while giving the crust a lovely short melt in the mouth texture – a sultry combination with the soft filling.


If you have never made your own pastry before, or if you see it as a major hindrance, I urge you to give it a go. It is simple to make, and it really does make a difference to the texture of the tart. To encourage you, I have included a few tips for successful pastry making at the bottom of the recipe. 


Serves 6 


For the Pastry 

  • 1 ½ cups white flour 

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme 

  • Pinch of salt 

  • 120 grams cold butter, cut into cubes 

  • ¼ cup (or more) unsweetened yoghurt 

For the filling 

  • 1 large bunch silverbeet, approx 300 grams 

  • ¾ cup balsamic onions (find the recipe here)

  • 5 free range eggs, lightly beaten 

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened yoghurt  

  • Salt and pepper  

  • Sweet paprika to top 



  1. Make the pastry by placing the flour, thyme and salt into a food processor with the cubed butter. Blitz until breadcrumb consistency is achieved. Spoon the yoghurt in with the motor running. The mixture should just stay together when a small piece is squeezed between the fingers, so if it seems a bit dry, add a bit more yoghurt a teaspoon full at a time. Alternatively, if you don’t have a food processor you could make this by hand – rub the butter into the dry mixture with your fingertips, and mix the yoghurt in using a knife, as you would scones, until the mixture just holds together. Tip the pastry onto a lightly floured bench and gently knead it until it comes together. Form it into a flat circular shape.  

  2. Grease a 25 cm tart tin and roll out the pastry 5-6 mm thick so it will comfortably cover the bottom and sides of the tin. Transfer it into the tart tin, pushing it into the edges and folding any excess pastry over to form a thick edge. Refrigerate for at least half an hour.  

  3. Preheat oven to 180.C  

  4. Take the pastry case from the fridge and prick the bottom all over with a fork. Cover with a piece of baking paper and fill with dried rice or beans to weigh it down. Blind bake for 15 minutes, then remove the baking paper and rice / beans and cook a further 5 minutes.  

  5. While the pastry is cooking, prepare the silverbeet by washing it well and removing the stems. To do this you can either hold each leaf upside down and use a sharp knife to cut down either side of the stem, or if the silverbeet is freshly picked you can use your other hand to swipe down, removing the leaves from the stems. Put the stems aside for use in another dish or freeze for making vegetable stock.   

  6. Roll the leaves up and slice as finely as possible – I like to slice both ways, so I get quite small pieces of silverbeet. Heat a large fry pan until piping hot and place the leaves in, tossing around with tongs so that they wilt down quickly. Don’t add extra water, as the leaves will already have water on them from washing. Continue cooking until all the liquid has evaporated and the silverbeet is completely wilted. Set aside to cool. 

  7. Combine the eggs and yoghurt and lightly whisk together, adding a good pinch of salt and some cracked black pepper.  

  8. Take the par-cooked pastry case and spread the wilted silverbeet over the base in an even layer. Dot the balsamic onions in any gaps and around the silverbeet (rather than a layer on top), and pour the custard over, making sure all the filling is covered. Sprinkle with sweet paprika and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the custard is just set. 


Cook's Notes – Pastry making 101 

  • Contrary to common belief, pastry is simple to make and can be whipped up in less than 5 minutes, especially if you use a food processer. But there are a couple of things to remember when making it. The first is to keep everything as cold as possible, so don’t remove the butter or yoghurt out of the fridge until just before you need it and keep the pastry away from any sunny windowsills while you roll it out. Chill in the fridge once rolled for at least half an hour before blind baking.  

  • The next thing to remember is that handling it too much could make it tough (especially if you have hot hands!), so treat it gently. Add only enough yoghurt or liquid so that it just begins to ball together in the processor without being crumbly, and when you turn it out onto the bench, only knead it enough to ensure it stays together so you can roll it out with ease. 

Balsamic Onion, Sliverbeet & Thyme Tart close up
Balsamic Onion, Sliverbeet & Thyme Tart
silverbeet harvest in a basket

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Balsamic Onions

Condiments & Staples
Balsamic Onions

Balsamic onions in a cast iron frying pan

Balsamic Onions

These slow cooked onions are finished with fresh thyme, balsamic vinegar and a small amount of brown sugar to create a tangy flavour bomb which is great to have on hand over the warmer months. Use on top of pizzas, in burgers and frittatas, or as a condiment anytime a pop of flavour is required. They are also a good substitute if you are wanting to swap out feta for a cheese-free option in a quiche or similar because they impart the umami piquancy needed for such a replacement.  


Makes approximately 1 ½ cups 


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil  

  • 1 tablespoon butter 

  • 500 grams (approximately 2 large or 3 medium) onions, sliced into thin half crescents 

  • Pinch salt 

  • Large handful fresh thyme, finely chopped 

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar 

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 

  • Cracked black pepper to taste 



  1. Place the olive oil and butter into a large heavy-based pan and gently heat until the butter is melted. Add the onions with a good pinch of salt and stir well. A cast iron pan works well here, but any heavy based pan should do. 

  2. Cook on medium to medium-low heat for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The timing will depend on the thickness you have cut your onions and the size/type of pan being used. You want to slowly cook the onions while giving them a bit of colour so they become silky and succulent. This can’t be rushed so it’s a good opportunity to get on with some other kitchen jobs while you keep an eye on them, stirring and adjusting the heat when needed. 

  3. Once the onions have cooked down add the brown sugar and the thyme. Stir for a couple of minutes allowing the sugar to dissolve, and the thyme to infuse through the mix. 

  4. Turn up the heat and add the balsamic vinegar. Cook for another few minutes, stirring to deglaze the pan. Season with a good grind of pepper and set aside to cool for later use. 

  5. Store in the refrigerator and consume within a week. 



Cooks Notes 

The secret to getting the onions silky and smooth yet full of flavour is to cook them slowly on a medium heat so they end up slightly coloured and nice and soft all the way through. This requires patience, a bit of temperature adjustment and a heavy based pan. I usually begin with a medium-high heat, reducing the temperature as the onions sweat down to ensure they stay sweet and don’t colour too much. The heat is quite low by the time I add the sugar and thyme, then I turn it up to medium again when I add the balsamic to enable the vinegar to cook off and glaze the onions. 

Caramelised balsamic onions in a cast iron fry pan
Balsamic Onion from start
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