Nearly all vegetables benefit from caramelization and onions actually go through a metamorphosis during a low slow stovetop cooking and then a high heat oven bake. This is an inexpensive, easy to make—although you do need to have a couple hours to stir occasionally—pretty on the plate and palate recipe. Sweet and sour, made tangy with goat cheese, buttery, and crunchy, Jamie Oliver’s surprising use of the humble onion wins over skeptics.


cuisine British
difficulty Simple
season Year Round
serves 6


  • 4 medium yellow onions, ends cut off and papery skins removed
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed 2 tablespoons Demerara sugar (or dark brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 8 cloves garlic (or more), peeled and cut in half
  • 11 ounce high-quality puff pastry sheet, thawed but cold
  • Goat cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2.  Cut each union across the equator. Place the butter in a 10” ovenproof frying or non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the thyme and bay leaves, shake the pan around and get it bubbling.
  3. Add the sugar, vinegar, and 6 tablespoons cold water. Place the onion halves in the pan cut-side down. Tuck the garlic cloves in the gaps between the onions.
  4. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cover, turn the heat down to low setting and leave to steam for 10 to 20 minutes to soften the onions. Remove the lid and cook until the liquid—very importantly!—the liquid starts to caramelize, gently shaking the pan from time to time to prevent the onions from sticking. This process can take 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  5. Place the cold pastry over the onions, using a wooden spoon to push the pastry edges right into the edges of the pan.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed up (it will look quite dark, but don’t worry!). Using oven gloves to protect your hands pop a large plate over the pan and confidently but very carefully turn out.
  7. Slice into wedges and add a dollop of goat cheese to eat with the tart.