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Center Stage: Caramelized Onion, Cabbage and Fennel Crostada with Mountain Mama Cooks

Kelley Epstein of Mountain Mama Cooks is a blogger, personal chef, wife and mother. She lives in Park City, Utah and enjoys her high-altitude living surrounded by the outdoors. Kelley is not only a fantastic chef, but a fun-loving person who loves butter and mayonnaise as much as we do. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Savory tarts, often called crostadas, look sophisticated and fancy but are quite easy to make.

I think they make the perfect dish to serve to guests as a large part can be made ahead and there is always a wow factor when I serve one.

This tart is an homage to what’s in season right now: cabbage, fennel and apples.

The apples lend just enough sweet to a savory and rich tart. The thyme in the crust is earthy and subtle but not to be left out.

Serve this with a simple mixed greens salad and a fancy cocktail.

Caramelized Onion, Cabbage and Fennel Crostada

Yield: Serves 6
Author: Kelley Epstein


For the crust

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 Tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, diced
  • 3 Tablespoons ice cold water
  • 1 heaping teaspoon, chopped fresh thyme leaves

For the crostada (tart) filling

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups packed, thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small apple, cored and sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

For the egg wash

  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon water


  1. To make crust, place flour and salt in the bowl of Hamilton Beach Stack & Snap Food Processor. Pulse briefly to combine.
  2. Add the cold, cubed butter and pulse quickly about 10-15 times until the butter is pea-like in size. Add the ice water and thyme. Pulse again 5-6 times until the mixture begins to come off the sides of the bowl and clump together. The mixture will be somewhat crumbly but that’s okay.
  3. Turn the dough out onto the counter and gently (and briefly) knead the mixture into a dough. Shape the dough into a disk about 1 1/2-inches thick, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least an hour and up to two days. Note that you’ll need to bring the dough to room temperature (about 45 minutes) before baking.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400°F.
  5. To make the filling, heat olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add sliced onions and cook about 5 minutes until they start to soften. Next add sliced cabbage and fennel. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes until the veggies are limp and starting to brown. Add the apple and cook 8-10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper and then remove from heat to let cool completely.
  6. To assemble the tart, sprinkle a dry work surface lightly with flour. Gently roll the dough out into roughly a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese in the center of the tart dough. Layer that with the cabbage-fennel filling and then top that with the rest of the cheese. Pleat and fold the edges of the dough up and over the outer edge of the filling all the way around the tart.
  8. Make the egg wash by mixing the egg and water in a small bowl. Brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle the tart with some extra thyme leaves if desired. Bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes until nicely golden. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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  1. This looks absolutely delicious! BUT… it took 7 pages to print recipe. Huge, gaping spaces between sections. The link is horrible and needs to be fixed. Thanks for the recipe.

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