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Caramelized Shallot, Spinach, and Comté Tartlet

Caramelized Shallot, Spinach, and Comté Tartlet

by Annie Mahle in Recipes

This savory tart makes a tasty brunch, lunch, or dinner.

Whether working in a grand kitchen or in cramped quarters, you’ll have no problem whipping up this delicious dish. Though I’ve found that cooking in a small space can require some ingenuity and creativity.

When that small space then also tilts, as, say, on a sailboat, then the planning, patience, and forethought need to kick into high gear. All this is to say that this wonderful tart is best made when the vessel is at anchor or the RV is not on the road. The bottom of your oven will thank you.

For this dish, I like to use a 7-inch round tart pan, but a 9- by 9-inch baking pan or a pie plate would do. This recipe serves 2.

Crust Ingredients

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of table salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons ice-cold water

Filling Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups thinly sliced shallots (about 6 shallots)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup lightly packed baby spinach
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon half-and-half
  • 2 ounces Comté cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme


  1. To make the crust, combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Use your hands to press the butter into the flour mixture until it has the consistency of a coarse meal, or pulse the butter and flour in a food processor to the same consistency. Add the water and mix until combined. If the dough is too dry, add more water 1 teaspoon at a time until you can form it into a ball. Press the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  3. Dust the surface of a counter with flour and roll the dough out onto it to 1/4-inch thickness. Press the dough into a 7-inch round tart pan. Lightly poke the crust all over with a fork. Cover the crust with parchment paper, fill the pan with dry beans or pie weights, and bake for 20 minutes, or until the crust is a light golden brown. Remove the crust from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F (170°C).
  4. To make the filling, heat the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté until the shallots are caramelized, about 10 minutes. When the shallots are done, add the spinach, stir to combine, and remove the skillet from the heat.
  5. Whisk the eggs, half-and-half, and a pinch of salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
  6. Distribute the shallots and spinach over the prebaked crust. Pour in the egg mixture and sprinkle with the Comté and thyme. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the center is just barely cooked and still wiggly. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Excerpted and adapted from The Tiny Kitchen Cookbook © Annie Mahle. Photo © Kristin Teig.

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Annie Mahle

Annie Mahle trained at The Culinary Institute of America. As chef aboard a Maine Windjammer, she prepared three meals a day for guests. Her cooking,… See Bio