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Happy belated bonne fête du quatorze juillet! On July 14 there were a few caramelized recipes on the menu to pay tribute to France’s national holiday. On Sunday I made tart flambée, which is a caramelized onion, bacon and cheese pizza. Typically there’d be nutmeg in the soft cheese mixture, but I was using Brookford Farm’s fromage frais with herbs de Provence so I left it out. I chose that particular flavor, natch, to pay homage to the French. I also grilled the pizza rather than baking in the oven; it was too hot to cook inside.

Herbs de Provence can be quite strong; you may be surprised by the lavender. I was prepared to bring lots of leftovers to work, but hubby and his friends surprised me. Not only did they devour the pizza, they commented on the “unusual” flavor.

I had pancetta in the house otherwise I would have picked up Hurd Farm’s bacon. It’s like candy. The cream came from Brookford too, and the onions came from another market vendor. The EVOO was also an herbs de Provence blend from Devo Olive Oil. Sometimes I like to cook in a mixture of EVOO and butter for a richer flavor.

I used a pizza grill pan I picked up at Williams-Sonoma, but you can cook dough right on the grill; be sure to spray the rack with oil first.

tarte flambeeTarte Flambee

What you need:

  • 1/4 lb pancetta or bacon
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs Devo Olive Oil Herbs de Provence EVOO
  • 3 sm white onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 c heavy cream (or crème fraîche)
  • 1 c fromage frais with herbs de Provence
  • Freshly ground black pepper and fleur de sel (French sea salt)

What you do:

  • Prepare your favorite pizza crust.
  • Cook pancetta in cast iron skillet over med heat until crisp, about 5-7 min.
  • Do not drain fat.
  • Melt butter and add onions.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook for about 15 min, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized.
  • Add garlic and stir to mix.
  • Remove from heat and cool about 5 min.
  • In lg bowl whisk cream, fromage frais.
  • Season with fleur de sel and black pepper.


  • Heat one side of your grill.
  • Prepare outdoor pizza pan.
  • Spread pizza dough onto pan.
  • Place plan on hot side of grill.
  • Cook until bottom becomes lightly browned, about 2 min.
  • Flip the crust and place on cooler side of the grill.
  • Top pizza crust with crème fraîche mixture.
  • Layer with onions and pancetta.
  • Cover grill and cook for 3-6 minutes, checking periodically, until the pizza is heated through and the bottom crust looks done.


  • Heat oven to 450˚.
  • Top pizza crust with crème fraîche mixture.
  • Layer with onions and pancetta.
  • Bake until crust is golden brown.