All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015
To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.
Browsing randomly on Pinterest, I saw that spiral tart (above by Bake to the Roots) & I knew I had to make one. But – I decided to adapt the recipe & make it vegan. Overall – it was easier than I thought but, if I were to make this again (and I probably will), I would use a vegetable peeler to shave really thin pieces of the vegetables. My mandolin cut the pieces thicker than was manageable – so I had to blanch all my veggies. Also – while I tried to assemble it the way Baked to the Roots suggested (by creating the spiral from the inside out & then sliding the completed spiral into the crust) –
– that proved trickier than I could handle. Even tying kitchen string around it did nothing to make it stable enough to transfer. So – I built it up from the inside out – but IN the crust with the poured cheese at the bottom. And – if I were to try this again – I would use a potato peeler to slice thin veggies – skip blanching (except maybe the carrots) – and roll it up like a tire – starting with a center bit and alternating vegetables – but rolling it tight & upright (again – like a tire) – like they did on The Sweet Spot – seen below.
See how much thinner her slices of veggies are than mine? I bet rolling that fucker up was a breeze compared to my attempts.
Anyway – either way – the result is gorgeous & impressive & delicious & good for you! So – if you need to bring a show stopper to some holiday party this season – let me suggest this! I bet nobody will ever have seen one before.
Vegan Rustic Vegetable Spiral Tart
for the pastry
1 1/2 cups flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup ice cold vegan butter
1 TBS ice water
for the filling
1 cup vegan cheddar shreds
1/4 cup vegan sour cream
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
1 tsp or more of chili powder or any herbs of your choice (I used chili powder)
3-4 medium zucchini (green or yellow or both – I used green)
1 medium eggplant
2-3 large carrots
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
You have two choices for making the dough.
In a large bowl – mix flour and salt and cold butter in small pieces. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles crumbs. Add the water and knead the dough. Work quick so the dough does not get too warm. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge 30-60 minutes.
OR – pulse the butter into the flour/salt in a food processor & add the water at the end. For me – this resulted in just a bowl of crumbs but I poured them onto plastic wrap & used the wrap to press the crumbs into a ball. I then wrapped it & put it in the fridge.
Grease a 10 inch tart tin*. Maybe vegan butter is less binding than real butter – but I could not roll out the crust. So – I just pressed it – in pieces – into the tart pan until the bottom was covered & the crust went almost an inch up the sides. Place in the fridge for another 10 minutes to cool down. Doesn’t look great but nobody is ever gonna see it. Plus – when you make things that come out a little “rough around the edges,” just call them “rustic” and everything is excused.
Take the tin out of the fridge, line with baking parchment and fill with (baking) beans or a second tin bit smaller than the one with the dough. Blind bake for 15-20 minutes. The edges should be slightly golden in color. Take out of the oven and set aside. I used parchment paper & a pottery planter. I don’t think they were really necessary – so – if you are feeling lazy & adventurous – just bake the thing naked for 15-20 – or until it just starts turning color. (Ignore the circle I drew on that paper.) Remove from the oven & raise oven temperature to 375.
For the filling, melt the cheddar, cream cheese & sour cream together in a sauce pan & then stir in any seasoning or herbs you chose. Season a bit with S&P. Set aside.
Wash the vegetables and cut into thin strips with a vegetable peeler or a mandolin or a sharp knife (I would recommend the peeler). The strips should have about the same height – so you might have to half them or cut parts off. You will need a lot of those strips, so keep slicing. When done, place flat on a plate and season with salt and pepper.
Pour the cheese-mix into the pre-baked crust and spread evenly. I did not use quite all the cheese I had. You might use more or less – depending on the height of the edges of your tart – but don’t fill it up or the cheese will bubble over as you add the veggies.
If your veggies are too thick or stiff for rolling – blanch them in boiling water. My slices were almost 1/4″ thick so I started by blanching the carrots for 3 minutes & then adding the zucchini for one minute & then adding the eggplant for a final minute – so – my carrots spent 5 minutes softening. If you used a peeler – your slices should be very thin & you might not need to blanch anything – or maybe just the carrots for a minute. If you blanch things, though, submerge them in ice water to stop the cooking & to make them cool enough to handle. Pat them dry in some paper towel.
Start rolling the vegetables, by starting with one strip of carrot for example in a tight circle and then wrap zucchini or eggplant strips around. I suggest either doing this as demonstrated in the photo above (like a tire) or by just starting by curling strips around each other – directly in the center of the tart. Play around with the different vegetable strips so you get a nice color mix at the end. Continue wrapping & rolling until your circle of rolled vegetables is roughly 10 inches in diameter – or you tart is full. If you rolled them like a tire – carefully place your spiral down onto the cheese filling of the tart & use extra strips to fill in any gaps. I had lots of extra veggies so I just pureed them into a can of dog food for my dogs’ dinner.
Brush with some olive oil & season with S&P. Bake for 40-50 minutes. If the vegetables start to get too dark, cover with some aluminum foil and continue baking. Allow to rest at least ten minutes before removing from the tart pan.
Feast your eyes on your gorgeous creation & commence the feast!