Meatless Monday – Harvest Vegetable Tart

As you can see, I’m still on a tart kick.  You might say I’m ‘practicing’ for Thanksgiving, but in my defense, when the air gets cold outside, I love to be bundled up inside with a steaming casserole (or hot bowl of soup) and a tart is really just a fancy casserole.  This beauty takes advantage of the exquisite red/orange palate of fall by using colorful root vegetables cut into small leaf shapes using cookie cutters to create an Autumn motif. It happens to be savory and delicious too!

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The original inspiration for this recipe was filled with three kinds of cheese which sounds delicious but I was looking for something less caloric and more savory.  I opted to braise the leftover bits of veggies in olive oil and vegetable broth with shallots and garlic for a flavorful, lower fat tart filling.  I also added coconut milk for creaminess and parmesan for its nutty and salty flavors, but of course, that is optional or there are some great vegan cheeses that could be used.  For the creamy, three cheese recipe, check out Crafty Baking.

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I have had this set of leaf cookie cutters for so long that I don’t remember where I got them but they are still available for sale: 7 Piece Leaf Cookie Cutters. William Sonoma and other gourmet kitchen and restaurant supply stores have a good selection too.  They are worth having in your kitchen arsenal to decorate pies, casseroles or yes, even to make cookies.

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Root vegetables are decidedly homely from the outside, but once you remove their rough exterior, they are positively lovely, an entire array of jewel tones.  I chose my veggies for their variety of colors and flavors. In fact, their brilliant colors show us what a storehouse of nutrients they are.  Since they grow underground, they absorb a tremendous amount of nutrients directly from the soil which includes a variety of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Click through for 5 Reasons To Eat More Root Vegetables

Parsnips are a funny veggie and actually get a little bit sweet when cooked.  If you don’t like them, substitute another veggie or regular potatoes, especially in the tart filling. Actually, you can use any combination of root vegetables that you like.  Just beware that red and purple veggies may stain wood cutting boards and fingers… heads up.

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TIPS:  I found it helpful to use a potholder to protect my hands when pressing the cookie cutters into the veggies.  Also, I opted to not use the purple carrot ‘scraps’ in the tart filling as it leaches pink liquid turning the whole filling pink and unappetizing. (Yep, found out the hard way)  Other options would be to omit the coconut milk and parmesan and dot with goat cheese or ricotta before topping with the leaves.

 

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HARVEST VEGETABLE TART

  • 1 single pie crust
  • 1 butternut squash*
  • 1-2 purple carrots*
  • 1-2 parsnips*
  • 1 large sweet potato*
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 medium shallots, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2+ cup shredded parmesan (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

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  • Pre heat oven to 375. Peel and slice squash neck into 1/4 inch rings.

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  • Using a cookie cutter, press firmly into squash. I recommend using a potholder to make pressing down easier on your hands.

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  • Peel and slice remaining root vegetables, using various leaf shapes.  Reserve veggie ‘scraps’.

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  •  Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.  Arrange the leaves on the baking sheets. If your cookie cutters have large and small shapes, separate them as they may have different cooking times. Spray or brush with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. My cookie cutters are small and I had about 70 leaves.

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  • Prebake the leaves until they are tender enough to pierce with a knife tip, but not so tender that they fall apart, about 15 minutes.  Larger leaves may need another 5 minutes. Let cool.

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  • Saute shallots until lightly browned in 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add garlic.

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  • Gather the veggie scraps and dice. You should have about 6 cups of veggies. Don’t include purple carrot scraps as they will turn everything pink. Add to the shallots along with vegetable broth.  Simmer 10 minutes with the lid off.  Add more broth if necessary but liquid should mostly evaporate.

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  • Veggies should be soft but still somewhat firm.  They will cook again in the tart pan.  Stir in 2 tsp of flour and then add coconut milk, herbs and parmesan (if using).

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  • Roll out pastry dough and place it in a tart pan, pressing gently into the bottom.  Roll the pin over the top to cut the dough to fit the pan.

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  • Pour vegetable filling into pie crust and spread evenly with a spoon.

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  • Arrange the leaf shapes onto the top of the filling, covering any gaps until entire tart is covered.  Spray or brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with more parmesan, if desired.

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  • Bake tart for 35-45 minutes.  Let cool slightly before cutting. Serve with a crisp green salad.  Enjoy!

Harvest Vegetable Tart

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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  • 1 single pie crust
  • 1 butternut squash*
  • 1-2 purple carrots*
  • 1-2 parsnips*
  • 1 large sweet potato*
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 medium shallots, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2+ cup shredded parmesan (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Pre heat oven to 375. Peel and slice squash neck into 1/4 inch rings.
  2. Using a cookie cutter, press firmly into squash.  I recommend using a potholder to make pressing down easier on your hands.
  3. Peel and slice remaining root vegetables, using various leaf shapes.  Reserve veggie ‘scraps’.
  4.  Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.  Arrange the leaves on the baking sheets. If your cookie cutters have large and small shapes, separate them as they may have different cooking times. Spray or brush with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt.
  5. Prebake the leaves until they are tender enough to pierce with a knife tip, but not so tender that they fall apart, about 15 minutes.  Larger leaves may need another 5 minutes. Let cool.
  6. Saute shallots until lightly browned in 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add garlic.
  7. Gather the veggie scraps and dice. You should have about 6 cups of veggies. Don’t include purple carrot scraps as they will turn everything pink. Add to the shallots along with vegetable broth.  Simmer 10 minutes with the lid off.  Add more broth if necessary but liquid should mostly evaporate.
  8. Veggies should be soft but still somewhat firm.  They will cook again in the tart pan.  Stir in 2 tsp of flour and then add coconut milk, herbs and parmesan (if using).
  9. Roll out pastry dough and place it in a tart pan, pressing gently into the bottom.  Roll the pin over the top to cut the dough to fit the pan.
  10. Pour vegetable filling into pie crust and spread evenly with a spoon.
  11. Arrange the leaf shapes onto the top of the filling, covering any gaps until entire tart is covered.  Spray or brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with parmesan, if desired.
  12. Bake tart for 35-45 minutes.  Let cool slightly before cutting. Serve with a crisp green salad.  Enjoy!

 

 

9 thoughts on “Meatless Monday – Harvest Vegetable Tart

  1. Superb tart! Who wouldn’t love to bite into it? I made something similar last week, although nowhere near as pretty, and was planning to make it again and post it. I used winter squash and purple turnip, drizzled in olive oil and « herbes de Provence », then topped with a little mozzarella. Simple but tasty. I should try using cookie cutters like you did, to entice my finicky husband to eat more 😉

    Like

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