Hummus and Carrot is one of those food pairings which just work and it has been a major flavour combination for my lot from the moment they could grab a carrot stick and dunk it into a bowl of creamy hummus; it always comes with us on our picnics and our sailing holidays in some form or another! So, when bunched carrots started appearing in my weekly organic veg box this month, a little idea was born – Hummus and Roasted Carrot Tart! Super simple and utterly delicious.
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How to Make a Puff Pastry Tart Shell
I’m no more a fan of a soggy bottom than Mary Berry is so I prebake my puff pastry shell on a pizza baking tray which has aeration holes in it like the ones you can see below. This more reliably produces the crisp bottomed tart I’m after… 😉
I roll my pastry out to fit and score a 2cm border all the way around the circumference then I fork the centre circle all over and leave the base to rest in the fridge for an hour before baking. Brushing the pastry with a little plant milk before it goes in to bake also helps it to crisp up. I put it in a hot oven (220C/428F) for 10-15 mins until it is risen and golden then I squash the middle down gently before returning it to the oven for another 5-10 minutes to crisp up the base.
Roasting carrots brings out the best in them, all caramelly carroty goodness. I sliced my carrots in half lengthways but if you have very thin carrots just keep them whole or, if they are very chunky, slice them into thirds. I roasted them in a little olive oil with some salt and ground black pepper until they were beginning to brown but still had a bit of bite – they are going back in the oven as part of the tart later so you don’t want to overdo them at this stage.
Once your base is crisp, you could just spoon in some hummus, top it with the carrots, cook and serve but I wanted to give my carrot and hummus tart a bit more oomph and the real depth of flavour which only comes with some slowly cooked caramelised onions. The long, slow, patient cooking of a batch of onions results in a meltingly delicious treat and, in this recipe, adds both texture and that extra flavour I was after.
Tips, Tricks and a Few Alternatives
Thyme goes so well with carrots so I added a generous sprinkling of fresh thyme leaves atop my carrot tart but you could drizzle over a little carrot top pesto instead and – hey presto – no food waste! I used ready made puff pastry because I had some in the fridge but you could use shortcrust instead and I have a particularly delicious recipe for a nutty pastry base which would go really well here, I must remember to share it with you!
Hummus and Carrot Tart – The Recipe
Shop bought hummus makes for a very speedy tart but, if you have time, do have a go at making hummus yourself, you can make it to your own taste and vary the texture to suit you. I use hummus in my cooking a lot (look out for more recipes here soon) and I prefer a chunky texture for this pie which is rare in a ready made pot of the lovely stuff! Having said all that – if you use ready made pastry and shop bought hummus this is a very quick and easy carrot tart recipe indeed!
A simple savoury carrot tart recipe with hummus, caramelised onions and thyme.
- 6 slender carrots, halved lengthways
- 400 g/3 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 300 g ready made vegan puff pastry
- 1 tbsp plant based milk
- 150 g (about 2/3 cup) hummus
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Lightly grease a 33.5cm/13" pizza pan or baking tray
Roll your puff pastry out into a circle to fit and place it onto the pizza pan
Score a line about 2cm (3/4 inch) in from the edge of the pastry all the way around
Use a fork to prick the pastry all over in the centre circle (not the outer edge)
Leave to rest in the fridge for an hour
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan. Gently fry the onion slices, covered, for about 45 minutes until very soft and golden - you made need to add a little water every now and again to stop them sticking or burning
Preheat oven to 190C/375F
Halve your carrots lengthways, toss them in 1 tbsp of the olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and roast at 190C/375F for 15 minutes until just browning but still with bite. Set aside
Increase oven temperature to 220C/428F
Brush your prepared pastry with a little plant based milk
Bake your pastry for 10-15 minutes until risen and golden. Remove from the oven, squash the centre circle with the back of a spoon and return to the oven for about 3 minutes for a really crisp base, set aside
Lower the oven temperature to 190C/375F
Stir the hummus into the cooked onions, add salt and pepper to taste
Spoon the hummus and onion mix into the cooked pastry shell and spread evenly, top with the roasted carrots and thyme leaves. Return to the oven for 10 minutes to heat through.
Serve hot, cold or at room temperature
This nutritional information is only an approximate guideline, created using an online calculator. Calculations will vary according to the ingredients you use and your cooking methods.
And that’s it! Simple! You can use this hummus and onion base for lots of savoury tart fillings – top beetroot hummus with roasted beetroot for a pink explosion or Moroccan spiced hummus with roasted mediterranean vegetables for a summery treat.
Vegan Picnic Recipe Ideas
My carrot tart is fabulous cold as part of a picnic spread and, if you’re looking for vegan picnic food, you might also like my vegan picnic pies, vegan sausage rolls and my vegan full English breakfast muffins. Pack some up with bottles of lemonade, some three grain salad with roast pepper dressing and a box full of chocolate orange muffins and you’re good to go!