Will you look at that beauty?! Glistening with vegetable jewels it is just as at home on the vegan Christmas table as it is in our summer picnic baskets.
Vegan Tart Fillings
In my vegetarian days I loved quiches, tarts and flans so it has been a lovely adventure finding ways to replicate my favourite recipes without using eggs or dairy. I’ve been creating creamy vegan tart fillings using tofu or a batter of gram flour and plant milk but this one relies on a velvety layer of white bean puree, delicately flavoured with thyme and smoked garlic.
The white bean puree is spooned into a crisp shortcrust pastry shell before being topped with sweet and juicy oven roasted peppers and courgettes.
This vegetable tart came about because I had a plethora of both courgettes and peppers in my fridge thanks to my local veg shop. I’m totally addicted to their £1 bowls which are stacked outside to tempt me in to their Aladdin’s cave of vegetable delights. To be honest, my recipe creation is currently being influenced almost entirely by my pound bowl purchases!
How To Make A Crisp Pastry Shell
Shortcrust pastry is very easy to make from scratch but, for this recipe, I used ready made shop bought. Call me lazy if you like but, unless I want a flavoured pastry base or one with added texture, I usually reach for the ready made. It also means that this vegetable tart is on the table quickly and I’m not faffing about with flour!
The secret to a crisp shortcrust pastry shell for your filling is to treat your pastry kindly and to blind bake it first. Blind baking helps you avoid soggy bottoms for quiches and tarts by sealing the surface of the pastry and ensuring you have a crisp base to start with.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge half an hour before you intend to use it. This allows it to come up to room temperature and makes it easier to roll.
- Roll the pastry out to size, fold it over the rolling pin and use the pin to help lift the pastry into place.
- Persuade the pastry into place by lifting the edges and pressing the pastry down into the tart case.
- Use a small ball of pastry dough to help you push the tart shell into place without tearing it with finger nails.
- Trim off excess pastry by running the back of a knife all the way around the lip of your tin.
- Prick the pastry case all over with a fork.
- Put the pastry case in the fridge for half an hour to rest and recover from its exertions.
- Preheat oven to 200C/390F.
- Line the pastry case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove the beans and baking parchment and bake for a further 5 minutes.
Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables
You can use any veg you like to top this vegan tart, aubergines would work well, as would tomatoes but I went with my pound bowl courgettes
and this beautiful array of bell peppers in red, orange and yellow.
Drizzled with olive oil and topped with sprigs of fresh thyme they make the house smell incredible as they slowly sizzle and roast in your oven. Perched on top of that creamy bean and garlic filling they look like jewels and raise this vegan tart from ‘tasty lunch’ to ‘gorgeous centrepiece’.
Some Alternative Vegan Tart Fillings
The creamy, delicate flavour of the white bean and smoked garlic puree is an excellent foil for all manner of vegetable toppings. You could try:
- Pan fried mushrooms
- Lemon roasted fennel
- Roast carrots and parsnips
- Roasted balsamic beetroot and shallots
Tasty Toppings and Saucy Extras
I served our tart up with a drizzle of green pesto and balsamic vinegar. You could also try:
Looking for More Vegan Savoury Ideas? Try My:
- Vegan Sausage Rolls
- Full English Breakfast Muffins
- Hummus and Carrot Tart
- Easy Lentil Loaf
- Vegan Lentil Meatballs with Fresh Tomato Sauce
Creamy Vegan Tart with Roasted Vegetables, Smoked Garlic and Thyme
- 14inch/36cm non stick, loose bottomed, rectangular quiche tin
- 500 g block vegan shortcrust pastry
For the Bean and Smoked Garlic Puree
- 400 g can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 3 shallots peeled and diced
- 1-2 large cloves smoked garlic peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme pulled from stalk and chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Thyme Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables
- 3 courgettes sliced on the diagonal
- 3 small bell peppers (red, orange and yellow) deseeded and sliced
- fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 200C/390F
- Lightly grease your baking tin.
- Take the pastry out of the fridge for half an hour so it is easier to roll.
- Roll the pastry out to size and use it to line your prepared tin (see my blog post, above, for pastry lining tips and techniques). Trim excess pastry. Prick the pastry case all over with a fork. Leave to rest in the fridge for half an hour.
- Lay the prepared vegetables on two baking trays, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, top with thyme sprigs and roast in the preheated oven for 20 - 30 minutes until browned, check regularly. The peppers will cook faster than the courgettes.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and gently fry the shallots for about 5 minutes until soft.
- Add the garlic and chopped thyme and fry for a further minute.
- Put the drained and rinsed beans, the shallot mixture and salt and pepper to taste into a food processor and process until smooth but still with texture. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Line the pastry case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and baking parchment and bake for a further 5 minutes.
- Spoon the bean puree into the prepared case and smooth the surface. Top with the roasted vegetables.
- Serve cold or heat in the oven for 20 minutes and serve hot.
- If you can't get smoked garlic replace it with fresh garlic to taste.
- I used cannellini beans but any creamy white bean will do. Butter beans and haricot beans are a good substitute.
- If you don't have a food processor the bean mixture can be easily mashed with a fork.