Looking for a show-stopping appetizer for your Holiday dinner party that will have everyone thinking you toiled over it for hours on end (but really didn’t—shhhh, I won’t tell!) This Free-Form Savory Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Root Vegetable Tart will fit the bill exquisitely, I promise!
While this recipe may look like it has lots of steps, trust me…it’s really easy to make. Additionally, you can prepare the individuals components and park them until you are ready for the assemblage and baking.
1 tablespoon olive oil, separated
1½ cups butternut squash, diced into small cubes*
¾ cup carrot, diced into small cubes*
¾ cup leeks, chopped*
¾ cup red bell pepper, chopped*
¾ cup cauliflower, chopped*
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon berbere
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper, ground
*You want the vegetables to all be as symmetrical as possible.
1½ cup white whole wheat pastry flour plus additional bench flour, refrigerated
¾ vegan butter, cold and cut into cubes
6 ounces vegan cream cheese, cold
¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup firm yet still spreadable cashew cheese, separated
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons Vegan Egg, separated
¼ cup water (may need a slight bit more)
Prepare the Tart Filling:
• Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Use a scant amount of the oil to lightly coat an 8×8 baking dish.
• In a large bowl, toss to combine all the filling ingredients, including the remaining oil.
• Cover with foil and roast until the vegetables are fork-tender, about 35-40 minutes.
• Remove from oven, remove oil, and allow to cool.
Prepare the Tart Crust:
• While preparing the crust, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
• In a food processor (helpful if bowl and blade have been refrigerated for at least one hour), pulse the crust ingredients until they begin to come together in clumps, approximately 15-20 pulses.
• Dust a cool work surface with a scant amount of bench flour, then dump the dough onto the work surface. Knead gently until the dough comes together. Do not over-knead.
• Using a large sheet of parchment paper, roll the dough into approximately a 16-inch circle about 1/8” thick. Remember, this is a rustic tart, so perfection is not necessary.
• Transfer the dough along with the parchment paper onto a large metal pizza pan.
Assembling The Free Form Savory Tart:
• Spread ¼ cup cashew cheese on the crust, leaving a 1½-inch border.
• In a small bowl, mix the nutritional yeast, 2 tablespoons Vegan Egg, and water together. If mixture is too thick, add a scant amount of water.
• Toss yeast/egg mixture into the vegetables.
• Spoon the vegetable mixture onto the crust, again leaving the 1½-inch border.
• Dot the vegetable mixture with the remaining ¼ cup cashew cheese.
• Fold up the border of the crust, creating pleats, over the edge of the vegetables.
• Mix the remaining 1 tablespoon Vegan Egg with 2 tablespoons water. You may need a slight amount more water. You want to create an egg wash.
• Brush the crust with the egg wash.
• Bake until the crust is golden brown, approximately 35-45 minutes.
• Allow to cool and set for at least ten minutes before serving.
• Cut into wedges.
• Optional: Serve with a dollop of vegan sour cream or plain unsweetened yogurt.
• This is also fabulous served at room temperature as well as cold.
And once you make this recipe, you’ll realize you can make a plethora or substitutions for a completely different and unique dish, for example:
• For the spread that goes in between the crust and the veggies, I made a broccoli/cashew spread rather than just using a vegan cashew cream. I’ve also used straight-up vegan cream cheese. Another great substitution is roasted pureed celery root.
• Change up the veggies and/or the spices in the vegetable mixture.
• Make it sweet instead of savory but adding a touch of cinnamon into the crust, make a sweetened cashew cream or cream cheese for the spread, and use sliced stone fruit or apples, or mangoes instead of the veggies.
*An important aspect of sharing original recipes is to give proper credit to the author(s) of the recipe(s). I hope that you enjoy using these recipes and making them your own; but please do so with that integrity in mind. With much gratitude. Linda