VEGETABLE SPIRAL TART

Introduction

A showstopper for any festive meal. This colourful tart takes a bit of time but is well worth the effort. Bring this to the party and it will be very well received. What’s more you can swap in and out vegetables as you wish, for example parsnips would make a great alterative to squash.

Tip: I did find I had a lot of left over vegetable pieces that didn’t make the cut to be part of the swirl – so I used these with a bit of a ginger to make a lovely soup!

For a vegan option simply use vegan shortcrust pastry and an alternative plant based cream.

Ingredients

SHORTCRUST PASTRY -

  • enough to fill a 25cm tart tin

ONION SQUASH PURÉE

  • 1 onion squash, roasted
  • 100ml cream
  • Salt and pepper

FILLING

  • 2-3 carrots, washed and peeled
  • 1-3 sweet potatoes, washed and peeled
  • 1-2 courgettes, washed 
  • 1 leek, washed and halved
  • Oil, for coating
  • A couple of tbsp of maple syrup or runny honey
Method

1. First, make the pastry (I bought mine!). Roll out to fit a fluted 25cm tart tin. Trim the excess, line with baking paper and weight down with baking beans.

2. Blind bake for 20 minutes, then remove the paper and beans, brush with a little egg white to form a glaze and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. 

3. Make your purée by quartering the squash, drizzling with oil and roasting for about 30 minutes or until soft. Once cooled enough, scoop out the flesh, discarding the peel and add it to a saucepan with the cream. Heat gently till warmed through but not boiling. Take off the heat and blitz with a hand blender to a smooth consistency. Season the mixture. Cover and allow to cool completely.

4. For the carrots, sweet potatoes and courgettes use either a thick vegetable peeler, mandolin (take extra caution) or free-hand slice them in thin lengths. Keep each of the lengths as long as possible and uniform in thickness so they are as flexible as one another and they cook at similar times. Toss them all very lightly in a little oil as they sit in preparation for assembly.

5. Spread the cooled puree across the bottom of the tart to make a base for the spiral. Wrap one length of all four vegetables together (or four lengths of any one of them) tightly into a roll to sit at the middle of the tart. Then, working around this central point outwards to the crust, add length after length to wrap around, as tightly and compact as possible and alternating the colours and vegetables.

6. Mix the maple or honey with some oil into a loose glaze and using half glaze the top of the vegetable spiral all over before going into the oven at 170ºC for 60 minutes, first, covered in tinfoil for 30 minutes and then uncovered for the final 30 minutes… or ultimately until the vegetables are soft, slightly coloured and the pastry is golden.

7. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes in the tin before attempting to remove, and then glaze with the rest of the glaze mixture from before it went in the oven just before serving.

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