Monday, January 16, 2012

Roasted Winter Vegetable Tart

More and more I come to respect the course of the seasons, the long absence of summer fruit and vegetables. I had the desire to eat seasonally for a long time, but I still bought tomatoes in winter, unripe peaches or watery strawberries. I never bought said strawberries in fall or winter, but still, strawberries picked unripe and shipped and packaged never taste good. I always knew, but I still wanted that taste, bought the strawberries and was so disappointed. No more. Now I get most of my veggies in a weekly csa box, no eggplant or tomatoes from them right now. That's completely fine with me, their carrots and beets are beautiful. I get a lot of salad, and I'm really inspired to find more ways to eat them, and not let them eat me or me fridge (If you would like to hear about what to do with all the salad, let me know. I'd love to share what I did until now)

It feels like spring here, at the moment. I have no doubts that winter will soon return for a few more weeks, but right now the air smells of spring. The earth seems to awake, everything is just that bit greener. I really would love to eat asparagus right now. Or fresh peas, with just a little bit salt and butter.

I know that it is too early. My excitement will only grow more, and on the first day that I see asparagus here I'll be really happy. For now, I'm sticking, faithfully, to my root vegetables. They are not the only vegetables I eat right now (think cauliflower, cabbage, kale), but I just have a special place in my heart for them.
When I saw the January cover from bon appetit, I thought the tart it showed would feature many different winter vegetables. I was a bit disappointed, in the recipe and Ottolenghi, who I thougt was more of a seasonal cook. Peppers, tomatoes and eggplant right now?
Picture from last night. This is how the tart looked whole.

Hell no, and I dare to say that I think my version is better. I really loved the lemon zest, it added a much needed kick of freshness to the roasted vegetables.

And the homemade crust with buckwheat is just wonderful. I think I'll never go back to buying ready-to-use crust again, it just doesn't taste good and it contains strange things that I think have no business in a pie crust. You could use just your regular recipe for a pie crust, but adding buckwheat flour was a great idea. It makes play the crust a bigger role, not just the backdrop for what you put in there.
Before I forget to say it. It takes some time to prepare this tart. However, most of the time is spent chilling the dough, letting the vegetables roast, cool down etc. I'm currently writing some papers for college, and I just took some breaks from writing to prepare the different parts, but I really got something done too.

Roasted Winter Vegetable Tart with a Buckwheat Crust
Adapted from the Bon Appetit January issue


100g all-purpose flour
50g whole rye flour
60g buckwheat flour
3/4 tsp salt
140g butter
about 4 tbsp cold water, more if needed

3 beets, orange, white and purple if possible
3 carrots, mixed in color if possible
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 small leek
1 small fennel bulb, or half of a big one
1 tsp dried thyme
80g fresh goat cheese
2 eggs
1,5 dl cream
zest of half a lemon

Prepare the pastry at least one hour before you want to bake the tart. I usually follow Pim's instruction on how to make the crust, so I'll just guide you there. If you actually do the rolling out part more than once you'll end up with a flakier crust. I guess using her recipe and just swapping out some of the all purpose flour for buckwheat flour might be a great idea, too. I used a lot less butter, which probably made the crust harder to work with.
Prepare the vegetables. Preheat the oven to about 350°F/180°C. Wash your vegetables, peel if necessary (I didn't, and just peeled the beets after roasting, the skin comes of nicely) Cut them into rather big pieces, put them in a mixing bowl and add some olive oil and salt, mix with your hands to distribute olive oil. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and roast in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Let them cool. Peel the beets, cut all of the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and put them aside.
Prepare the fennel. Heat some olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Cut the fennel and the leek into thin slices. Add them to the skillet and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the are mostly softened. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven again to 350°F/180°C. Take your dough out of the fridge (again, follow the instructions I mentioned above to roll out the dough). Place the dough in a 10" pie dish. Scatter the fennel and leek over the bottom of the crust. Top with the roasted vegetables. Crumble your goat cheese and tuck it between the vegetables. Sprinkle with the dried thyme.
Whisk the eggs and the cream together, add the zest of half a lemon and add salt and pepper to taste. Pour egg mixture over the vegetables, slowly.
Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, until the egg mixture has set. Let cool down for some minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

For a printable recipe, click here.


  1. It doesn't need to be winter for this to look delicious! We've been having so much rain in Brisbane lately, I couldn't imagine anything nicer to come home and warm up to!

    Such a pleasure to *meet* your blog!

    Catherine @ The Spring

    1. Hi Catherine, I'm happy to have you here. If you have access to summer vegetables, you could resubstitute, I guess the original version is great, too.

  2. The tart looks wonderful, Lena. I'm a little surprised with Ottolenghi and Bon Appetit too! I've never thought about putting root vegetables in a tart, but it sounds like a great way to dress them up. For no particularly good reason, I don't have a tart pan anymore and haven't bothered to replace the one I threw out. This tart looks like as good an excuse as any to get a new one.

    I would love to hear about your salads. I do not eat enough salad at this time of the year. It's just a stubborn mindset, really. I don't think of salad as winter food, but of course, that's just silly.

  3. Wow, what a beautiful looking tart. I thought that the same thing about that cover tart on Bon Appetit... yours really does look better. Especially the beets!