Savory Carrot and Tarragon Tart

27 Aug

Friday night Josh and I hosted a little dinner party with some food-loving friends we haven’t seen in a while. I say hosted but it was really more of a collective effort. Our friends brought more than half the food. Josh and I made this delicious carrot tart and grilled some zucchini, summer squash, green and red peppers, onion, eggplant, and mushrooms to go on the side. Our guests brought bread, cheese, olives, mushrooms stuffed with sundried tomato pesto, white bean dip, a refreshing watermelon salad with feta and mint, a green salad with toasted walnuts, parmesan cheese, tossed in a lemony dressing, plus a tart with a shortbread crust and marscarpone filling topped with strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. It was a beautiful feast.

This is the second time I’ve made this carrot tart and it’s quickly become a favorite. It’s a great recipe for the summer and fall. I came across it in an old issue of Eating Well magazine I had kicking around the house. I was glad to find a use for our carrots and a chance to experiment with tarragon – an herb that is plentiful at the farm and I like but never know what to do with. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Savory Carrot and Tarragon Tart

Crust Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp fresh tarragon leaves or 1/2 tsp dried

1/2 tsp salt

4 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup plain yogurt

Filling Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 1/2 cups grated carrots

2 tbsp dry sherry or rice vinegar

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup milk

2 large eggs

2 tsp finely chopped fresh tarragon or 3/4 tsp dried

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground pepper

Note: Eating Well’s recipe calls for low-fat cheese and yogurt and milk. I cannot vouch for the results if you use the same. I used the real deal and it was perhaps not at healthy but was darn delicious. I didn’t have any sherry so substituted the rice vinegar. I was also admittedly a bit heavy handed with the tarragon.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. To prepare crust: Coat a 9-10 inch tart pan with cooking spray. (Don’t worry if you don’t have a tart pan you can improvise with something else. Or you can do what I did and make this the perfect excuse to go out and get that tart pan you’ve always wanted.) Place all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, tarragon and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor; pulse to combine. Add butter one piece at a time, pulsing once or twice after each addition, until incorporated. Add 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup yogurt and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan (it will be crumbly), spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom and all the way up the sides to form a crust.
3. Bake the crust until set but not browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
4. To prepare filling: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in carrots and 1 tablespoon sherry (or rice vinegar) and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
5. Spread mustard over the crust. Sprinkle with Cheddar, then evenly spread the carrot mixture in the tart shell.
6. Whisk 1/2 cup yogurt, milk, eggs, tarragon, the remaining 1 tablespoon sherry (or rice vinegar), 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and pour in the filling.
7. Bake the tart until the filling is firm and the edges are golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or chilled.

This recipe is a little time and work intensive. But having a food processor helps. I used mine to make the crust and grate the carrots and cheese. You can also make the crust ahead of time. I assure you the finished product is worth the work.

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