Some time ago I shared on my FB page a Mindfood recipe for a Free Form Chicken and Red Onion Tart (see here).
Before I had a chance to make it, my Adelaide based “foodie” sister Fiona got to it first. Fiona loved the recipe, but felt it needed more “umph”, especially in the cheese department. So I started to fiddle.
I originally made the recipe as stated, but added a bit more cheese to the pastry given Fiona’s comments. And whilst I didn’t mind the chicken, I started to think about making it a vegetarian dish, as I love the combination of carrot and cheese, especially with a red onion pickle, and I couldn’t get that out of my mind.
So after making this tart a few times, and each time making slight adjustments, this is the version I ended up with. And when Bryan tells me “this is really tasty” then I know to stop.
It is lovely eaten warm for lunch or dinner, but is equally delicious cold the next day too for leftovers. Not that I think there would be any, but if there is only two of you at home, then served with a lovely fresh green salad and another meal is done. This would also make great picnic fare for those that love picnics.
The carrots need to be pre-prepared, and this can be done a day ahead when making dinner the night before if that works best for you.
To prepare the carrots, peel 400g carrots, cut into large chunks, drizzle with a little olive oil and sea salt flakes, and bake at 200 degrees fan forced for 25 minutes … they should just be starting to get a little colour by then, and still have a little resistance when poked with the tip of a sharp knife. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before using. NB: it is amazing how much weight you lose through peeling vegetables, and water lost through baking, so at the end of this process you should end up with maybe just a little over the 200g baked carrots needed for the recipe, so use what you have.
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp iced water
- 120g cheddar cheese, cut into 2cm cubes
- 200g white spelt flour, or plain flour
- 100g cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes, or ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ½ tsp cracked pepper
- 175g cheddar cheese, cut into 2cm cubes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 200g roasted carrots (see notes ... to be done ahead)
- 2 small to medium red onions, peeled weight 300g, sliced into thin wedges 1cm wide
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp raw caster sugar, or plain caster sugar
- 150g sour cream
- 2 tsp sea salt flakes, or 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp cracked pepper
- 5 to 10g mint leaves, roughly chopped (to personal taste)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Nigella or sesame seeds
- Few mint leaves for garnish
- Place vinegar and water into a small jug and place into the freezer for 5 minutes
- Place 120g cheddar cheese into TM bowl and mill 6 seconds / speed 8
- Add flour, butter and seasonings and mix 6 seconds / speed 6
- Add water and vinegar mix from the freezer and knead 30 seconds
- Turn dough out onto a piece of Glad Wrap or silicon mat and bring into a flattened disk
- Wrap in the Glad Wrap or silicon mat and refrigerate 30 minutes
- Before cleaning the TM bowl, place 175g cheddar cheese used in filling into TM bowl and chop 4 seconds / speed 8 … put aside until ready to use
- While pastry is resting prepare the filling
- Place the onions, vinegar and sugar in a bowl, toss to combine and set aside
- When ready to roll out the pastry, preheat the oven to 200°C fan forced
- Break an egg into a small bowl, lightly mix with a fork and put aside
- Place a large piece of baking paper on your bench (once the pastry is rolled out and filled on the baking paper, you will lift this paper with the tart on it, onto a large baking tray so get that ready too)
- Remove pastry from fridge, dust the baking paper with a little flour, place pastry on top and dust that lightly with flour too
- Roll pastry out to a 35cm round, dusting lightly with flour as needed (the pastry will overlap slightly on the baking paper but don’t worry as you will be folding it in)
- Place sour cream, reserved 175g milled cheddar, seasoning and mint in a small bowl and mix to combine
- Spread sour cream mixture over the pastry circle, leaving a 5 to 6cm border clear
- Add the baked carrots to the red onion mixture and gently toss together
- Leaving behind any juice in the base of the carrot/red onion bowl, place carrot and red onion mixture on top of the sour cream mix
- Lightly brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg, then lift the edges up and fold the pastry over onto the filling leaving the middle open (the egg will help the pastry stick together)
- At this point carefully lift the baking paper with the tart on it, and place onto a baking tray
- Brush the top of the pastry with the egg, then pour any leftovers of the egg into the middle of the pastry so that you don’t waste it
- Sprinkle the pastry border with either nigella seeds or sesame seeds
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, turn tray around and continue for a further 10 minutes, or until a rich golden colour (it usually takes 40 minutes in my oven)
- Cool for 10 minutes, before topping with fresh mint leaves and serving
To prepare the carrots, peel 400g carrots, cut into large chunks, drizzle with a little olive oil and sea salt flakes, and bake at 200 degrees fan forced for 25 minutes ... they should just be starting to get a little colour by then, and still have a little resistance when poked with the tip of a sharp knife. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before using.
NB: it is amazing how much weight you lose through peeling vegetables, and water lost through baking, so at the end of this process you should end up with maybe just a little over the 200g baked carrots needed for the recipe, so use what you have.