Roasted root vegetable tarts

20 April 2017 by
First published: 23 August 2016

These sublime roasted root vegetable tarts pack a super flavour punch. A spicy base made with sesame seeds and toasted pecans is covered in a light and creamy cashew béchamel, all topped off with an abundant mix of sweet and earthy carrots and beetroot. They are grain-free, vegan and perfect for a comforting but light lunch or supper.


Ingredients (makes 6 tarts)

For the roasted root vegetables

4 large carrots, about 600g

4 beetroot, about 550g

2 onions

2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed

3tbsp EVCP rapeseed oil or coconut oil, melted, plus extra for greasing

Coarse sea salt

Black pepper, optional

Generous bunch of fresh herbs such as coriander and parsley, finely chopped


For the spiced sesame and pecan crust

170g ground pecan nuts

105g ground almonds

½tsp each ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger and cardamom

1½tsp coarse sea salt

65ml EVCP rapeseed oil

2tbsp filtered water

85g black and white sesame seeds


For the cashew béchamel

25g coconut oil

40g gram flour

1tsp Dijon mustard

450ml cashew milk

3tsp nutritional yeast flakes

Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste



Preheat the oven to 175°C/345°F/Gas Mark 3½. Grease six round 10 x 2 cm deep tartlet tins.


Peel and cut the tops off the carrots. Cut them lengthways into about 3cm-long pieces, then quarter into small crudité-sized strips. Scrub the beetroot, quarter them and slice the same thickness as the carrots. Peel, quarter and slice the onions. On a large baking tray, mix up the vegetables with the garlic, oil and a generous amount of salt and black pepper, if using. Roast for about one hour, checking halfway through. They are ready when a skewer inserts easily into the centre of the vegetables. Remove from the oven, adjust the seasoning while still warm, and set aside.


Meanwhile, to make the base, combine the ground pecans, almonds, spices, salt,

oil and water in a food processor. Add the sesame seeds and blitz until the mix

looks like breadcrumbs and sticks together when you pick up a piece of it in your hand. Divide the pastry mix between the greased tins, you will get about 70g per tart, and press it down with your fingertips and a step palette knife

(frosting spatula) to make the crust, pressing it into the edges and making sure it

is even. Put the tins on a baking tray and bake in the same oven as the vegetables for about 15–20 minutes or until dark golden brown. Leave to cool.

To make the béchamel, melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan. Add the gram flour and whisk in vigorously. Add the mustard and then gradually start to add the cashew milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. The sauce should start to thicken and look smooth. Add the yeast flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Stir again and taste and season more if necessary. You can make this in advance for use later, but note that when it cools it will thicken slightly, so before filling your tarts with it, return to the heat and add some extra milk to loosen.


Finish off the vegetables by adding the freshly chopped herbs and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, if necessary. Mix the béchamel with a whisk until really smooth, use it to fill the tarts and then top with all of the vegetables, pushing them into the béchamel slightly. Serve with salad or steamed green vegetables.

These tarts are great served warm or cold and keep for up to three days in the fridge.

This recipe is taken from Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman (published by Jacqui Small).

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