Thursday, 16 April 2015

Carrot & Thyme Tart

Vegan Carrot and Thyme Puff Pastry Tart with Almond Feta and Caramelized Red Onions.

This was lovely - light and flaky puff pastry spread with almond feta and topped with caramelized red onion and soft and tender thyme glazed carrots. I was inspired here by this Carrot Tart Tatin dish on BBC Good Food. Like most people I am drawn to anything in pastry but I loved the idea of carrots taking the centre stage here as they are usually confined to a side dish or are just another component  like in a stew. And why shouldn't they take centre stage? Carrots are awesome! 

Vegan Carrot and Thyme Puff Pastry Tart with Almond Feta and Caramelized Red Onions.

Now, I made a few changes to the tart tatin recipe - both with the ingredients and cooking method. I've replaced the reblochon cheese with the awesome almond feta, I omitted the sun-dried tomatoes as I just didn't see them going in this and instead of making a tart tatin which is an upside down tart, I made a regular, right side up tart :-) 

Vegan Carrot and Thyme Puff Pastry Tart with Almond Feta and Caramelized Red Onions.

I also kept thinking of other flavours that go really well with carrots and considered adding them to the tart. Things like walnuts, orange and parsley for example. I was thinking some chopped roasted walnuts in the tart would work well or even some orange zest stirred into the almond feta would be nice. In the end I decided to add all those flavours to the side salad instead which worked really well. It's a wonderful accompaniment to this tart with mixed baby leaf, roasted walnuts, fresh parsley, orange segments and my go-to balsamic dressing. A wonderful meal!

Vegan Carrot and Thyme Puff Pastry Tart with Almond Feta and Caramelized Red Onions.

~ Recipe Notes ~

• The size of this tart is really up to you, I unintentionally made mine smaller than I wanted. What you see in the photos here only served 4 people and they were pretty small slices at that. You might prefer to make this rectangular as that is how ready rolled puff pastry comes. It would be a better size and that way there would be no leftover pastry to waste. In my head however this was a round tart so I went that way but it's totally up to you. The amount of carrots given here will be enough either way....and if you have leftover carrots they reheat just fine or throw them in a stew. If you have too many onions they go great in the side salad!
• The first time I made this I used the almond feta after it has been drained but before it's baked. This way it is much easier to spread onto the pastry and it still gets baked in the oven. The second time I made the tart I did use already baked feta. This was harder to spread onto the pastry but I do think it had slightly better flavour. So basically, you can use it either way! :-)
• Most store bought puff pastry is vegan but of course, check your labels as all brands are different.
• Apologies for not providing the nutritional information on this one but it will entirely depend on what size you make the tart - particularly with how much pastry and almond feta you use. FYI -my small tart worked out at 298 calories for 1 slice out of 4.

Vegan Carrot and Thyme Puff Pastry Tart with Almond Feta and Caramelized Red Onions.

Carrot and Thyme Tart:

375g peeled carrots
1 tsp light brown sugar
4 sprigs thyme leaves 
2 Tbsp vegan butter
1 red onion, sliced (can use white as well)
Freshly ground black pepper
Almond feta, drained but not baked (see recipe notes above)
Ready rolled puff pastry

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F with a baking sheet inside.

Melt 1 Tbsp of vegan butter in a frying pan and add the sliced red onion. Add about 9 grinds of freshly ground black pepper and fry on low heat until very soft. Pop a lid on now and again and if it starts to look dry add about 1 Tbsp of hot water and allow that to cook off. When the onions are very soft and lightly caramelized transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Put the carrots, other tablespoon of butter, sugar and thyme leaves in a wide shallow frying pan with a lid. Note: ignore my photo here and add the thyme leaves not the whole sprig as I discovered they are hard to remove after cooking!

Add enough water till it just comes up to the carrots.

Cover, bring to a simmer then cover and cook until the carrots are almost tender. Remove the lid, turn up the heat and cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the carrots are soft and lightly glazed looking. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. 

Unroll the puff pastry and either leave it as a rectangle or cut out a circle (mine was 23cm). Place on a sheet of baking paper. Score another smaller circle inside, leaving a 1½” border (or do the same with the rectangle). Make sure you don't cut all the way through here, you just want to score it. Pierce the inner circle with a fork to stop it rising while baking. 

Spread the ‘forked’ area evenly with some of the almond feta, a thin spread will do as it's so flavourful.

...then scatter over the onions. Note to self: cooked red onions can look like worms....don't use in photos! lol...

Lay the carrots over top in a nice design - make sure you overlap them well as they will shrink up in the oven a bit.

Lastly, carefully brush the top of all the carrots with some melted butter, this will help stop them drying out in the oven. (I just melted some in the same pan I just cooked the carrots in.)

Vegan Carrot and Thyme Puff Pastry Tart with Almond Feta and Caramelized Red Onions.

Remove the preheated baking sheet from the oven and carefully slide the baking paper with the tart onto the baking sheet. Pop it all into the oven and bake for 25 mins or until the pastry is golden, puffed around the edges and cooked through.

Vegan Carrot and Thyme Puff Pastry Tart with Almond Feta and Caramelized Red Onions.

Remove from the oven and leave to stand for a few mins. Transfer to a cake stand or serving plate. Serve warm with the Baby Leaf, Roasted Walnut and Orange Salad with Balsamic Dressing.

Baby Leaf, Roasted Walnut and Orange Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Baby Leaf, Roasted Walnut and Orange Salad with Balsamic Dressing:

80g mixed baby leaf: spinach, lambs lettuce, red chard etc...
handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, torn
1 - 2 navel oranges, segmented
50g walnuts
1/4 tsp olive oil
pinch of sea salt

1 ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ Tbsp balsamic dressing
½ tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F. Using your hands toss the 1/4 tsp of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt with the walnuts until fully coated. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 5 minutes, giving the pan a shake halfway through. Remove and let cool.

Mix together the lettuce, parsley, orange segments and cooled walnuts. Whisk together the dressing until smooth then pour over and toss it all together. Serve immediately.

Vegan Carrot and Thyme Puff Pastry Tart with Almond Feta and Caramelized Red Onions.

You Might Also Like:

Roasted Red Pepper
Asparagus and
Almond Feta Flan
The BEST Vegan
Spanakopita with
Almond Feta


  1. Wow, this is just beautiful. It also just brought me to your vegan spanakopita recipe which also looks AMAZING! Looks a lot like what my Albanian grandmother used to make. Thanks for these great recipes!

    1. Ah, that's great! Hope you get a chance to make it. The spanakopita is one of my absolute favourites :-) Thanks so much for the comment!

  2. So gorgeous, wow! I want to have a dinner party just to make the lovely tart. Thanks!

  3. Hi Debbie... I did it! I made this amazingly tasty recipe last night with rave reviews from my hubby. And our 21-month old daughter devoured it (although, she did pick out the onions!). I was slightly intimidated to make this, it just looked so wonderful and pretty that I figured it must be hard... but NO... it just took some preparation. I prepped the Almond Feta (super easy to do), and cut the carrots the night before. Slow cooking the onions is definitely key here to get that wonderful caramelization... so I did those mid afternoon while doing other things. Then just cooked the carrots, rolled the puff pastry (it comes in a block here), and assembled this masterpiece. I did do a rectangular shape as it was how the pastry rolled out. My final product isn't as pretty as yours, but it was sure tasty! I am going to keep this recipe handy and make it for some family event to wow all the meat-eaters! :-) Thanks again for a great recipe.

    1. So awesome!!! Thanks so much for letting me know, love to hear that it worked out well and was enjoyed :-)

  4. Hmm this look delicious, thanks for posting up this recipe, looks quite simple to make.



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