I’m drawn to the unique and new-to-me edible offerings at the various stands at a farmer’s market: baked treats, sauces and jams, rustic breads and of course, the veggies.
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I was not familiar with kohlrabi or celeriac until the strange roots caught my eye at a farmer’s market last year. This year while browsing the indoor market I came to a farmer with tons of veggies displayed including a large variety of carrots. The small bags of white, yellow and purple carrots were dazzling, as were the larger Dragon variety with their deep, garnet color.
It surprised me though, that I was also drawn to a big bag (three or four pounds) of regular, orange carrots. There were medium-sized, twisty and even though bits of soil still clung to them, they were gleaming and fresh. With tops and ends all intact and bright color they just looked so cheerful, and delicious! I don’t tend to look at raw carrots and think “delicious!” Carrots cooked into other things tends to be more my speed, and with raw carrots my reaction is something closer to, “Well, someone has to eat these. Do we have any dip?”
Despite this, I grabbed a big bag of these cheerful carrots and brought them home.
I thought about making them into Carrot Ginger Soup, or bringing them to a friend’s house to snack on… with a big bowl of dip. Then I decided to make something new and hopefully special to enjoy.
Savory tarts always seem special to me: an occasional treat for a brunch gathering or a snack. I took my happy carrots, gave them a roast and blended them into this tart.
The texture of the filling is very smooth and sweet, and a helping of Cheddar cheese gives a savory flavor to balance that. This tart is made with Buttery Pastry Dough, tender and delicious.
I hope you find this to be a fun way to highlight the flavor of fresh, flavorful… and cheerful carrots!
Savory Carrot Cheddar Tart
This recipe used half of my recipe for Buttery Pastry Dough. You may also use your own favorite pie or pastry dough, or store-bought dough: enough for one shell.
- Buttery Pastry Dough: 1/2 the recipe or pie/pastry dough for 1 shell
- 1-1/4 pounds fresh carrots
- 1 medium onion, about 7-8 ounces, peeled, ends removed
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup milk
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the Pastry Dough into a 13" circle. Fit the dough circle into a 10" tart pan, and gently press the dough into place all around the pan and against the sides. Fold the edge under itself and crimp it firmly all the way around. Cover the shell with plastic wrap and place the pan in the fridge until the filling is ready.
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Peel the carrots and cut off the tops and ends. Cut the carrots into 1-1/2-inch chunks. Place them in a medium bowl. Cut the onions in half, then cut each half into three or four chunks. Place these in the bowl as well. Add to the bowl the oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Stir to coat the vegetables with the oil and seasonings, then spread the veggies on the prepared sheet into an even layer. Place the pan in the oven and roast the veggies 35 to 40 minutes, until the carrots are soft. Remove the pan from the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 425° Move the middle oven rack down one spot so that it's closer to the bottom of the oven.
Allow the roasted carrots and onions to cool a little, and then transfer them to the bowl of a food processor, along with the 1 cup of milk. Blend these until they are thoroughly combined and smooth. Set this mixture aside. (An immersion blender with a tall container also works well for this step.)
In a large bowl beat the eggs together with the half and half and thyme. Add the carrot mixture to the bowl and whisk to combine it all together. Stir in half of the Cheddar cheese.
Take the pastry shell from the fridge and remove the plastic. Pour carrot filling into shell. Sprinkle the remaining Cheddar cheese evenly over the top. Place the tart carefully into the oven on the lowered rack. Bake the tart for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325° F and bake for another 20 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the tart on a cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
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