This beautiful root vegetable tart is the perfect combination of sweet and savory and a showstopper for your Christmas brunch or dinner! These colors truly pop and there is a variety of textures in this dish: flaky puff pastry, melted cashew mozzarella, chunky root vegetables and crunchy candied nuts.

Reprinted with permission from Vegan Holiday Cooking by Kirsten Kaminski, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Kirsten Kaminski

Root Vegetable Tart with Candied Nuts [Vegan]

Serves

8

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Ingredients

Thyme Cashew Mozzerella:

  • 1/2 cup (75 g) raw cashews
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) water
  • 2 tablespoons (10 g) nutritional yeast
  • 3 tablespoons (24 g) tapioca flour
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (3 g) fresh thyme leaves, plus more as needed

For the Glaze: 

  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon (12 g) coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) vegan butter
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) white wine vinegar

For the Candied Nuts: 

  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) vegan butter
  • 1 tablespoon (12 g) coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) walnuts

For the Root Vegetable Tart:

  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled
  • 2 small beets, peeled
  • 1 sheet frozen vegan puff pastry
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Preparation

  1. To begin preparing the thyme cashew mozzarella, place the cashews in a small bowl and cover them with water. Soak the cashews for 6 to 8 hours (or overnight), then drain them and place them in a high-speed blender.
  2. To make the root vegetable tart, bring 2 medium pots of water to a boil over high heat. Place the sweet potato, carrot and parsnip in one pot and the beets in the other. (If you don’t mind the veggies becoming pink from the beet juice, you can cook all the vegetables together.) Reduce the heat under both pots to medium. Cook the sweet potato, carrot and parsnip for 4 to 5 minutes, then drain them and rinse them with cold water immediately to prevent them from cooking further. Cook the beets for 10 to 12 minutes, until they are tender. Rinse the beets separately from the other vegetables to prevent them from turning pink.
  3. While the vegetables are cooking, take the puff pastry out of the freezer and let it thaw. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9-inch (23-cm) tart pan with a removable bottom.
  4. To continue preparing the thyme cashew mozzarella, add the water, nutritional yeast, tapioca flour, garlic, salt and black pepper to the blender and blend for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the thyme. Stir continuously for 4 to 5 minutes to avoid clumping, until the mozzarella reaches a thick and stretchy consistency. Take the saucepan off the heat and set it aside.
  5. To make the glaze, combine the syrup, sugar, butter and vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat and boil the mixture for 1 to 2 minutes, until the sugar has melted.
  6. Place the puff pastry in the prepared tart pan, trimming the edges and pressing down on the bottom and sides. Spoon the mozzarella into the pastry and spread it out evenly. Cut the root vegetables into thin slices and layer them on top of the mozzarella. Carefully brush the top of the veggies with the glaze and place the tart in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
  7. In the meantime, prepare the candied nuts. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and sugar together. Add the walnuts and stir until they are evenly coated. Set the nuts aside and let them cool. Sprinkle the nuts on top of the baked tart and add extra thyme leaves before serving.
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