Christmas Recap; Chickpea Tart with Roast Potatoes, Sauteed Swiss Chard, Beets, and Cashew Cheese

by Gena on December 26, 2011

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Merry post-Christmas! I hope you all had joyous and merry holidays, and that you enjoyed some excellent food. Me? Well, let’s just say that I was well fed. I had the pleasure of dining at my dear friend Blanche’s home on Christmas night. The spread, while not intended specifically to be vegan, was one of the more vegan-friendly feasts I’ve seen in ages.

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Highlights: A raw beet and fennel salad that I am dying to recreate soon, on my own; cranberry sauce; butternut squash puree; roasted turnips, carrots, and parsnips; simple baked sweet potatoes; roasted brussels sprouts; a kale, spinach, scallion, and mixed veggie salad (to die for—I had 3 servings!); and a lentil and sweet potato loaf courtesy of moi (recipe tomorrow). My plate raneth over with plants:

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What a spectacular feast. One can count upon fine food and generosity in Blanche’s home!

On Christmas Eve, my Mom and I enjoyed an intimate meal at our place, and a menu of my own devising. There were mashed turnips (yum), there was a big salad of beets, spinach, radicchio, carrots, celery, and balsamic dressing, and there was the savory tart that I am about to share.

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Tarts aren’t usually my thing. They take a lot of work, and they’re often on the rich or heavy side. This tart is a little time intensive, sure, but it is also delicious, and it’s uber healthy! It features dark leafy greens, with all of their tremendous nutrition properties, beets, which are phytonutrient superstars, decadent cashew cheese, and savory roasted potatoes. Best of all, the crust, which is typically rather void of good nutrition, is made of chickpea flour, which is impressively high in protein and creates a crisp, savory base for this delectable dish.

The key to making this tart is to cook it in parts. I roasted potatoes and beets and made the crust on Friday; I sauteed my kale and baked the tart crust on Saturday, then warmed the whole dish. Do it in stages, and it feels like a cinch!

As for the cashew cheese, it’s optional. And soy feta or daiya would also work well!

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Chickpea Tart with Roast Potatoes, Sauteed Swiss Chard and Garlic, Beets and Cashew Cheese (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Serves 6

Prep Work (one day in advance):

For the crust:

1 1/2 cups chickpea flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
1 tbsp herbes de provence (or thyme, or oregano)
6 tbsp ice cold water

1) Place the flour, salt, herbs, and pepper into a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and mix quickly; then, add the water and mix with hands till a solid dough forms. Add more chickpea flour if necessary to reduce stickiness.

2) Place chickpea crust onto a sheet of saran wrap and cover with another sheet. Flatten into a disk, and refrigerate for one hour, or overnight (recommended).

For the potatoes:

1 large russet potato
1 tbsp coconut oil
Sea salt
Black pepper

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Thinly slice 1 large russet or other white potato. Place slices onto a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Dust with salt and pepper.

2) Bake potatoes till brown on each side, flipping once (about 30 minutes). Set aside or refrigerate.

For the beets:

2 large red beets

1) Wrap beets in tinfoil. Roast in an oven set to 375 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until a knife pierces beets easily. Run under cold water and slip skins off beets. Chop and set aside or refrigerate. (You can cook these simultaneously with the potatoes.)

For the chard:

1 bunch Swiss chard

1) Trim bottoms of stems from chard leaves. Slice leaves into ribbons. Wash and spin chard dry.

To assemble your tart (day of your meal):

Have ready:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 batch Gena’s cashew goat cheese OR vegan cheese of choosing
  • salt and pepper

1) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll crust out with a rolling pin or a large drinking glass until it’s a 1/4 inch thick round.

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2) Press crust into a pie dish. Trim edges.

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3) Bake crust for about 25 minutes, or until it’s golden brown. Add roasted potatoes to the bottom of the tart crust in a nice pattern.

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If you’re serving this dish soon, reduce oven to 275 degrees and allow tart to cool outside of oven. If you’re serving it later, turn oven off (you’ll reheat right before mealtime).

4) To prepare the chard: Bring pot of water to boil. Par boil the chard for about five minutes to make your sauteeing easier and get any toughness out. Drain chard.

5) Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan. Over medium heat, add 1 clove minced garlic and sautée for about two minutes, stirring often. Add chopped chard, and then sprinkle chard with sea salt and pepper to taste. Sautee until chard is very tender (about 5-10 minutes).

6) Layer the sautéed chard over the potatoes in the tart crust. Add sliced beets on top, and finish with some crumbled cashew goat cheese (or a vegan cheese of your choosing).

7) If you’ve done all of this ahead of time, and put it in the fridge, heat tart in an oven set to 275 degrees for about 15 minutes, or a little longer if necessary. Cut into 8 wedges, and serve!

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What a beautiful, festively colored vegan entrée. So elegant, too.

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This is precisely the kind of intricate recipe that feels rewarding for a holiday. Or when you happen to be on vacation! But if you are balking at the work, feel free to:

  • follow the same idea with a store-bought whole wheat vegan crust
  • use packaged roast beets or canned beets
  • use a pre-made vegan cheese
  • omit any of the components: potato, cheese, etc. The tart will still rock.

OK, my dears. Speaking of rocking, I’m off to rock some crazy amounts of hummus with my friend Rose downtown. I’ll have a recap of that, and some other dining, very soon!

xo

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

JL goes Vegan December 26, 2011 at 7:38 pm

What fabulous eats! That tart is really impressive. I love that potato layer!

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 26, 2011 at 7:50 pm

The food looks awesome and you’re right, tarts do take awhile but that one looks so worth it.

I love beets and you just gave me a huge beet craving! After a month of traveling, we’re headed home tomorrow and I will be picking up some beets, pronto.

Merry Christmas, Gena, and glad you had a great time with friends and family, and clearly, great food!

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FoodFeud December 26, 2011 at 8:00 pm

A potato layer on a tart is something you don’t see often but it’s a brilliant idea. Not unlike potato pizza I’ve seen, I’d bet, but much less doughy.

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Stephanie December 26, 2011 at 10:24 pm

This looks amazing!!!

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Jennifer and Jaclyn @ sketch-free vegan December 26, 2011 at 11:10 pm

so THATS how you make a gf pie crust….genius! I used potato flour for mine but will try chickpea next time

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Gena December 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm

It worked great — hope it wasn’t beginner’s luck!! I’ve never made a non-wheat crust before.

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Ali December 26, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Yum! It looks as though you have eaten very well this season!! <3

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M December 26, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Hello Gena,

Long-time reader, first time poster :) Do you think the tart would work with quinoa flour?

Hope you had a wonderful time.

M

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Gena December 27, 2011 at 2:11 pm

M,

I can’t say, as I’ve yet to work with quinoa flour! I’m sorry. If you try it, let me know how it goes. Thanks for de-lurking!

G

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Hannah December 27, 2011 at 12:14 am

I love love love me some chickpea flour. This seems like a recipe that, while taking a lot of effort, would wow vegans and omnivores alike! I love any and every vegan savory tart out there (as long as there are no mushrooms), and sure they aren’t always jam-packed with nutrition, but I think that’s not a big deal!

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Gena December 27, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Exactly. Sometimes time intensive recipes give the best rewards. And to be honest, it didn’t feel like a big deal once I broke it down into stages. It was such a nice meal, and yes, I also love chickpea flour!

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Emilia @ Namaste Gurl December 27, 2011 at 12:38 am

This looks really delicious, G! Definitely bookmarking for future food hosting events :) Thanks for a wonderful and creative recipe :) Loving the seasonal, yet holiday type recipes.

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Rande @ The Vegetable Centric Kitchen December 27, 2011 at 1:44 am

“My plate raneth over with plants”

Ahhh this made me smile :) Everything looks delicious!

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Gena December 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Ha! Yes, that’s a quote after your own heart :)

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Nada (One Arab Vegan) December 27, 2011 at 5:21 am

You had me at chickpea tart – this sounds stunning! If I had access to kale this would be in the works right now. Also your tart base has inspired me to make vegan quiche soon, thanks for sharing!

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Pure2raw twins December 27, 2011 at 8:12 am

everything sounds delicious!!! and love that tarts crust is based out of chickpeas ;)
we love beets always craving them!!
thanks for sharing with us all
xoxo

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Maria December 27, 2011 at 9:43 am

Can’t wait to try making that tart! Also, we switched places – I moved from DC to NYC, and your New York bucket list ended up being my dining out guide, FYI.

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The Delicate Place December 27, 2011 at 9:57 am

oh i love beets & fennel so i’m stoked to see this recipe! that spread looks really great too, what a nice variety of colors/textures! (i’m totally a visual eater). you’ll never guess what were huge hits at our 14 person family feast…we had a 13lb prime rib roast that my parents sourced locally BUT it wasn’t the highlight. the most compliments were on the raw vegan cranberry-pom relish & simple roasted rosemary potatoes?! i made them both and i think my mother was a little jealous ;)

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Gena December 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm

I do love to hear this!!

Tell me about that relish. I have a raw cranberry sauce, and I’ve decided it’s not all that great.

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The Delicate Place December 27, 2011 at 3:50 pm

all in a blender: 1 bag cranberries, 1 peeled orange, all the arils from 1/2 pomegranate, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1/4c walnuts, 2tsp cinnamon, 1tsp vanilla, 1/2tsp cloves, 8-10 medjool dates to preferred taste. garnish with a couple tbsp lime or orange zest. super easy!

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Lauren December 27, 2011 at 10:58 am

Yum! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, my friend! Xo

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Valerie @ City|Life|Eats December 27, 2011 at 11:00 am

Beautiful tart. I am impressed by the smoothness of the dough (8th photo, ie picture between 2 and 3) you achieved, despite working with chickpea flour (which I love, but find a bit finicky in terms of presentation). I may put my ambivalence for beets aside (I really only like them in juice and the occasional fancy raw preparation) and try this with the beets :)

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Gena December 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Val,

Keeping it moist was important — this is a “stickier” pastry dough than anything I’ve ever made with wheat flour. Else I think it would have been very stiff indeed. I’d tell everyone to keep chickpea flour and water at their sides to fiddle with texture if need be.

Glad you like :)

And we need to get you into beets. They are in my top five veggies.

xo

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McKella December 27, 2011 at 11:03 am

That looks delicious, and festive! I think beets are so beautiful.

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Christine (The Raw Project) December 27, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Lovely eats, everything looks gorgeous! And I must try the tart soon, looks tasty and impressive for gatherings. Thanks!

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Ela December 27, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Wow, the tart is gorgeous! I love that it’s kind of a socca crust. I’m about to post a Christmas goodie featuring cashew cheese also. And I love how prominently beets featured in both the meals you mentioned. Beets and fennel–oh yes please…

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Conor December 27, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Another interesting recipe! What are your thoughts on ‘detoxes/cleanses’? I am considering doing a vegan one as I’ve heard from so many the benefits therein…

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bitt December 27, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I’m surprised and impressed that the crust worked with just chickpea flour. I love the taste of cooked chickpea flour creations. I bet this tart is just delicious! I will be bookmarking to make when I am actually entertaining someone because this is to pretty not to share.

Hope you are enjoying your down time and much deserved break. Sounds like good times with family and friends.

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Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles December 28, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Looks awesome, Gena. Definitely something to make for my parents to show off how tasty vegan food is!

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Anastasia December 28, 2011 at 4:42 pm

love it! Can I stuff the tart crust with fruits instead?

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Gena December 28, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Sure! With whatever you want.

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