Carrot And Goat Cheese Tart Recipe

While carrot cakes have been around for centuries and the vegetable is also a typical ingredient in humble but comforting chicken pot pie recipes, you don't often see it used as the star ingredient in sophisticated tarts and other savory pastries. Developer Tess Le Moing, however, has created a tart in which carrots take center stage and provide the perfect backdrop for a few flavorful costars. She tells us, "Carrots and Goat Cheese are in the spotlight, but the shallots and pesto make this more than just a carrot tart." The subtly sweet and earthy carrots perfectly complement the sharper and more assertive flavors of goat cheese and shallots, and the bright freshness of mint pesto enhances the whole dish.

This elegant tart, which Le Moing describes as "a great way to ring in the spring weather as a show-stopping picnic snack," is versatile in that you can eat it either warm or cold. It can also be served as a meatless entree accompanied by a salad or can be sliced up and used as a finger food or an appetizer for a tea party or potluck. If you use pre-made puff pastry, assembling the tart is actually easier than it looks, but Le Moing notes that if you're into meal prepping, you can assemble the tart ahead of time and wrap it in plastic, then either refrigerate or freeze it until you are ready to cook it.

Collect the ingredients for the carrot and goat cheese tart

The tart is made of puff pastry layered with goat cheese, shallots, and carrots and topped with pesto made from mint, parsley, and almonds. Additional ingredients required for cooking and flavoring the various components include olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, butter, thyme, salt, pepper, white wine, and honey.

Step 1: Preheat the oven and position the racks

To make the crust, adjust the oven racks to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2: Stack the pastry sheets

On a lightly floured surface, place one sheet of puff pastry directly on top of the other.

Step 3: Roll out the pastry

Using a rolling pin, roll the pastry into an 11- by 15-inch rectangle.

Step 4: Perforate the pastry

Transfer the pastry to a parchment-lined baking sheet and poke all over with a fork.

Step 5: Cover the crust with another pan

Cover the pastry with a sheet of parchment and place another smaller rimmed baking sheet on top.

Step 6: Pre-bake the crust

Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is pale and firm to the touch. Set aside to cool.

Step 7: Turn up the temperature

Increase the oven temperature to 450 F.

Step 8: Make the cheese spread

To make the goat cheese spread, combine ¾ cup goat cheese, 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, and lemon zest in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

Step 9: Melt some butter

To make the shallots, heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large saute pan over medium heat.

Step 10: Put the shallots in the pan

Add the shallots, thyme, salt, and black pepper.

Step 11: Brown the shallots

Saute, stirring regularly, until the shallots have softened and start to brown, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Step 12: Cool the shallots

Transfer the shallots to a bowl and set aside to cool.

Step 13: Heat the wine

To make the carrots, increase the skillet to medium-high heat and add the wine and ½ teaspoon salt.

Step 14: Braise the carrots

Once the wine is boiling, add the carrots, cover, and steam until the carrots are fork-tender, about 5 minutes.

Step 15: Caramelize the carrots

Add 1 tablespoon of butter and honey to the pan and cook the carrots, stirring occasionally until caramelized.

Step 16: Spread the cheese on the crust

To assemble the tart, use an offset spatula to spread the goat cheese mixture in an even layer over the cooled puff pastry, leaving a cheese-free edge of about 1 inch.

Step 17: Layer the cheese with shallots

Evenly spread the caramelized shallots over the goat cheese.

Step 18: Add the carrots

Shingle the cooked carrots in even rows over the shallots.

Step 19: Bake the tart

Bake the tart until the puff pastry is crisp and deeply browned at the edges, about 20 minutes.

Step 20: Make the pesto

For the parsley-mint pesto, blend the parsley, mint, almonds, ½ cup olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt in a blender. Process till combined then transfer to a small bowl.

Step 21: Top the tart with pesto and cheese

Drizzle the tart with the pesto and crumble the remaining goat cheese on top.

Step 22: Slice and serve the carrot tart

Slice the tart into squares and serve warm or room temperature.

What are some tips for caramelizing carrots?

The carrots in this recipe are first braised in wine and then sauteed until caramelized. Braising, which involves slow cooking in a small amount of liquid in a covered pot, is a method that Le Moing explains, "not only helps tenderize tough cuts of vegetables like carrots but also helps them absorb more flavor and brings out their natural sweetness."

Once the carrots are tender from braising, Le Moing glazes them in honey and butter and continues to cook them until they are caramelized. Luckily, the process takes a lot less time than making a batch of caramelized onions, which might take up to an hour. The carrots in this recipe, Le Moing tells us, will caramelize in just 5 to 8 minutes thanks to the higher amount of natural sugar they contain. What's more, as she points out, "The addition of honey to the carrots not only adds sweetness but also helps speed up the caramelization process." The result is firm but tender carrots with just the right amount of sweetness to balance the umami of the shallots and the tang of the goat cheese.

What are some other uses for parsley-mint pesto?

One element of this recipe that really brings the springtime vibes is the mint pesto. Le Moing tells us that springtime makes her think of fresh, delicate herbs and that she chose both mint and parsley because she felt that these two herbs would serve as "a cooling and refreshing contrast to the sweet and earthy flavor of carrots." Although to many people the word "pesto" means a bright green basil-based version, in reality the term encompasses a wide variety of herby, nutty pastes that pack a punch of flavor. Le Moing believes that a traditional basil-based pesto would overwhelm the carrot flavor, but this vibrant version offers the perfect balance.

One thing you might consider is making a double batch of the mint pesto — half to use for the carrot tart, the other half to put to use in a multitude of different ways. Le Moing suggests that mint pesto would make a great sauce for grilled meats (lamb, in particular, pairs well with mint) and says you can also use it to dress either a pasta salad or a green one. You could also use it as a sandwich spread, mix it with yogurt or sour cream to make a dip, or drizzle it over grain bowls "for a burst of flavor and color."

Carrot And Goat Cheese Tart Recipe
5 from 34 ratings
This elegant puff pastry-based tart is built with perfectly balanced layers of caramelized carrots, shallots, goat cheese, and bright, fresh mint-parsley pesto.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
45
minutes
Servings
6
Slices
carrots and pesto on pastry
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Ingredients
  • For the Tart
  • 2 sheets frozen Puff pastry, thawed
  • For the Goat Cheese Spread
  • 4 ounces softened goat cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • For the Shallots
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • For the Carrots
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced ¼-inch thick on a diagonal
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • For the Parsley-Mint Pesto
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup fresh mint
  • ¼ cup blanched slivered almonds
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Directions
  1. To make the crust, adjust the oven racks to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, place one sheet of puff pastry directly on top of the other.
  3. Using a rolling pin, roll the pastry into an 11- by 15-inch rectangle.
  4. Transfer the pastry to a parchment-lined baking sheet and poke all over with a fork.
  5. Cover the pastry with a sheet of parchment and place another smaller rimmed baking sheet on top.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is pale and firm to the touch. Set aside to cool.
  7. Increase the oven temperature to 450 F.
  8. To make the goat cheese spread, combine ¾ cup goat cheese, 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, and lemon zest in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  9. To make the shallots, heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large saute pan over medium heat.
  10. Add the shallots, thyme, salt, and black pepper.
  11. Saute, stirring regularly, until the shallots have softened and start to brown, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  12. Transfer the shallots to a bowl and set aside to cool.
  13. To make the carrots, increase the skillet to medium-high heat and add the wine and ½ teaspoon salt.
  14. Once the wine is boiling, add the carrots, cover, and steam until the carrots are fork-tender, about 5 minutes.
  15. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and honey to the pan and cook the carrots, stirring occasionally until caramelized.
  16. To assemble the tart, use an offset spatula to spread the goat cheese mixture in an even layer over the cooled puff pastry, leaving a cheese-free edge of about 1 inch.
  17. Evenly spread the caramelized shallots over the goat cheese.
  18. Shingle the cooked carrots in even rows over the shallots.
  19. Bake the tart until the puff pastry is crisp and deeply browned at the edges, about 20 minutes.
  20. For the parsley-mint pesto, blend the parsley, mint, almonds, ½ cup olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt in a blender. Process till combined then transfer to a small bowl.
  21. Drizzle the tart with the pesto and crumble the remaining goat cheese on top.
  22. Slice the tart into squares and serve warm or room temperature.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 417
Total Fat 34.8 g
Saturated Fat 9.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 18.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 20.6 g
Dietary Fiber 4.5 g
Total Sugars 8.4 g
Sodium 461.4 mg
Protein 7.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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