This easy, make-ahead Carrot and Coriander Tart has a brilliant balance of sweet and savoury. Carrot and coriander is a classic flavour combination. It is often found in soup and salads but I thought it would work in a tart. The addition of the green herby flavour of coriander highlights the sweet, earthy taste of the carrots. I roast the carrots before adding them to the tart in order to bring out their flavour.
There are not very many recipes for Carrot Tarts but lots for those filled with squash or pumpkin. I think this is a pity as carrots have the same flavoursome sweetness and are available all year around. In addition, they are a fantastic partner for warm spices such as cumin, ginger and coriander. I also have another recipe for a different type of Carrot Tart, which uses whole carrots with orange and ricotta on a base of puff pastry.
What you need to know about this Carrot and Coriander (Cilantro) Tart
I generally make my own pastry. After years of avoiding doing this, I found out quite recently that it is actually quite quick and easy. I think home-made shortcrust pastry tastes better than ready-made too. However, if you do not have the time or inclination to make your own pastry, it is fine to use ready-made.
Whether you make your own pastry or use ready-made, it is really important to bake the empty pastry case before adding the filling (step 7). This will ensure that the pastry is cooked through and that the base of the tart is not soggy.
Roasting the carrot slices in the oven is a vital part of this recipe as it brings out their natural sweetness. This is further enhanced by adding the dry spices – cumin, ginger and coriander – and a little honey. I use this method of preparation to make a side-dish, Spiced Carrots with Lemon and Honey, which can be eaten either warm or at room temperature.
I think the combination of fresh coriander (cilantro) and carrot is brilliant. However, I know that not everyone is a fan of this distinctively-flavoured herb. If you like the sound of this tart but are a hater of fresh coriander, you can just leave it out. Alternatively, you could substitute another fresh herb, such as parsley.
This tart can be eaten hot from the oven or at room temperature. If you are not going to eat it immediately after you have made it, allow it to cool to room temperature. You can then keep it in the fridge for two or three days. When you are ready to eat it, remove it from the fridge and leave for at least an hour at room temperature so that it is no longer chilled. If you eat it when it is chilled, the flavour will not be as good.
What goes well with Carrot and Coriander (Cilantro) Tart?
I make this tart all year around. In winter, I will serve it hot from the oven along with potatoes, either baked or boiled, and a green vegetable. In summer, I generally serve it with a choice of salads. I tend to include a carbohydrate-based salad – such as potato salad or a pasta or rice salad – plus a green salad and one other salad. I have a lot of salad recipes and some of my favourites to go with my Carrot and Coriander Tart are listed below.
Broad Bean Salad – the freshness of green broad beans and the saltiness of feta cheese goes very well with the sweet, roasted carrots
I make a lot of quiches and savoury tarts. In my view, they are one of the most versatile and useful dishes. They are easy to make and easy to divide into portions, they can be made in advance, they can be served hot or cold, there are a lot of vegetarian options which still seem to please meat-eaters and there are lots and lots of possible flavour combinations. In addition to this Carrot and Coriander Tart, some of my favourites from this are listed below.
This easy vegetarian tart combines the classic flavours of carrot and coriander (cilantro).
For the pastry:
275 g (10 oz) plain flour
125 g (5 oz) fat (I use a mix of half butter and half Trex as I think this makes the lightest pastry)
A little water
For the filling:
450 g (1lb) carrots
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons of runny honey
A large bunch (approximately 25 g or 1 oz) of fresh coriander
120 ml (4 fluid oz) double cream
Set your oven to 180 C, 350 F or Gas Mark 4.
Make the pastry. Put the flour in a bowl. Add the fat and combine – either by “rubbing in” by hand or processing – until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Add a little cold water (2-3 tbsp) and shape the mixture into a dough.
Peel the carrots and chop into thin disks.
Put the carrot disks onto a baking tray. Add the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake the carrot disks in the oven for around 30 minutes until they are soft and slightly brown at the edges.
Remove the carrot disks from the oven and put in a bowl. Add the cumin, ginger and ground coriander together with the honey. Stir to combine and set aside to cool slightly.
Roll out your pastry and use it to line your quiche or flan dish. Bake for 20 minutes in the oven to allow the pastry to “set”. This will stop the filling making it soggy.
Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the cream, and beat until combined.
Wash and finely chop the fresh coriander.
Place the carrot mixture and chopped coriander in your pastry case and then pour in the egg mixture.
Place your quiche or flan dish in the oven and cook for 25 minutes.
The tart can be eaten hot, room temperature or cold.
Keywords: carrot, coriander, cilantro, tart, quiche, vegetarian
This Beetroot and Carrot salad can be made in ten minutes and only contains three main ingredients plus a zesty, citrus dressing. It is great as a side dish and also as a filling for sandwiches or pitta bread. This is one of my favourite winter salads as it is so quick and easy, has fantastic fresh crunchiness that I crave at this time of year and also it is such a brilliant, almost psychedelic, red-pink colour that it always cheers me up!
Raw vegetables – easy, healthy and tasty
This recipe involves no cooking. The finely-grated beetroot and the carrot are is raw. You may have used raw carrot in salads before but possibly not raw beetroot. However, its sweet crunchiness – similar to that of the carrot but with an added depth of beetroot flavour – is a fantastic raw salad ingredient. Keeping the vegetables raw, in addition to tasting good and having that fresh crunch that is very welcome in a winter salad, also retains all their nutrients.
The dressing of this salad is a combination of orange and lemon juice. This gives it a flavour and tartness which enhances both the beetroot and the carrot. It will be thinner than a conventional dressing as it has a high proportion of juice to olive oil. In fact, it works partly as a marinade with the acid in the juice working to enhance the flavour of the grated vegetables particularly if you make the salad at least a couple of hours before you plan to eat it.
The final ingredient in this simple salad is dried cranberries. I have discovered these quite recently and love them as an alternative to raisins or sultanas. In addition to the sweetness of other dried fruit, they have a pop of cranberry sharpness which really perks up your recipes.
Salads – not just for summer..
I am a firm believer in winter salads. On cold, grey winter days, I crave crisp, fresh vegetables and sharp, tasty dressings. These are some of my favourite winter salads – all of which are extremely easy to make.
Thai Cucumber Salad – fresh, crunchy and tasty with brilliant Thai flavours which takes 5 minutes
Spiced Carrot Salad with Honey and Lemon – this salad takes a bit longer to make as the carrots are roasted but it is worth it as the lemon, honey and North African spices work magic on this versatile vegetable
This simple raw Beetroot and Carrot salad is healthy and delicious and can be made in only 10 minutes.
3 small beetroots
50 g dried cranberries
50 ml olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
Peel and coarsely grate the raw beetroots and carrots.
Put in a bowl with the dried cranberries.
Make the dressing by putting the olive oil in a measuring jug and adding the squeezed juice of the orange and the lemon, the honey and the salt. Mix well to combine. The dressing will be quite thin as the proportion of oil to juice is lower than in a normal dressing.
Pour the dressing over the beetroot, carrot and cranberries. If possible, leave for a couple of hours before eating to allow the flavours to develop.
This recipe is vegetarian. If you want to make it vegan, you can use an alternative, such as maple syrup, for the honey.
I came up with the idea for this Carrot Tart with Orange and Ricotta on a particularly grey and rainy February day. I felt that I needed to make something that would bring a burst of colour and flavour into my life – and that is exactly what this Tart does. It uses ingredients found in the winter – carrots, orange, coriander – to liven up both your taste-buds and your table!
I love the natural sweetness of carrots, which is enhanced by sharp, citrus flavours. In this recipe I use the zest and juice of orange to bring out the sweet, earthy flavour of the carrots. The carrots are set on a pillow of creamy ricotta, flavoured with orange zest and coriander which adds a mouth-filling creaminess as a counterpoint to the sweet and sharp topping. Lemon is also a great flavour-enhancer for carrots as in Spiced Carrots with Honey and Lemon. If you like the flavour combinations in this Carrot Tart, I strongly recommend it.
As I felt a need to banish the greyness of February when I was making this recipe, I chose “heritage carrots” from my local greengrocer. You can make this Carrot Tart with any type of carrots. However, I would recommend buying the ones with the green fronds still attached as you know they are fresh and they generally have a lot more flavour. Carrots in a range of colours are now quite widely available and combining red, yellow and purple with orange will make your tart look particularly beautiful.
This Carrot Tart will bring zest to your taste-buds and your table. Beautiful, sweet, earthy carrots, flavoured with orange and coriander, set in creamy ricotta on a crisp pastry base will brighten up those grey winter days!
320 g frozen puff pastry
150 g carrots
Salt and pepper
125 g ricotta
50 g feta cheese
Small bunch of fresh coriander (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Set your oven to 200 degrees C/gas mark 6.
Roll the frozen pasty into square or rectangle. Using a sharp knife, cut it into four evenly sized squares or rectangles. Cut a 1 cm strip of pastry around the edge of each of the squares or rectangles.
Break and whisk the egg. Using a pastry brush, paint the beaten egg around the edge of each square or rectangle. Place the strips of pastry around the edge of each square or rectangle. These will form the “walls” around each of your tarts.
Put the pastry squares or rectangles onto a baking sheet.
Prepare the carrots either by peeling them or scrubbing them to remove any dirt. If they are large, cut each one in half lengthwise. Place the prepared carrots in a saucepan of boiling salted water and simmer for around 10 minutes. You want them to be slightly softened but not fully cooked. Remove the carrots from the saucepan and run under cold water to cool them enough so they can be easily handled.
While the carrots are cooking, mash together the ricotta and feta in a medium-sized bowl. Add the grated zest of the orange and the finely chopped coriander. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spread the cheese mixture onto each of your four pastry squares or rectangles.
Arrange the carrots on top of the cheese mixture on each of the four pastry squares or rectangles.
Put the tarts into the oven and cook for about 15 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
While the tarts are cooking, put the juice of your orange, sugar and balsamic vinegar in a small pan. Cook gently uncovered until the liquid has reduced by half. This will form a glaze for the tarts which will add flavour and also give them an attractive sheen!
When the tarts are cooked, remove them from the oven and paint the glaze over the carrot topping.
The tarts can be eaten either hot or cold. If you are planning to eat them cold, place on a baking rack to cool so that the pastry remains crisp.
Loved this recipe? You may also like the following recipes. Or checkout the Recipe Index.