Carrot and Coriander (Cilantro) Tart
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
- Fried Aubergine (Egg plant) with Soy and Honey – this easy salad has a sweetness from the honey and a brilliant umami flavour from the soy. Honestly, if you think you don’t like aubergine, you need to try this salad!
- Red Cabbage Coleslaw – simple, crisp cabbage and carrot, sweetened with apple, in a light mayonnaise dressing.
- Roasted Beetroot Salad with Yogurt and Tahini – the sweetness of the roasted beetroot and the earthiness of the tahini are a good flavour combination with the carrots and coriander in this tart.
- Roasted Pepper Salad – a really simple salad using sweet roasted peppers which go very well with the sweetness of this tart.
- Thai Cucumber Salad – a fresh, Asian-inspired salad which balances the sweet flavours in this tart.
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Other quiche and tart recipes
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.
- Asparagus Quiche
- Beetroot Tart
- Butternut Squash Tart with Chilli and Sage
- Caramelised Onion Tart
- Carrot Tart
- Crab and prawn tart with chilli, lime and coriander
- Feta Quiche with Roasted Peppers
- Garlic Tart
- Herb Tartlets
- Onion Tart with Wild Garlic
- Shallot Tart with Thyme and Anchovy
- Smoked Salmon Tart with Prawns
- Spinach Tart
- Tomato Tart
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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
- 2 eggs
- 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
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