Spiral Vegetable Tart
Thinly sliced vegetables are the visual star of this Spiral Vegetable Tart. With a layer of homemade sundried tomato pesto and a flaky pie crust, this tart is as delicious as it is beautiful.
Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. I could tell you about this tart — the flaky crust, the crisp-tender layers of thinly sliced vegetables covering a thin layer of savory sundried tomato pesto, the fresh rosemary and oregano right from my garden.
But really, the best part about this tart: it’s beautiful.
Don’t get me wrong — it’s also delicious. But you could thinly slice some vegetables, drizzle them with olive oil and herbs, and roast them and they would also be delicious.
This tart, however? It’s a visual showstopper. Concentric circles of brightly colored vegetables, almost mesmerizing in appearance. Did I also mention that it’s easily adaptable for gluten-free or vegan diets?
Most of the time, we eat things because they are delicious. Sometimes, we eat things because they’re beautiful.
And once in a while, we hit that amazing intersection of the Venn diagram, where something is delicious AND beautiful — and that, friends, is this spiral vegetable tart.
Best Homemade Tart Dough
I won’t lie; this spiral vegetable tart does take some time to assemble. There’s rolling out the pie dough. There’s slicing the vegetables. Of course, there’s wrapping all those vegetables around each other, trying to hold the end of a zucchini down while starting the next squash.
And yet despite the time requirement and mundane tasks, or perhaps because of them, I found this so incredibly soothing to make.
So let’s get started with some step-by-step tips to help you make your own stunning spiral vegetable tart. More of a visual person? Check out the video below! ↓↓↓
First up: the pie crust. I always use my no fail pie crust recipe. It’s easy. It’s foolproof (hence the name). You can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it.
Homemade Tomato Pesto
Blind bake the dough in a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. This allows you easily take the sides of the tart pan off and showcase your beautiful work. Blind baking the dough will help keep the crust crispy, even though we’re going to cover it with a layer of sundried tomato pesto.
Next up, make that sundried tomato pesto. I make my own, starting with sundried tomatoes packed in oil.
The sundried tomato pesto comes together very quickly in a food processor. But if you want a shortcut, use store-bought sundried tomato pesto – easy peasy!
If you’re making the pesto yourself, start by combining the sundried tomatoes, basil, and garlic in the food processor. Pulse several times, then stream in the olive oil. Why do we need to slowly pour in the olive oil instead of blitzing everything together at the same time? We can answer this with my favorite subject... kitchen chemistry!
Slowly adding olive oil to the pesto is necessary to create an emulsion, or a mixture of liquids that are normally unmixable (in the case of the pesto, oil and water). Olive oil droplets are much larger than individual water molecules. By adding the oil slowly and in a fine stream, the olive oil droplets are broken down into smaller droplets that have a larger surface area relative to their volume. This increased surface area makes it easier for the oil droplets to interact and become enveloped by the water-based components.
Thinly Sliced Vegetables
Slice all your vegetables into long, thin strips. I recommend a mandoline, though a Y-peeler or a steady hand and a sharp knife will also get the job done. I start wrapping from the center of the tart and work my way outward, wrapping as tightly as I can.
Brushing each slice of vegetable with just a little olive oil first provides wonderful flavor, but does make the project a little messy (and slippery!)
Using one hand to hold the spiraled vegetables, keep adding zucchini, squash, and carrots to the circle until you reach the outer edge of the tart. If there are any gaps along the way, push a few extra strips of vegetables in the extra spaces.
Gluten-Free and Vegan Vegetable Tart Alternatives
To make a gluten-free version of this spiral vegetable tart, use this gluten-free pie crust recipe and ensure the sundried tomato pesto is gluten-free.
To make a vegan version of this spiral vegetable tart, use this vegan pie crust recipe and omit the shredded parmesan cheese from the pesto.
Other Vegetables to Try
Rather than spiral vegetable tart, I could have alternatively titled this “Summer CSA Overload Tart” because that’s how this came to be. A drawer full of zucchini, squash, and rainbow carrots, thanks to our Philly Foodworks share.
Any long, sliceable vegetable will work — if it’s too wide, just cut it in half or thirds. For a summery tart, toss in an eggplant.
I’m already daydreaming about a winter version with circles of butternut squash, leeks, and parsnips.
Whatever vegetables you use, the key to this spiral vegetable tart is olive oil. It’s the glue that holds each strip of the vegetables together. You’ll get a little messy. It certainly takes some time.
How to Store Spiral Vegetable Tart
The spiral vegetable tart is most delicious coming straight out of the oven. But that’s not to say that you can’t make it ahead of time and still enjoy it!
Once fully baked, allow the tart to cool and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The tart can be reheated at 350 °F until warm, 20 to 25 minutes, before serving.
The bottom crust does not stay as crisp as the first day – one way to partially help remedy this is to preheat a baking sheet in the oven until hot, then slide the tart directly onto the hot pan and cook on the already hot, lightly greased, baking sheet.
Also to note, while safe to store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, if you’re going to serve this at Thanksgiving or some other food-centric dinner party, I’d try to make it a day ahead of time at most. The sooner you serve it, the better it will taste!
The spiral vegetable tart can also be enjoyed at room temperature – just bring it out of the refrigerator an hour before serving.
Tips and Tricks for the Best Spiral Vegetable Tart
- Blind bake the crust using dried beans or a pie weight to help ensure a crispy, not soggy, crust.
- Cut the vegetables to a similar thickness using a mandoline or Y-peeler so the vegetables cook through at a similar time.
- To make the day-of work easier individual components can be done ahead of time: the pie crust can be made and refrigerated or frozen ahead of time, the pesto can be made and refrigerated or frozen ahead of time, and the vegetables can be sliced the night before.
- The spiral vegetable tart can be refrigerated for up to 5 days and reheated in the oven or enjoyed at room temperature.
Love sweet potatoes? Try this Spiral Sweet Potato Tart!
More Vegetable Sides:
- Fall Broccoli Salad with Pecans, Apples, and Craisins
- Spicy Butternut Squash Salad
- Honey Glazed Moroccan Eggplant
- Tomato and Zucchini Galette
- Healthier Tomato Pie
- 1 no-fail pie crust
- 1 cup sundried tomatoes, packed in oil and drained
- 1/4 cup basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan (optional)
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 large yellow squash
- 2-3 medium carrots
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (suggested: rosemary, thyme, oregano)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Prepare a batch of No-Fail Pie Crust (or gluten free or vegan alternatives, depending on dietary preferences). Chill dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is chilling, trim the edges of the zucchini, squash, and carrots. Slice the vegetables into long, thin slices, using a mandolin, vegetable peeler, or a sharp knife.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Grease a 9″ tart pan. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until just a bit bigger than the tart tin. Place the dough into the tin and press into the bottom and sides. Trim any excess overhang. Refrigerate the dough in the tart pan for 15 minutes.
- Line the dough with parchment paper and fill with dry beans or a pie weight. Bake for 15 minutes, until edges are slightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- While the crust cools, make the pesto. Combine the sundried tomatoes, basil, and garlic in a food processor or blender. Pulse several times, then slowly add in 1/4 cup of olive oil and continue to pulse until the pesto reaches the consistency of spreadable paste. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread the pesto along the bottom of the tart. Sprinkle with the cheese (if using).
- Quickly dip one piece of sliced vegetable in the remaining olive oil, or bush with oil using a pastry brush. Roll the strip into a tight circle and place in the center of the tart. Dip the next vegetable slice in olive oil and roll around the first slice. Continue wrapping the vegetable slices in concentric circles until the tart is full.
- Brush the top of the vegetable tart with any remaining olive oil, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chopped fresh herbs.
- Bake at 350 °F for 45 to 50 minutes, until vegetables are crisp-tender and cooked through. Cool in tart pan for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.
- To make the day-of work easier, individual components can be done ahead of time. The pie crust can be made and refrigerated or frozen ahead of time. The pesto can be made and refrigerated or frozen ahead of time. The vegetables can be sliced the day before.
- The finished tart can be refrigerated for up to 5 days and reheated in a 350 °F oven until warm (20-25 minutes) or enjoyed at room temperature.
A Bunsen Burner Bakery Original Protocol
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222Total Fat: 17.9gCarbohydrates: 14.0gProtein: 3.1g