Carrot and Parsnip Vegetable Spiral Tart

Those colours! How could you not adore seasonal vegetables when they look and taste this good together in this veggie spiral tart? We’re always encouraging people to eat seasonally and we picked up both parsnips and carrots from local growers here in Co. Louth – with the leafy tops still in tact, and fresh out of the ground! – which inspired us to come up with this recipe.

There’s a bit of a method to making this ‘spiral’ tart, but it’s such a showstopper it’s so worthy doing! It’s also totally vegetarian, too. For the vegans, there is some cream in the purée and butter in the pastry, but if you can find suitable alternatives you’re happy with you can adapt this into a 100% vegan vegetable spiral tart, too!

Whether you make this for dinner as a bit of a dining table centrepiece or make it at the weekend for a day or two of lunch for the coming week, this is the kind of tart that we’d totally invest our time in. You can mix and match this as you see fit, so swap out some of the vegetables for others, play around with the purée underneath or even add a bit of extra crunch/nuttiness to the pastry case by changing up your flours. Make it your own –– we’d love to see it on Instagram if you make this!

Carrot and Parsnip Vegetable Spiral Tart

Serves 4-6

Shortcrust Pastry

  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 125g butter (cold, cubed)
  • 1 egg yolk (free-range or organic, if possible)
  • 1-3 tbsp ice water

Parsnip Purée

  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and cubed
  • 100ml cream
  • Salt and pepper

Filling

  • 2-3 carrots, washed and peeled
  • 3-4 parsnips, washed and peeled
  • 1-2 courgettes, washed 
  • 1 leek, washed and halved
  • Oil, for coating
  • A couple of tbsp of maple syrup or runny honey

1. First, make the pastry. In a food processor add the flour, salt and butter and pulse to combine, before adding the egg yolk and continue pulsing. Add the ice water tablespoon by tablespoon until the dough just about comes together. Then, tip onto a work surface and work it briefly into a pliable dough that holds itself together smoothly. Cover in clingfilm and allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.

2. Remove the pastry from the oven and roll out to fit a fluted 25cm tart tin. Trim the excess, line with baking paper and weight down with baking beans or dried grains –– whatever you usually use.

Blind bake for 20 minutes, then remove the paper and beans, brush with a little egg white to form a glaze and return to the oven for 10 minutes. The glaze will harden slightly and the pastry will colour a little further on the sides. Remove from the oven and cool completely. 

3. Meanwhile, make your purée by boiling the parsnips – in just enough water to cover them completely – until soft, and a knife can pierce through the flesh easily. Drain the water and add the cream to the pan, allowing to warm through with the parsnips until hot but not yet boiling. Season the mixture. Take off the heat and blitz with a hand blender to a smooth consistency. Check for seasoning. Pass through a sieve if you can’t get it smooth enough (though this isn’t absolutely essential as it will be hidden under the vegetable spiral). Cover and allow to cool completely.

4. For the carrots, parsnips and courgettes you can use either a thick vegetable peeler, mandolin (take extra caution) or free-hand slice them in thin lengths. Keep each of the lengths as long and in-tact as possible, uniform in thickness so they are as flexible as one another and they cook at similar times. Toss them all very lightly in a little oil as they sit in preparation for assembly.

5. Wrap one length of all four vegetables together (or four lengths of any one of them) tightly into a roll to sit at the middle of the tart. Then, working around this central point outwards to the crust, add length after length to wrap around, as tightly and compact as possible and alternating the colours and vegetables. You can freestyle this if you want, there’s no real rules. 

6. Mix the maple or honey with some oil into a loose glaze and using half glaze the top of the vegetable spiral all over before going into the oven at 170ºC for 60 minutes, first, covered in tinfoil for 30 minutes and then uncovered for the final 30 minutes… or ultimately until the vegetables are soft, slightly coloured and the pastry is golden.

7. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes in the tin before attempting to remove, and then glaze with the rest of the glaze mixture from before it went in the oven just before serving.

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