Friday, March 13, 2009

Chef Craig's Root Vegetable Tart

Chef Craig’s Root Vegetable Tart
From Fresh & Local

(Ruth's note: I must, must, must make this again - the aroma while baking was awesome, but I need to really slice the veggies as thin as possible. Mine were way to thick and didn't hold together once I unmolded. That said, it was a very tasty roasted vegetable toss that was perfect with simple roasted salmon and would be with any other lightly seasoned roasted meat or chicken.)

Hands on time: 20 minutes
Roasting time: 2 hours

Serves 6-8
Ruth’s notes: perfect dish for a pot luck or buffet spread – the wow factor is awesome and the taste…delicious. I used a large springform cake pan for even easier unmolding, but it did leak a bit....thank goodness for using foil to line the baking sheet it baked on)

1 small turnip (about 1¼ lb/675g)
2 sweet potatoes (I used one large one)
1 medium sized celery root (that’s that ugly looking knotted root that tastes a little like celery – no kidding, and quite peppery and so good, you won’t believe you’ve never used it before)
4 parsnips (I used 3)
4 carrots
½ lb/225g salted butter (several pats per layer - I used 1/3 lb)
2 cups cranberries (I used frozen)
1 cup onion, finely minced
¼ cup chicken or beef stock (I used chicken, and vegetarians…I’m sure vegetable broth would be fine)
Salt & freshly ground pepper (a little for each layer)
¼ cup fresh sage leaves, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

2. Peel all the vegetables and slice into large rounds or ovals about 1/8”/2mm thick (too bad I didn’t wear my glasses – I sliced them ¼- ½ “.) It would have been prettier if each slice were thinner and I think it would have held together better. No glasses plus my mandoline decided it was too old to slice through really tough root vegetables…oh still tasted wonderful and the aroma while it was baking...phenomenal!)

3. Line a large casserole dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit exactly. (I used a large spring form cake pan for easier unmolding). Rub paper liberally with butter.

4. Layer the vegetables starting with the largest slices of sweet potatoes. This will actually be the top when unmolded and the orange color will be spectacular. Try for a pretty overlapping pattern – would have been easy if I actually had sliced them thin enough. Alternate types of vegetables, but in two of the layers add cranberries and the minced onions along with a drizzle of stock. Season each layer with some salt & pepper, sprinkling of fresh sage and a few pats of butter. The last layer (which will be the bottom) should be turnip as the larger pieces will provide more stability when plated.

5. Set another piece of buttered parchment on top of the turnips. Using another casserole dish, slightly smaller than the first weight the tart. I placed all this on an aluminum foil lined rimmed baking sheet for easy clean up.

6. Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour. Remove the second casserole dish and parchment paper and bake for another hour. The tart is ready when a knife goes through the center with ease. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before unmolding.

7. Unmold the tart carefully onto a cutting board. Chef Craig suggests slicing into pieces 3”/7.5cm square. They can be reheated before serving.

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