I love roasting vegetables, particularly in the fall and winter months. Carrots, like many cool season crops, actually get sweeter in the winter months when their starch stores are converted to sugars. This conversion protects the vegetables from freezing and makes them soooo much sweeter. Hence the term “candy carrots” for those carrots harvested after the first frost. I tested this carrot tart recipe before our first frost, so I can only imagine how good this will be when we get further into October and November. It will make a fabulous “show stopper” center-of-the-table-platter at our Thanksgiving feast this year. I am sharing this now, so you can consider this recipe for one of those evenings when you’ve just dug up your root vegetables. It’s delicious, easy and totally gorgeous.
- 10-12 multicolored medium carrots (with carrot greens), reserve the greens and cut carrots in half lengthwise (if your carrots have more girth, you can quarter them lengthwise)
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil, plus 4 more tablespoons for pesto
- 1/2 T Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/3 C fresh organic dill, chopped (plus more for garnish)
- 1/3 C freshly grated romano or parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for ricotta
- 1/4 C toasted slivered almonds
- 1/3 C organic Italian parsley, rough chopped
- 2 T fresh garlic, minced (approx 3 large cloves)
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- 1-1/2 C whole fat ricotta cheese
- 1/3 C fresh organic tarragon, rough chopped
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 tsp chili flakes (optional)
- 1 tsp lemon zest
Preheat oven to 425. On a parchment lined sheet pan, spread out the trimmed, cut carrots. Toss in 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt. Roast in oven for approximately 18 minutes. Should be slightly tender when done. Set aside until ready to assemble pastry.
While carrots are roasting you can make the carrot top pesto. In food processor, add dill, romano, almonds, parsley and garlic. Pulse a few times, scraping down sides of bowl. With the blade running, add the remaining olive oil and pulse until ingredients are well incorporated and smooth. Set aside until ready to assemble pastry. On a lightly floured cutting board, roll out pastry dough into a 14 X 12 inch rectangle. Transfer to another parchment lined sheet pan. Lightly score a 1/4 inch border around all edges, without cutting all the way through dough. Prick all other surfaces (not the border) with a fork. Bake for 12 minutes, until lightly browned. In a medium size mixing bowl, add ricotta, tarragon, shallot, chili flakes, lemon zest and remaining 1/4 cup grated romano. Mix well. When pastry dough is done, evenly spread the ricotta over the bottom of the baked pastry dough. Arrange roasted carrots in a semi-decorative one layer pattern. Drizzle pesto over the top of carrots. Bake for approximately 15 more minutes until dough is a golden brown. When done, garnish with dill and more pesto. Cut into large squares.
- If you do not find carrots with greens, you can make a simple basil pesto or other herb pesto ~ just about any pesto will work with this recipe.
- If you do not want any heat with this dish, you can omit the chili flakes
- The dish is even better the next day and actually really good when served cold.