amy chaplin

celebrating the art of eating well

Roasted root vegetable tarts with spiced sesame crust

POSTED ON May 19, 2016

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It took me awhile to finally decide on a recipe to make from Henrietta Inman’s gorgeous book Clean Cakes: Delicious patisserie made with whole, natural and nourishing ingredients and free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar. It is brimming with things I want to eat and all the recipes are full of ingredients I like using in my own desserts. Most of the book contains recipes for delicious sweet cakes, tarts, cookies, chocolate, etc.; however, there are several savory options as well. These tarts caught my eye and if you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you’ll know I love making savory tarts just as much as I do sweet ones.  Don’t be fooled into thinking that these are less decadent than a sweet tart, they’re not. What they are is incredibly rich and utterly delicious! The combination of spices in the crust is really tasty, as is the cashew béchamel; in fact I’m sure you’ll be planning all sorts of other ways to use it as soon as you realize how quick and easy it is to make. Once the growing season gets underway I think these tartlets could be topped with your favorite combination of roasted spring or summer vegetables too.


Amy x


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I have left the recipe below as it appears in Clean Cakes. Here are a few changes/notes I made:

I replaced the pecans with a combination of raw walnuts and almonds.

Used extra virgin olive oil in place of rapeseed oil

After I made these tarts, I realized that they also happen to be grain free (obviously didn’t read the head notes!), which will be great for those of you who can’t normally eat a tart. Next time I would probably add some oat or buckwheat flour to help the crust press more easily. It’s a little crumbly and delicate once it’s baked, but surprisingly light and crisp.

I found that the béchamel became very thick rather quickly so I whisked in about half a cup of water. It didn’t affect the flavor and the texture was silky and scrumptious.

I ended up with 9 4-inch tartlets, if you want to bake a larger one see Henrietta’s notes below.


Roasted root vegetable tarts with spiced sesame crust

Recipe from Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman 2016. Published with permission from Quarto Publishing Group USA.

These sublime savoury tarts pack a super flavour punch. A spicy base made with

sesame seeds and toasted pecans is covered in a light and creamy cashew béchamel,

all topped off with an abundant mix of sweet and earthy carrots and beetroot. They

are grain-free, vegan and perfect for a comforting but light lunch or supper.

Makes 6 tarts

Roasted root vegetables

4 large carrots, about 600 g (1 lb 5 oz)

4 beetroot, about 550 g (1 lb 3 oz)

2 onions

2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped or


3 tbsp EVCP rapeseed oil or coconut oil,

melted, plus extra for greasing

Coarse sea salt

Black pepper, optional

Generous bunch of fresh herbs such as

coriander (cilantro) and parsley, finely



Spiced sesame and pecan crust

170 g (6 oz/1½ cups) ground pecan nuts

105 g (3¾ oz/scant 1 cup) ground

almonds (almond meal)

½ tsp each ground coriander, cumin,

turmeric, ginger and cardamom

1½ tsp coarse sea salt

65 ml (2¼ fl oz/¼ cup) EVCP rapeseed oil

2 tbsp filtered water

85 g (3 oz/⅔ cup) black and white

sesame seeds


Cashew béchamel

25 g (¾ oz/2 tbsp) coconut oil

40 g (1½ oz/generous ⅓ cup) chickpea (gram) flour

1 tsp Dijon mustard

450 ml (15 fl oz/scant 2 cups) cashew milk, see below

3 tsp nutritional yeast flakes

Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 175°C/345°F/Gas Mark 3½. Grease six round 10 x 2 cm deep

(4 x ¾ inch) tartlet tins.


Peel and cut the tops off the carrots. Cut them lengthways into about 3 cm

(1¼ inch) long pieces, then quarter into small crudité-sized strips. Scrub the

beetroot, quarter them and slice the same thickness as the carrots. Peel, quarter

and slice the onions. On a large baking tray, mix up the vegetables with the garlic,

oil and a generous amount of salt and black pepper, if using. Roast for about 1

hour, checking halfway through. They are ready when a skewer inserts easily into

the centre of the vegetables. Remove from the oven, adjust the seasoning while

still warm, and set aside.


Meanwhile, to make the base, combine the ground pecans, almonds, spices, salt,

oil and water in a food processor. Add the sesame seeds and blitz until the mix

looks like breadcrumbs and sticks together when you pick up a piece of it in your

hand. Divide the pastry mix between the greased tins, you will get about 70 g

(2½ oz) per tart, and press it down with your fingertips and a step palette knife

(frosting spatula) to make the crust, pressing it into the edges and making sure it

is even. Put the tins on a baking tray and bake in the same oven as the vegetables

for about 15–20 minutes or until dark golden brown. Leave to cool.


To make the béchamel, melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan. Add the gram

flour and whisk in vigorously. Add the mustard and then gradually start to add

the cashew milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. The sauce should start to

thicken and look smooth. Add the yeast flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Stir

again and taste and season more if necessary. You can make this in advance for

use later, but note that when it cools it will thicken slightly, so before filling your

tarts with it, return to the heat and add some extra milk to loosen.


Finish off the vegetables by adding the freshly chopped herbs and a drizzle of

extra virgin olive oil, if necessary. Mix the béchamel with a whisk until really

smooth, use it to fill the tarts and then top with all of the vegetables, pushing

them into the béchamel slightly. Serve with salad or steamed green vegetables.


These tarts are great served warm or cold and keep well for three days in the




To make one large tart, line a 27–28 cm (10½–11 inch) tart tin with the above quantity of

pastry and increase the baking time to 15–20 minutes or until dark golden brown, then

fill as above.


Cashew milk

Makes 900ml (31 fl oz /scant 4 cups) nut milk

200g (7oz/about 1 1/2 cups) cashews

600ml (21 fl oz/ 2 1/2 cups) filtered water

Pinch pink Himalayan salt or sea salt


Soak cashews for 3 to 4 hours. Drain and rinse thoroughly.

Place in blender with water and salt and blend until smooth.

Strain through a nut milk bag or several layers of cheese cloth. Store milk in the fridge for upto 5 days.

POSTED IN cookbook, Gluten free, Mains

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  • That crust sounds really tasty! Do you think it would work also in wider (about 20 cm) tart pan?

  • Natalia says:

    Such a lovely recipe!

  • OMG – this looks and sounds so good! Would love to have one (or more!) for lunch right now. And will take a closer look at that book too… Thanks for sharing Amy!

  • Ashley says:

    Amy, these are seriously gorgeous. I’m going to give this whirl, think I can pull it off oil free?

    Love all your stuff, you kitchinspire me:)

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Ashley,

      Thank you! I think you could use some kind of plant milk to bind them…they are full of nuts so there is plenty of oil.
      Let me know if you give it a go.

      Amy x

  • Emma says:

    Just made this, can’t wait to eat it! It looks delicious, and the pastry smelt so good whilst it was baking. One thing though, if anyone is planning on making the larger variety of this tart, factor in some extra time at the end for the bechamel to set – I’m hoping 20 mins in the fridge should help it along. Sunday evening hunger pangs may get the better of me though!
    Thanks Amy! Your book has revolutionised my way of cooking, it all makes so much sense now.

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Emma,

      I’m so happy you made this…I have never made the larger tart but wrote what the recipe said in The Clean Cakes book so thanks for noting that!
      I’m curious if it sets enough to slice neatly.

      Thank you for your kind words about my book. I really couldn’t ask for a nicer thing to say!!

      Xo amy

  • Carolyn R. says:

    This looks like something I want for a side dish for the Holidays. SO pretty and festive for Thanksgiving or even New Year’s.

    Thanks Amy, you are great!

  • Anna says:

    Is it possible to substitute nutritional yeast flakes with anything else? I don’t think I can find it in Russia. Do you think I can just omit it?
    Thanks in advance!

  • Susan says:

    Can you use almond milk instead of cashew milk? Thanks.

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