Vegan Savoury Tartlets w/ Caramelised Fennel & Shaved Apple

It’s autumn here in Australia yet, up until these past few days, anyone would have thought it was still summer. Thankfully that’s changed this week. Finally it’s time to pull the woolies out of the cupboard, enjoy those clear blue as blue wintery skies and start feasting on all the warming winter foods I love.

The arrival of autumn also means the arrival of delicious new season apples, with their soft pinks, blushed reds and green tinted yellows. Lately they ‘ve been finding their way into nearly every meal around here and I love how their tart or sweet flavour can lend a subtle something to both desserts and savoury dishes.

This vegan savoury tartlet recipe is both egg and dairy free and a combination of some of my favourite produce in season at the moment – sweet parsnips, fragrant fennel and, of course, apples. They make a lovely little appetizer to serve to guests or use large rounds of pastry and make individual meal sized tarts instead.

Great for entertaining – both the parsnip & cannellini bean puree and caramelized fennel can be made in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Simply reheat the caramelized fennel before serving. Look for vegan puff pastry in your supermarket – there are a few good brands readily available and often are clearly identified on the front as being either vegetarian, vegan or suitable for vegetarians/vegans.

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Roasted Parsnip, Cannellini Bean Vegan Savoury Tartlets w/ Caramelised Fennel & Shaved Apple
Preparation time: 70 minutes // Makes approx. 20 tartlets

Roasted Parsnip & Cannellini Bean Puree

  • 225g (8oz) parsnip
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 400g (14oz) tin cannellini beans, drained and well rinsed
  • 5 tbs olive oil
  • ½ lemon, juice
  • good pinch of paprika
  • tiny drizzle of honey (or agave nectar)

Caramelised Fennel

  • 2 bulbs of fennel (approx. 380g/13oz)
  • 1 tbs sunflower oil
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 4 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ tbs brown sugar
  • 5 sheets of vegan puff pastry (24cm x 24cm/9inch x 9inch)
  • ½ cup flaked almonds
  • 2 apples (I used royal gala), shaved with a mandolin or vegetable peeler just before serving
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk (I used soy)
  • few sprigs of fennel tops
  • cracked pepper, paprika and salt flakes to serve

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/356°F and remove the sheets of puff pastry from the freezer if need be.

Roughly chop the parsnip and place in a baking tray with the whole, unpeeled garlic cloves and bay leaves. Drizzle over 1-2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt flakes and cracked pepper.

Toss to combine and place in the moderate oven for 30 minutes until the parsnips are golden and tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile start on the caramelized fennel. Slice the fennel bulbs thinly omitting the leafy tops. Heat the sunflower oil and olive oil in a large heavy-based frying pan. Add the sliced fennel along with a good pinch of salt flakes and cook over a medium heat for around 10 minutes, stirring often, until soft.

Turn the heat down to low and cook for a further five minutes, stirring, until the fennel just starts to golden lightly.

Increase the heat to medium/high. Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to low once more and then simmer very gently for around 15 minutes until reduced and the caramelized fennel is dark and syrupy. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

Once the roasted parsnip is cool, add this to a food processor along with the peeled garlic and cannellini beans. Add about half the lemon juice and olive oil, the paprika, honey (or agave nectar) and cracked pepper to taste. Blend on high until smooth adding more olive oil if needed to blend completely.

Taste test and add lemon juice, salt flakes, cracked pepper and honey/agave nectar to taste. Blend again and set aside.

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/392°F

Using a scone cutter or glass cup, cut 4-5 rounds from each sheet of puff pastry and arrange them on baking trays lined with baking paper.

Using a smaller cup as a guide, carefully score a 1.5cm (½inch) boarder around the edge of each round of pastry. Being very careful not to cut all the way through. Prick the inside of the pastry rounds with a fork and carefully brush the boarder with a little non-dairy milk.

Spoon 1 teaspoon of the parsnip and cannellini bean puree into the middle of each tartlet. Top with a sprinkle of flaked almonds and pop into the oven for 15 minutes, until the pastry if puffed and golden.

Remove from the oven and immediately top each tartlet with a teaspoon of caramelized fennel, a few fresh shaves of apple and a small sprig of fennel tops.

Sprinkle over extra paprika, cracked pepper and salt flakes and serve while warm and crispy.

{ These vegan savoury tartlets were inspired by the Caramelised Onion and Goats Cheese Tartlets w/ Balsamic Syrup found in What Katie Ate by Katie Quinn Davies }


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