Upside down tarts are my new favorite thing. All you need are three elements, all of which you can make ahead of time, and you’ve got a sophisticated main course in practically no time: roasted vegetables + sautéed greens + pie crust. For this version, I coated the eggplant and tomatoes in a blend of Moroccan inspired spices, and made the whole thing completely vegan and gluten free. Beware of the cashew harissa sauce, you’ll want to put this creamy, spicy, smokey goodness on everything.
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 small eggplant (the skinnier the better), sliced into 1 inch thick rounds
kosher salt and pepper
1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces kale, roughly chopped (10 cups, lightly packed)
2 garlic cloves, minced
INGREDIENTS (SPICE BLEND)
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon sumac
if you can’t find, use lemon zest instead
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes and eggplant rounds. Sprinkle with the spice blend, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place the cherry tomatoes and eggplant on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat and sprinkle with Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are wrinkled with their bottoms are caramelized, and the eggplant is browned. Set aside to cool. Turn down the oven temperature to 400°F.
Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, add a tablespoon of the olive oil, then the kale. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, or until slightly wilted. Add the garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, or until the kale is fully wilted. Set aside.
Arrange the roasted cherry tomatoes and eggplant in one layer in a 9-inch pan lightly coated with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. (The pan should be about 2 inches deep.) Do not overlap the tomatoes. Sprinkle the kale mixture evenly over the tomatoes.
On a well-floured surface, roll out your dough about 1/8 inch thick. Place the rolling pin on top of the top edge of the dough, and pull the dough onto the pin. Roll the pin slowly back towards you, gathering dough as you go. Lift the dough coated rolling pin and roll the dough over the pan. Trim the dough around to have a 1 inch border around the pan. Gently tuck the edges around the side of the pan.
Turn oven down to 400F and bake for about 20-30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool until room temp. Run a knife around the edge, and then flip. Garnish with thyme.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Run a knife around the edge, then flip onto a serving plate. Garnish with cashew harissa cream.
INGREDIENTS (CASHEW HARISSA CREAM)
1 cup whole raw cashews
1 tablespoon harissa
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Put the cashews in a bowl and add cold water to cover them. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight. If you don’t have time, cover the cashews with boiling water and steep for 2 hours.
Drain the cashews and rinse under cold water. Place them in a blender with a 1/2 cup water, along with the harissa, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend on high for a minute until very smooth. Add water for a looser texture if needed, and keep blending. It should have the texture of a creamy dressing, easy to drizzle.
INGREDIENTS (GLUTEN FREE VEGAN PIE CRUST)
1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose baking flour
Cup for Cup is best, but any GF flour with xantham gum mixed in will work
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces margarine or shortening (one stick), cubed and very cold
2 to 4 ounces cold almond milk
1 tablespoon white sugar
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt, then combine in margarine gently using your finger tips (or pulsing in a food processor) until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle in the almond milk, one tablespoon at a time, while blending, until all ingredients are moist and a dough is forming. The dough should be dry to the touch, not tacky, so be careful not to add too much liquid. Form the dough into a ball and wrap loosely in plastic wrap. Press down on the dough until a 1 inch thick disk forms. Pop it in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes (up to three days in the fridge).
When you’re ready to roll out the dough, take it out of the plastic wrap and place it on a floured countertop. If the dough is crumbly, knead the dough once or twice to bring everything together and press it back down into a disc. Sprinkle it with flour and roll out to a 1/8 inch thick, 11 inch circle. The dough will want to stick to the counter, so make sure to really flour it, and to turn the dough after each pass with the rolling pin.