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Vegan Tartlets with Vegan Pesto, Roasted Courgette and Cherry Tomatoes

Around this time of year when the days are longer and wamer, the picnic basket usually makes an appearance after months at the back of the pantry. Instead of preparing the standard ham or egg sandwiches, why not attempt something a little different that can also be enjoyed by friends and family who are vegan? UnserHaus demonstrator and showroom consultant Brigitte shares her recipe for vegan tartlets, which make the perfect picnic hamper addition or a fantastic canapé if you’re entertaining. If you’re gluten free, Brigitte has also provided an alternative pastry recipe.

Makes 24

VEGAN OLIVE OIL PASTRY

  • 1 ½ cups plain flour 
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 7 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup cold water

METHOD

For the pastry, mix flour and salt together in a food processor.

Add olive oil and mix until it resembles breadcrumbs.

On pulse, mix in cold water (you may need a tiny bit more; if so, only add 1–2 tsp at a time) until the mixture forms a soft dough.

Bring dough together with your hands, wrap in plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough out between sheets of baking paper until it is circular and about 3–4mm thick. Prick in a few places with a fork. Use a round cutter and cut 24 small circles, and press these gently into tins. Bake at 190°C CircoTherm medium steam for 18–20 minutes.

Pastry cases can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

GLUTEN-FREE OLIVE OIL PASTRY

To make gluten-free olive-oil pastry, replace plain flour with gluten-free flour mixed with 1½ teaspoons of xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is a natural food thickener used to bind gluten-free ingredients, so they don’t crumble and fall apart. Please note that this pastry may not brown as much in the oven.

VEGAN PESTO

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups fresh basil (large stems removed)
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts or walnuts (if nut-free, try sunflower seeds)
  • 3 large cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 – 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 2 – 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 – 6 tbsp water (plus more as needed)         

METHOD

Place the basil, nuts, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and sea salt into a blended and mix on high until a loose paste forms.

Add the olive oil a little at a time (pour in while the machine is running) and scrape down the sides as needed. Add 1 tbsp (15 ml) of water at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

Taste and adjust flavour as needed, adding more garlic for zing, or lemon juice for acidity.

Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 1 week. After that, pour into ice cube molds, freeze, and store for up to 3 months.

ROAST COURGETTE AND CHERRY TOMATOES

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 courgette
  • 24 cherry tomatoes (use a variety) one per tartlet
  • Olive oil

METHOD

Cut the courgette into small pieces. Place in a bowl with the cherry tomatoes and coat with olive oil.

Line a roasting tray with baking paper and spread the vegetables out. CircoRoast for 18–20 minutes.

Place the courgette into a bowl with 2–3 tablespoons of pesto and mix to combine. Spoon into cases and top with the roasted tomatoes.

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