This chestnut tart is one I made last Christmas with friends and it went down a treat. It’s a recipe by Anna Jones that I’ve slightly adapted by adding fresh chilli and I’ve given couple of accompaniment ideas. The tart can be served cold or hot, it works both ways, so a good easy meal the next day with any leftovers. If you choose to bake it for a further 20 minutes after adding the topping, the consistency turns into an almost quiche- like tart that goes golden brown on top. The Sprout Slaw is a fresh alternative way to use Brussels sprouts and will convert any sprout avoiders! It’s served with a sweet mustard vinaigrette and toasted desiccated coconut. The warm caramelised chantenay carrots with a zesty twist will round off the dish with a warm and earthy element. I would recommend this menu for a dinner party with friends during the festive period.
For the chestnust tart base
600g butternut squash, peeled and cut into small chunks, 100g shelled pistachio nuts, 100g pumpkin seeds, 100g pre-cooked whole chestnuts (I used Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts), 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp maple syrup, the zest of 1 lemon, A small bunch of thyme, remove the leaves
For the topping
1 large shallot, finely sliced, 100g shredded cavolo nero leaves, a few sprigs of thyme, remove the leaves, 1 large green chilli, sliced with the seeds left in, 500g silken tofu, 1 lemon
1. Preheat the oven to 200C, place the squash onto a baking tray with some salt, a good grind of fresh black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, then roast for 30 minutes, or until golden and soft.
2. Around 5-10 minutes before the squash is ready, place the pistachios and pumpkin seeds onto a small baking tray in the oven for them to toast until crispy or just starting to pop.
3. Take everything out of the oven and place all of the ingredients (except the topping ingredients) into a food processor and blend until a pasty mixture is formed. It’s fine to have a few lumps though!
4. Tip the chestnut base mixture into an oiled 24cm loose-bottomed tart tin. I also use tinfoil to loosely wrap around the outside of the tin for any excess oil to be caught on. Using the back of a spoon to press the mixture into the tin taking care to ensure the edges are neatly filled, then make a slight dip in the middle for the filling to sit in. Roast for 40 minutes, or until crisp at the edges.
5. Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan then fry the sliced shallot for a few minutes before adding the cavolo nero, thyme and sliced chilli. Cook for a few more minutes until the cavolo nero starts to crispen.
6. In a bowl, whip the silken tofu with the juice of a lemon and half its zest, plus a good pinch of salt and pepper.
7. Spoon the silken tofu evenly over the top of the chestnut tart base, then top with the chilli & greens, you can heat this further so the silken tofu is warm and quiche like for a another 20 minutes in the oven or serve as it is.
500g Brussels sprouts, 50 g almonds, toasted and rougly chopped, 50 g dried cranberries, 5 tablespoons desiccated coconut, toasted
Maple mustard dressing
5 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 garlic clove minced, ¼ teaspoon sea salt
1. Cut off the tough ends of the sprouts and any browning outer leaves. Then finely slice them as thinly as possible.
2. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, syrup, mustard and garlic then in a serving bowl, add the shredded sprouts with the almonds and dried cranberries and combine well so the sprouts are coated in the dressing . Sprinkle the toasted coconut over the top and serve.
500g chantenay carrots, juice from 2 oranges, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1 large knob of butter – I used Naturli’ Vegan Block, ½ a bunch of fresh thyme
1. Place the carrots in a large, wide pan and just cover with water. Add a good pinch of salt and grind of black pepper along with the orange juice, vinegar and butter.
2. Bring to the boil and cook with the lid on for 20 minutes, or until the carrots are tender and starting to caramelise.
3. Stir through the fresh thyme and serve.