Friday, September 09, 2011

September 4, 2011: Cauliflower & caramelised onion tart

More VegMel-sourced goodness in the lead-up to its anniversary! This one, from easy as vegan pie, is...well, vegan pie. Somehow it sneaked past me when Carla first posted it but when Lisa made it for her Christmas potluck last year I sat up and took notice - it was fantastic.

We made it pretty much as instructed, skipping the optional Cheezly and giving the pastry a little pre-bake before adding the filling. I overcooked it a little and it puffed up a lot - for some weird reason I completely forgot to weigh down that pastry. The tofu didn't make its way through the entire filling as a binder so I had to be extra careful when cutting pieces. (I might layer the fillings in smaller batches in future.)

I had this whole plan of drizzling over some white truffle oil, to add a bit of extra interest in the absence of the Cheezly, but it was probably better that I forgot that too! This pie has a really impressive savouriness of its own - it's hard to believe that there's no garlic involved.

Cauliflower & caramelised onion tart
(a recipe from easy as vegan pie via Lisa Dempster)

1 medium head of cauliflower
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
2 large brown onions
1 tablespoon sugar
300g silken tofu
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 sheet puff pastry

Preheat an oven to 200°C. Chop the cauliflower down into florets and place them in a walled baking tray. Drizzle over 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast the caulifower until tender and a little golden, about 20 minutes.

While the cauliflower is roasting, slice the onions into rings. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a frypan and add the onions. As they first start to soften, turn the heat way down to low, sprinkle over the sugar and cover the pan with a lid. Stir the onions every 10 minutes, continuing to cook them until completely collapsed and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Make sure your puff pastry is thawed and use it to line a pie dish, trimming and patching as needed. Blind bake the pastry for 10-15 minutes, until it's starting to dry out but hasn't gone golden yet. Spread the mustard over the base of the pastry crust.

In a food processor, blend together the tofu, nutritional yeast and half of the caramelised onions. Go for whatever texture you like, it doesn't have to be completely smooth.

Arrange the remaining onions over the mustardy base. Roughly chop the cauliflower florets and spread them across the pie. Spoon the tofu mixture evenly over the top, mushing it in to sink through the pie. Bake the pie for about 30 minutes, until firm and golden on top. Allow the pie to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.


  1. I can vouch for this tart too! I took it along to one of our family Christmas lunches last year and it was a hit with everyone that tried it.

  2. Oh my goodness! This sounds delicious!!

  3. Yum, incredibly delicious! I used some truffle salt I've been hoarding and put some steamed kale through as well. So good - thank you! :)