Jan 9, 2012

Onion tart with greens and cashew cream

Two things set this vegan and gluten-free tart apart from your run-of-the-mill vegetable tart: a chickpea flour crust and a layer of lemon cashew cream.

I hadn’t used chickpea flour much, but I think I found my new obsession. The crust is wonderfully flavorful and has a nice bite. Thanks to Kitchen Operas for the idea.

My twin obsession, cashew cream, provides a delicious underpinning for the vegetable topping. The creamy layer makes this tart rich-tasting, even without cheese.

The crust and cashew cream are essential, but beyond that this recipe is hugely versatile:

– The first time I made it I used Swiss chard and caramelized onions.

– The next time I switched out the chard with leftover cooked kale (pictured above.)

– Another time I added a layer of sautéed shiitake mushrooms. Yum.

– Next time I’m going to use leeks and zucchini. Or maybe cabbage with dill.

The tart is great warm or at room temperature, so you can make it ahead for a brunch or casual supper.

By the way, this is the first iPhone photo I’ve used on the blog. What do you think?

Caramelized Onion Tart with Greens and Cashew Cream

For the cashew cream:

3/4 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked in water for 6-8 hrs, drained and rinsed
1-2 cloves garlic
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup water

For the onion and chard topping:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 large yellow onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 large or 2 small bunches Swiss chard or lacinato (a.k.a. dinosaur) kale, center stems removed, leaves chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

For the crust:

1 3/4 c. chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. cold water

Puree all of the cashew cream ingredients in a food processor until very smooth and thick. This will take several minutes, and may require scraping down the sides of the processor. If the mixture seems to dry to become creamy, add one or two teaspoons of water as needed.

For the vegetables, heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven. Cook the onions and salt over low heat for 45 minutes to one hour, until golden and soft. Add the greens and cook until tender, about 4-8 minutes (kale will take longer than chard). Drain off any excess liquid. (Alternatively, just mix in a cup or so of previously-cooked greens.) Stir in the balsamic vinegar.

To make the dough, mix the chickpea flour, salt and thyme. Drizzle the olive oil over the flour mixture and work together with your hands until crumbly. Add the water and mix very briefly, just until dough comes together (add an additional teaspoon of water if the dough seems too dry.)

Flatten the dough into a disk on a floured work surface (I used all purpose flour for the work surface, but you can use a gluten-free flour.)  Roll it out with a rolling pin to about 1 inch larger than the diameter of your tart pan.

Loosen the pastry by slipping a pastry lifter or metal spatula underneath. Fold in half and carefully transfer to the tart pan, pressing it into the bottom and sides.  Trim off any excess.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover the crust lightly with foil (don’t press), add some dried beans or pie weights and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Top the partially-baked crust with the cashew cream, then the onion and greens mixture.  Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes longer. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6


See more recipes: Entrees, Gluten-free, Vegan


  • Janet

    This looks fantastic! And, a good way to sneak some protein into my bean-adverse partner without her knowing.
    I’m a fairly new follower of your blog, but this iphone photo doesn’t seem to have the same great color as some of your other photos. Still looks delicious and I can’t wait to make it.

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    Thanks, Janet. I was thinking the same thing about the color. I think it was too green – I adjusted it, hopefully it looks better now! Thanks for the comment.

  • What Janet said about the recipe! I’ve never tried chickpea flour before but this will inspire me to do so. Thank you for the variations and suggestions, btw – I am all about people taking off from a recipe and doing their own thing. (Perfect when you can’t find that “one thing” at your local co-op.)

    About the photo I also agree with Janet on the color. The brightness is an issue as well; I have a Mac with a large flat screen and can usually see colors much more vividly than on some PC’s (esp with the old-style monitor), and this seems dim and almost grey to me. Just adjusting the brightness might have taken care of the color issue. The other thing is the sharpness is a bit fuzzy – but maybe that’s intentional? Sometimes in my food photos I want a little bit of fuzziness or softness.

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    Thanks, Janice. You are right, it did need more brightness. The iphone photos are definitely more of a challenge! The fuzziness, we’ll that’s not intentional, it’s probably just the lower quality lens compared to my DSLR. Thanks for all the input.

  • This sounds delicious!! I love tarts, and I have been looking for a good, creamy (but healthy) onion tart recipe. Cannot wait to try this!

  • I agree, this tart looks great! I adore chickpea flour as well. :)

    I agree that the iPhone photo isn’t the best, but let’s let the recipe do the talking! :)

  • This looks great! I cook with all of these ingredients regularly but I never would have thought to put them together like this.

  • Cathy, this looks fantastic! I must try this crust ASAP! I’m always in search of new GF doughs, crusts, breads, etc. :-) And those onions have such a pretty caramelization!

  • This sounds absolutely delicious! And these photography skills are so amazing! ^^

  • We made this recipe for dinner tonight with onions, kale and some baby portobellos. It was fantastic!

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    Dani, so glad to hear you made it – you’re the first one that I know of!

  • Hi, I just ran into your blog looking for a nice recipe for dinner. I just found it :) Thank you !

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    Lysa, not very many people have made this one, so I’d love to hear how you like it if you do.

  • […] anything else outside, so this little project suited me just fine. The recipe was adapted from What Would Kathy Eat? I modified it to lighten up on the heavy calorie and fat content from all the cashews and olive oil […]

  • Ellen

    I made it for a dinner with friends and at the end of the meal, people were trying to lick the pan. :-) It was delicious!

  • Just made this for dinner and it’s delicious! After a few bites, my husband asked, “What cheese is in this again?” He totally forgot it was vegan.

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    Kristin and Ellen, thank you both. I am working on a new variation on this tart, so keep your eyes out for it!

  • […] anything else outside, so this little project suited me just fine. The recipe was adapted from What Would Kathy Eat? I modified it to lighten up on the heavy calorie and fat content from all the cashews and olive oil […]

  • YUM this looks soooo great — what a lovely adaptation — now I have to try your version!

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    Thanks for the inspiration, Lindsay! Let me know if you try this version.

  • winnie

    hi – this looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it. I am trying to find recipes for a surfeit of farmer’s market onions (and chard). I often make a tofu-based quiche but we’re getting just a littttle tired of it. I have caramelized onions before and just wanted to pass along the tip that you can do them totally oil-free … they cook down just the same. The trick is starting them in a hot pan (thank you, Sarno Brothers, for the tip). My man and I are watching our middle-aged figures and it seems that there’s enough healthy fat from the cashews in this recipe. Thanks for the creative recipe!

  • Jerilyn

    I tried another variation of this after inspiration from your white bean with vegetable version of this. I did a spicy refried bean layer on the garbonzo bean crust , and then topped with assorted veggies – roasted corn, tomatoes, mushrooms ,red pepper. swiss chard , and some mexican type spices. Very yummy!

  • Hi Cathy, me again! I’d like to post an adaptation of your recipe on my site, which I made tonight using leeks, chanterelles, lemon thyme and additional lemon in the cream. I was wondering what the etiquette is when adapting recipes: do I write out my own text, or can I use yours but with my changes? I have my own images, of course. :)

    Let me know, I’ve made variations on this several times now and I love it. I’ve shared it with a gluten and dairy-free friend as well, and she’s in love with it too.

  • I’ve looked at the other adaptation and taken my cues from there, please let me know if it’s okay. :)

  • […] Onion Tart with Greens and Cashew Cream (I add 8 oz. of baby portobello mushrooms) […]

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