May 14, 2013

Vegetable tart with white beans and a chickpea crust

A quick post today to share with you a variation on my Caramelized Onion Tart with Greens and Cashew Cream. That tart was a game changer for me and has become a favorite among my friends. For this version I’ve cut down on the calories by using a layer of lemony pureed beans in place of the rich cashew cream. I also switched up the vegetables, and this combination of onions, red peppers, mushrooms and broccolini is another winner. Since it’s spring, maybe you’ll want to make a ramp and asparagus version – or use a fava bean puree as the base.

If you haven’t tried a tart like this before, I really urge you to, because the chickpea flour crust is incredibly flavorful, and the dish can be served warm or at room temperature. It’s perfect for your next luncheon (I always wanted to use the word “luncheon” – no one says that anymore!)

Vegetable Tart with White Beans and a Chickpea Crust

For the crust:

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

For the bean layer:

1 can cannellini beans (use a BPA-free brand), drained and rinsed
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the vegetable topping:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups chopped broccolini (also marketed as “baby broccoli”)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
5 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms (approximately 8 ounces before stemming and slicing)

To make the dough, mix the chickpea flour and salt. 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.  Roll it out with a rolling pin to about 10 inches. Loosen the pastry by slipping a pastry lifter or metal spatula underneath. Fold in half and carefully transfer to a 9-inch tart pan, pressing it into the bottom and all the way up the sides.  (If the dough breaks, don’t worry – you can just piece it together in the tart pan and press to shape.)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Prick the crust lightly with a fork and pre-bake for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.

To make the bean layer, thoroughly puree the beans, lemon juice and salt in a food processor. If you have trouble making a smooth puree, add a teaspoon or two of water (I didn’t find this necessary but it depends on the type of beans.)

For the vegetable mixture, heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven. Cook the onions and salt over medium-low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, until soft and starting to brown. Add the broccolini and red bell pepper, raise the heat and cook for about 5 minutes, until the broccolini is just starting to get tender. Add the mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes or until mushrooms are soft. Stir in black pepper.

To assemble, top the partially-baked crust with the bean puree, then the vegetable mixture.  Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6

See more recipes: Entrees, Gluten-free, Vegan


  • This looks great and not at all like anything I’ve seen before!

  • susan

    have no experience with chickpea flour… is it easy to find? easy to use? any good substitutions for it? thanks so much.

  • Ti Wohlt

    Cathy, this looks absolutely amazing. I adore fruit tarts with interesting herbs thrown on top (basil, thyme, lavender, and/or rosemary). A veggie tart would be so refreshing on a summer day for dinner with a crisp salad, and some watermelon!!

    Susan, if you have a mill or vitamix, you can make your own with dried garbanzo beans. Or, you can find it in Indian grocers as chana flour. Bob’s Red Mill also has it in his line as garbanzo bean flour. I usually just make small bunches of flours (millet, chana, rice, oat) and store in the freezer.

  • Donna McFarland

    this does look GREAT. I wonder if the chickpea crust, could be used at all as a pizza crust, for we gluten free folks?

  • Traci

    This is a delicious recipe. I made it just as written, and we loved it! Will try it with asparagus in lieu of the broccoli rabe next time (as an alternative). Great job, Cathy!

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    Traci, you are the first person to make this. Yay! Susan, I think you will find chickpea flour (aka garbanzo bean flour). And Donna I don’t think this would be a very pizza-like crust as but give it a shot.

  • yum!! This is one pretty tart!!! I never tried a chickpea crust but I will definitely change this! Looks amazing!

  • Traci

    I hadn’t seen a post from you in quite a while. So, when I saw this new recipe from you, I was ON IT. Glad I did. Your recipes are always good!

  • Nuni

    I made this as part of my sister’s vegan birthday celebration over July 4th weekend. I was attracted to it because I’m such a fan of chickpea flour. It was a fantastic flavor, fun to make, and quite beautiful on the table. I plan to use the crust and bean paste base for a lot of different toppings from now on.

  • Nuni

    Just made this again. I used the chickpea crust (love it) and white bean paste (added garlic) and topped it with pinto bean/wheat gluten maple “sausage”, chopped apples, and lots of chopped kale. Zow!

  • Jerilyn

    I really like the idea of the bean paste instead of the cashew cream . Ranch Gordo has a great cannelini bean dip that has a few anchovy fillets for umami. which would also work well too – or I have made the bean dip with truffle oil for flavor. I loved the Carmalized onion tart with garbonzo bean crust – I have made it multiple times with multiple variations of veggies, but always seemed a little rich with the crust and the cashews. I plan on trying this new variation this weekend.

    PS – I have to say I would have put the caramelized onion tart in your top 5 recipes that I have tried. It is so tasty and unique. Thanks for all your recipes – I love the variety and have recommended your website to many people

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    Jerilyn, that’s so nice! I agree, this is one of my best recipes and I hope more people try it. I like the taste of the cashew cream a bit better, but I agree it’s quite rich.

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    Nuni, that is one of the most inventive variations I have seen on this recipe. You rock!

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