No-bake vegan pesto tart

Áine Carlin’s The New Vegan aims to take the stress out of going vegan by offering tips on a range of topics – including dining out, dealing with cravings and even vegan-friendly fashion. According to PETA UK, her book is a host of tasty recipes, such as marinated cauliflower steaks and blueberry cream pie.

This recipe for a raw vegan tart is a delicious dish for new and long-time vegans alike.

no-bake-vegan-pesto-tart
No-bake Vegan Pesto Tart, Photo: Nassima Rothacker

I’m not going to lie. When I first came across ‘raw food’ it kinda freaked me out. Even though I’d happily chow down on crudités and loved eating fruit, the thought of an entirely raw meal really did not appeal. Little did I know the immense cuisine that embodies this often much-maligned movement is vast and delicious, and after trying out a few dishes in raw food restaurants, such as Saf, I was officially hooked. Almost six years down the line and I’m forever experimenting with raw food in my own kitchen. This carrot, cashew and pesto combo makes for a great dinner party starter dish or entrée for a fancy lunch. The layers of textures and flavours are sure to trick your guests into thinking that you’d spent the day cooking instead of assembling … never a bad thing in my book.

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 2 small carrots, finely grated
  • 70g walnuts
  • 1 tbsp mixed seeds
  • 1 heaped tbsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tbsp coconut oil

For the cashew cream:

  • 130g cashews, soaked for at least 6 hours, drained and rinsed
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ tbsp coconut oil

For the pesto:

  • 30g fresh basil leaves
  • 30g spinach
  • 2 tbsp mixed nuts (walnuts and pecans work best)
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp flaxseed oil

For the carrot serving sauce:

  • ½ Medjool date, pitted
  • 1 tbsp mixed seeds, such as pumpkin, sesame and sunflower, to serve

Method

  1. Squeeze out any excess juice from the grated carrots into a bowl – reserve this for the sauce. Put all the crust ingredients in a food processor and blitz into a fine rubble. Season to taste.
  2. Line a 15cm tart tin or 225g loaf tin with baking parchment and press the crust evenly into the bottom. Freeze or refrigerate for 30 minutes to set.
  3. Blitz the cream ingredients in a food processor or blender with 50ml water until completely smooth, scraping down the sides as you go. This may take a while but persevere and it eventually becomes smooth. Check for seasoning, then pour the cream over the chilled carrot crust, reserving one heaped tablespoon for the sauce. Smooth out with a spatula and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  4. Blend the pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend until coarse but spreadable. Season to taste and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  5. Put the reserved carrot juice in a food processor, add the reserved cashew cream and the date and blitz until completely smooth.
  6. Carefully lift the chilled tart out of the tin and ease it onto a serving board. Spoon over the pesto and carefully spread out using a spatula. Drizzle over the carrot sauce and adorn with crushed seeds and nuts.

Serves: 4-6 | Prep: 30mins | Sets: 1hour

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