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Butternut Squash & Caramelised Shallot Tart

Keyword butternut squash tart, caramelised shallots, Christmas, holidays, vegan
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Author Izy Hossack


Tart filling:

  • 500 g (1 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed
  • 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large or 5 small garlic cloves , peeled, crushed
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp chilli crisp (optional)*
  • 3 tbsp chickpea flour (see notes)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • zest of 1 lemon , finely grated
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme , leaves picked
  • Salt , to taste

Tart crust:

  • 60 g (1/2 cup) walnuts
  • 45 g (1/2 cup) rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 120 g (1 cup) plain white (all-purpose) flour
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 4 tbsp non-dairy milk or water


  • 200 g (7 ounces) shallots, halved, peeled
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • handful of salad leaves , to serve (optional)


Cook the squash:

  • Cut the butternut squash into roughly 2 inch (5cm) chunks. Heat the olive oil in a large pot (I use a dutch oven here) on the stove over a medium heat. Once hot, add the squash and a pinch of salt and stir to coat. Cover with a lid and lower the heat to medium-low. Leave to cook, stirring occasionally, until the chunks and soft and starting to break down (about 15 minutes). Remove from the heat and set aside.

Make the crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C fan (350°F).
  • Place the walnuts and oats in a food processor and blitz until you get a scruffy mealy texture. Add the baking powder, salt, fennel seeds and flour to the food processor and pulse to combine. Add the olive oil and 2 tbsp of the non-dairy milk and pulse together until you get a cohesive dough. You may need to add more milk to get it to come together.
  • Crumble the dough into the base of a 23-cm (9-inch) springform cake tin (or a loose-based tart tin) and use your fingertips to press it down into an even layer over the base and up the sides of the tin (in a springform tin it should come up about 3cm high). Reserve a little bit of the dough for patching up cracks later on. Prick the crust all over with a fork.
  • Place the cake tin/tart tin on a baking sheet and then into the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes until it looks dry. Remove from the oven and use the reserved pastry to patch up any cracks that may have formed. Set the crust aside.

Make the filling:

  • Blend the cooked squash until smooth - you can either do this straight in the pot using an immersion blender (hand blender/stick blender) or by transferring it to a food processor/blender and blitzing, then transferring to a mixing bowl.
  • Add the remaining filling ingredients and stir together. Taste and season with salt as needed.
  • Pour the filling into the pre-baked crust. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the top looks set and dry.

Cook the shallots:

  • Heat the olive oil in a heavy, oven-proof frying pan/skillet over a medium heat. Sprinkle over the sugar in an even layer and then lay the shallots cut side-down over the sugar.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low and leave to cook until you get a nice brown crust underneath (about 5 minutes). Flip each half over and allow to cook until the other side is browned (about 5 minutes again).
  • Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and then pour in the balsamic vinegar. Cover with a lid or a piece of foil and transfer to the oven - roast for 15-20 minutes until the shallots are soft all the way through. Remove from the oven and uncover.

Finish the tart:

  • Top the cooked tart with some leafy greens (I used baby kale) and the caramelised shallots. Serve warm.


  • *I use the Lao Gan Ma 'crispy chilli in oil' which is BANGING!! Get yourself some from your local East Asian food shop, or online.
  • If you're not vegan, you can use 1 egg instead of the 3 tbsp chickpea flour + 3 tbsp water in the filling.
  • Tart crust adapted from Amy Chaplin
  • This recipe makes one smallish tart, enough for 4 people as a main with sides. You could even cut it into 8 pieces to have as a starter though. If you're cooking for more people, the recipe doubles very well and can be made as one large tart in a 28cm (11-inch) loose-based tart tin.