vegetarian tart with glazed root vegetables on pastry

I just love this time of year, when the festive season is in full swing and everyone is out and about, enjoying casual catch-ups, barbecues and celebrations in the sun.

When it comes to entertaining at my place over Christmas, or preparing dishes to take to a friend’s house, I know the trick to staying stress-free is to keep it simple.

I always have a few really easy but crowd-pleasing dishes up my sleeve – something delicious that I can prepare in advance and take along to wherever my festive invitation takes me! That’s why I’m loving this glazed root vegetable tarte tatin – it’s the ultimate one-tray dish. Just bake it at home, then warm it up and add the finishing touches when you get to your destination. Of course, if you can’t wait that long, it’s great for serving up at home, too.

Perfect with ham, turkey or roasted pork, or as the star of a veggie meal, it’s packed with delicious root vegetables and one of my go-to recipes this Christmas. For more ideas for an Aussie Christmas, check out Jamie’s recipes for Christmas in warmer climates.

Glazed root-vegetable tarte tatin

Serves 8–10

  • 2 medium carrots (240g), peeled
  • 2 medium parsnips (500g), peeled
  • 2 small sweet potatoes (kumara) (350g), peeled
  • 2 turnips (450g), peeled
  • 1⁄4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1⁄3 cup (80ml) water
  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 100g stracchino or taleggio cheese, sliced
  • 4 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 6 sprigs lemon thyme, to serve

Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F. Cut the carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes and turnips into 1cm-thick slices. Divide between 2 large baking trays, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and roast, turning half way, for 30 minutes, or until golden and tender.

While the vegetables are roasting, place the water and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to high and cook, without stirring, for 6–8 minutes or until light caramel in colour. Remove from the heat and carefully add the vinegar, stirring to combine. Working quickly, pour the caramel evenly onto a 37cm x 24cm baking tray. Arrange the vegetables on top of the caramel, overlapping if necessary, and top with the cheese. Place the 4 slices of pastry over the top of the vegetables (pastry will overlap) leaving a 2cm overhang around the edge of the tray.

Gently press the overlapping pastry to seal and tuck in the overhanging edges. Transfer the tart to the oven on an extra baking tray to catch any spills, reduce the heat to 200°C (400°F) and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat again to 180°C (350°F) and bake for a further 20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and cooked. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before turning out onto a board. Cut into squares to serve.

For more recipes from Donna Hay just download the iPad version of her magazine in the iTunes store.

Photography: Anson Smart / Styling: Steve Pearce

Donna Hay magazine cover

About the author

Donna Hay

At the age of eight, Donna Hay skipped into a kitchen, picked up a mixing bowl and never looked back. Now Donna is Australia’s leading food editor and best-selling cookbook author. Her food, recipes and styling focus on basic ingredients that are simply prepared and beautifully photographed – hallmarks of her work that have inspired a whole new generation of cooks. With subscribers in 82 countries around the world, Donna Hay Magazine is immensely popular in Australia and the UK. You can download the donna hay magazine for iPad from the App Store today. Enjoy a 30-day free trial when you subscribe for a year.

Donna Hay