With world vegan month fast approaching (November) and Christmas just around the corner, it is time to start thinking about the festive period. In an effort to eat less meat, I took part in Veganuary 2018 and it absolutely debunked all the myths I had previously believed. It isn’t expensive, bland and boring. In fact, eating a vegan diet for a month made me become more creative in the kitchen, made me lose weight and made me feel healthier. I didn’t stick with it, however I have cut down dramatically on my meat intake and think that everyone should give it a try.
So when Aldi challenged me to create a vegan option that could be used as part of a main dish, or as an hors d’oeuvre or buffet item, I jumped at the chance to get in the kitchen and get creative!
I have chosen to make vegan pesto tarts because I love basil and sweet roasted red peppers, and the bright colours are anything but boring. It should attract both vegans and carnivores to try one. In fact I have tried them on numerous people and everyone has loved them.
To start with, I made the pesto:
For the pesto
2 cloves of garlic
Juice of 1/2 lemon
100g sun-dried tomatoes
2 tbsp oil from tomatoes
100g roasted red peppers
4 tbsp olive oil
Handful of basil
Add everything to the food processor and using the knife blade, whizz it up into a paste. Taste and season according to your preference.
Now for the fun bit!
For the filling
100g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, thinly sliced and precooked for 10 minutes in the oven
Caramelized red onions
Ready roll puff pastry
Baby tomatoes, thinly sliced
Mushrooms, lightly fried in olive oil
Using a pastry cutter (mine was in the shape of a flower) cut out the pastry and place each piece in an oiled muffin tray dip.
Take a teaspoon of pesto and line the bottom.
Add a piece of roasted sweet potato.
Add another teaspoon of pesto.
Top with either tomato, mushroom or peppers.
Lightly oil the pastry and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the pastry has risen and become golden brown. The petals on my flower folded up to create cute little baskets!
I have also used similar recipes to create larger tarts that can be served as part of a main meal. I substituted the puff pastry for filo in this.
You can find it HERE
In partnership with Aldi. All ingredients can be purchased from Aldi!