Sophie's Foodie Files

Mostly healthy tasty colorful cooking & gardening with Sophie's twist!

Vegan fennel & saffron tarts served with a warm mushroom, spinach & chickpeas salad

on 04/01/2012

I hope you all feasted well, to welcome the New Year 2012!! I surely did!

Normally, my husband & I ate vegetarian, 1 x a week, in 2011.

I wanted to change that a bit. I don’t like meat that much anymore for the moment. I wanted to eat more vegetarian & vegan. I agreed with my husband, that we are going to eat 3 x/ week vegetarian or vegan. I am so inspired now! I got a lot of vegetarian books from my local library & searched a lot in vegan websites.

Yesterday, I made these savoury fennel & saffron tarts & served them with a warm mushrooms, spinach & chickpeas salad. I love fennel a lot. This recipe is from one of my latest vegetarian cookbooks, only in Dutch for the moment: Donderdag, veggie cookbook . Authors: Micki Duerinck & Kristin Leybeart.

I would have never thought that this side salad would go so well with these tasty saffron & fennel tarts! Everything is home-made except the soy cream. They use a vegan pie crust with olive oil. I adapted the recipe to my needs. I used partly light spelt flour & half organic white flour to make it more healthy & more filling! I hope you will love this as much, as my husband & I did! This lovely dinner is great for entertaining vegetarians & vegans. Maybe you want to close this festive vegan feast  with a tasty vegan coconut Panna cotta to complete the dinner. You can find this recipe: here!

A tasty vegan fennel & saffron creamy mini pie with a lovely vegan salad!

A warm & tasty saffron soy cream & fennel filling,…yum!

Recipe: For 4 x 11 cm diameter tarts


1/ For the fennel & saffron tarts:

* * For the vegan dough:

150 gr organic white flour

150 gr white spelt flour ( I use Sharpham park, British organic spelt whole grain flour )

4 tablespoons cold water

4 tablespoons of a fruity EVOO ( Extra Virgin Olive Oil )

1 teaspoon of Maldon sea salt flakes

**For the fennel & saffron tarts:

670 gr of cleaned  & pad dry fennel, cut into larger pieces, hard-core & green tubes removed ( weighted when cleaned & cut )

300 ml of a good soy cream ( I use Alpro soy cream )

1 part of saffron powder

1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder

black pepper

Maldon sea salt

2/ For the warm mushrooms, spinach & chickpeas salad:

250 gr normal mushrooms, cleaned & cut into 4 pieces

300 gr fresh spinach leaves, washed & spun dry

1 fat clove of garlic, peeled & finely cut

100 ml soy cream

150 gr chickpeas, from a can, rinsed & well-drained

1 teaspoon dried Provençal herbs

a fruity EVOO

black pepper

Maldon sea salt flakes


1. First, make your dough. Take the bowl of your Kenwood or Kitchen Aid  & place in here the 2 different flours, the olive oil, cold water & salt. Mix well with the dough hook for about 2 to 4 minutes until it all combines well.

2. I use tartlets with removable bottoms. I smear them all in with soy baking margarine, a vegan one, to prevent sticking to the tart tins. Place the dough mix on a floured silpat or counter. Flour your hands a bit. Knead the dough & make 4 equal balls from it. Each ball will be for 1 tartlet. Flour your rolling-pin. Roll out your dough thinly, about 3 to 5 mm & see that you have enough dough to fill one tartlet. Add a bit of the dough if necessary. Lay 1 rolled out dough & lay it over 1 tartlet. Let the dough hang over the sides a bit. Now, push with your hand the dough nicely & neatly into the tartlet. Push the dough carefully up high into the sides of the tartlet case. Now, with your thumb, push the dough round into the tartlet to fit neatly, all the sides up too. Roll with your rolling-pin over the tartlet to remove excess dough. Do the same with the rest 3 balls of dough. You know what I mean when you see the pictures afterwards.

3. Place the 4 lined tartlets on a plate into the fridge to stiffen up & take them out when you have prepared the filling.

4. Preheat your oven to 180°C (356 F ) for about 10 minutes. I always use a fan oven. Adjust the temperature according to your oven.

5. Prepare the filling. Take a food processor & add the fennel pieces. Pulse until it these are very small pieces, for a few seconds. If your food processor is on the smaller side, do this a few times. Place these fennel mini pieces in a large cooking pot. Add the soy cream, saffron & cumin powder. Stir well until it all is combined beautifully. Heat up on medium. Let it simmer until it is all cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir from time to time to prevent burning.

6. Take the tartlets out of the fridge. Fill them with the saffron & fennel mix. Fill them good. I had a bit of the saffron & fennel mix left. Place them on an oven rack in the middle of the oven & bake them for 30 minutes until golden-yellow on top & when the crusts are cooked through. In the meantime, make your warm side salad.

7. Take a large cooking pot & place 1 tablespoon of the fruity EVOO in it. Heat up on medium high. When hot & sizzling, add the garlic pieces & cut up mushrooms. Fry until browned & nearly cooked through. Add some grinds of black pepper, the dried Provençal herbs & some sea salt. Stir well. Add the spinach leaves & the drained chickpeas. Taste! It has to taste fab! Keep warm until serving.

8. When the tartlets are ready, turn the oven off & take them out of the oven. Place each tartlet on a can & let the outside of the tartlet fall off. Help with your hands if it sticks a bit. Carefully remove the loose bottom & place on a serving plate. Do the same with the 2nd tartlet & place on another serving plate. Serve a few spoonfuls of the warm salad  besides the tartlet & serve immediately!

Enjoy, best with a loved one! 🙂


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55 responses to “Vegan fennel & saffron tarts served with a warm mushroom, spinach & chickpeas salad

  1. Tom says:

    Yummie dinner, Sophie! thanks for this great vegan menu!
    I also love your vegan coconut panna cotta a lot!

  2. Hotly Spiced says:

    That looks like a great meal. I love the colours. We also try to eat vegetarian a couple of times/week. The spinach and mushroom and chickpea side dish looks wonderful.

  3. These lovely tarts look delicious – what a tasty and healthy start to the New Year. Wishing you all the best for 2012, Sophie!

  4. That looks so good. If you keep making meals like that, you’ll have no problems staying veg in 2012 🙂

  5. Koko says:

    Oh my god, Sophie!! I think this is one if my favorite things I have ever seen you make! It looks SO good! And exactly my style of eating! I am book marking this so I can make it as soon as possible!

    • Sophie33 says:

      Thanks, my friend! 🙂
      I know you will love this tasty filled plate of fine foods!
      I received your Christmas card, this week! xxx

  6. Katarina says:

    I like it when you have used saffron in the filling!

  7. Tandy says:

    what a great resolution for the year. I want to do a raw diet for one day a week but I need to get myself a decent juicer first 🙂

  8. boeddhamum says:

    This is another great looking dish Sophie, and what a nice book you recommend! I also love your new plug in, a dia show, wow!! I wish you all the best in 2012 and a lot of vegetarian inspiration.

    • Sophie33 says:

      Thanks so much, dear Linda!
      I know that you would love this tasty book! They are so creative with their dishes!

  9. Valerie says:

    Happy New Year, Sophie! Lots of happiness and joy for 2012! These tarts look really delicious!

  10. Barbara says:

    I love the new look, Sophie! And this recipe as well. Fennel is one of my favorite veggies and any new way to cook it is right up my alley!

    Happy New Year to you!

    • Sophie33 says:

      Thanks so much, sweet Barbara!
      You are the 1st to notice my new look! I love it too! 🙂
      I also adore fennel! Have a go at these tarts & the side too! Enjoy !

  11. Soph, that looks delicious! Have you found the River Cottage Veg Everyday cookbook or Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi? Both of those are worth having if you’re eating lots of vegetarian/vegan food, as they’re both filled with really interesting vegetarian dishes (rather than boring ones!). 🙂

  12. Cynthia says:

    I hope that 2012 is your best year ever!

  13. Love the fennel tarts ;-)) My type of lunch..

  14. Love that you used Saffron, yummo!

  15. Ina Gawne says:

    Sophie this meal looks delicious! I too must try to do more vegetarian recipes….think I will get to work on a vegetarian cabbage roll!

  16. Carolyn Jung says:

    My husband has vowed to be more open to eating whole grains and vegetarian dishes in the New Year. And since his nickname is Meat Boy, that’s saying A LOT! LOL
    Maybe I can sway him even further with this lovely quiche.

  17. rebecca says:

    wow Sophie this looks amazing your a fab cook

    • Sophie33 says:

      Thanks, Rebecca!
      I love making tarts from scratch, from time to time & love trying out new ingredients & combinations too! 🙂

  18. great combination of colors and flavors! and I really like things that are served in individual dishes.

  19. Juliana says:

    Lovely meal Sophie…I am trying to have to vegetarian meals, but cannot be so sure that will be able to totally accomplish it. Happy New Year and hope you have a wonderful week ahead 🙂

  20. Blond Duck says:

    It sounds great!

  21. Blond Duck says:

    It sounds delicious! I’ve never tried fennel!

  22. Pam says:

    It looks really wonderful.

  23. Sophie, your dinner looks fantastic! I love both this tart and the salad and can only imagine how delicious they must be together, YUM! I’m excited that you’ll be doing more vegetarian posts, I would love to have more of these healthy recipes. I love the way you are doing this gradually – I think going cold turkey with the meat wouldn’t work (literally!) Thanks for a lovely post!

  24. slcolman says:

    That salad sounds amazing! The tart looks good too 🙂 I hope that you are enjoying 2012 so far.

  25. Claudia says:

    Beautiful dinner, Sophie! I have a friend who went vegan last year and I am madly looking up things because I love having her over for dinner. This will be a happy meal!

  26. Wow! That tarts are looking so drool-worthy — mine was nothing, in comparison 😀

    Happy 2012 my dear friend 🙂

  27. My goodness, what a delicious meal, I love the sounds of this flavorful tart.

  28. veghotpot says:

    I feel a bit stupid but Ive always seen people say EVOO and I assumed it was some brand of oil which was popular but now I realise it stands for Extra Virgin Olive Oil! This tart sounds beautiful I love fennel

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