24 Carrot Magic coming right up? The magic trick though…this took forever. Don’t let that discourage you, because this dish was delicious, beautiful and really satisfying to make. You know that transending zen/inspired feeling you get from the opening credits of Netflix’s Chef’s Table when you watch amazing chefs float through their respective kitchens while the classical intro music fills your soul? That is where making this dish took me. For a brief moment, I was Chef Passard. Hand peeling beautiful tri-color carrots. Rolling delicate bouquets of carrots into perfect flowers. ::Insert disrupting crash sounds over classic intro music here:: Then I realized each of these carrot flowers would take 3-5 minutes each, and I needed to make like 50 of them. Zen over. Freak out occurred. Bring in my wife as back up to make carrot flowers. Ha.
When it was all done we were left with this gorgeous tart that neither of us wanted to cut, but we were glad we did because it was awesome. Worth it!
This dish is perfect for a Sunday Supper. We served this next to a Salt Crusted Roast Chicken which was moist and delicious, but I’m sure we can all agree, no that pretty...so this beautiful dish really helped add color and finesse to the table.
For the Tart:
- 10 carrots, peeled into thin strips with a hand peeler and rolled into flowers
- 8-10 phyllo pastry sheets
- 1 cup Herbed Ricotta (recipe below)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and pepper
For the Ricotta filling:
- 4 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons herb and carrot top puree
For the Herb and Carrot Top puree:
- ½ cup of parsley
- ½ cup carrot top greens
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- Salt & pepper
Make the ricotta (can be made ahead):
Set a large sieve over a deep bowl. Dampen 2 layers of cheesecloth with water and line the sieve with the cheesecloth. Pour the milk and cream into a heavy pot . Stir in the salt. Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. Allow the mixture to stand for 1 minute until it curdles. It will separate into thick parts (the curds) and milky parts (the whey). Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined sieve and allow it to drain into the bowl at room temperature, occasionally discarding the liquid that collects in the bowl. The longer you let the mixture drain, the thicker the ricotta. I like mine on the thicker side, so I let it sit for an hour or so. Transfer the ricotta to a bowl. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate. (Can keep refrigerated for 4 to 5 days.)
For the herb puree:
Add ½ cup carrot top, ½ cup parsley, 2 garlic cloves, salt, & pepper to a food processor. Pulse. While running add ¼ cup of olive oil.
Build the Tart:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 9 inch pie dish with olive oil. Prepare the ricotta filling by mixing 1 cup of ricotta with 2-3 tablespoons of herb puree in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Lightly brush each phyllo pastry sheet with a little extra virgin olive oil, then use to line pie dish, overlapping the sheets. Fill the final layer with herbed ricotta mixture. Arrange the flower over the ricotta until tart until is fully covered. Brush the carrot flowers and exposed phyllo tart edges with reserved herb puree mixture, then season with sea salt. Bake in the oven for 15 mins, or until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven, allow to cool a little and serve.