I’ve been cooking away in my kitchen today to create my entry for the Vegan MoFo Chopped challenge (Think Food Network Chopped, but without the weird animal ingredients).
The requirements for the challenge were to create a vegan brunch dish using popcorn, rosemary, butternut squash and apricot preserves.
I decided I would make a tart, because that sounded “brunchy” to me, and a salad with an apricot vinaigrette to go along with it. It was surprisingly delicious.
To make the tart you will need:
For the crust -
- 2 1/4 c of popcorn flour*
- 1/4 c tapioca starch
- 1/2 c brown rice flour
- 1 t xanthum gum
- some fresh ground pepper
- 1/4 t salt
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, minced (I had about 1 T)
- 5 T Earth Balance
- 3 T almond milk, or another milk of your choice
For the tart -
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 onion, caramelized
- 3 T apricot preserves (I used apricot jam) – 2T for filling, 1T for topping
- 1/2 t rosemary, minced
* To make the popcorn flour, grind plain popcorn in a food processor. I used 5 cups of popcorn to make about 3 cups of flour. You want to really grind it so there are no tough popcorn pieces left.
For the crust -
Preheat oven to 350 degree Celsius. Pulse together dry ingredients until combined, add in rosemary and pulse a few times, then pulse in the Earth Balance until it resembles sand. Pulse in the almond milk. Press mixture into a greased pie plate (I think it would look even nicer in a tart pan, if you had one of them). Bake for ten minutes and then take out of oven and let cool.
For the filling -
First, caramelize a large sweet onion in olive oil. While it cooks, add a pinch of salt and some pepper. Once they are caramelized, add in the 2 T of apricot preserves and 1/2 t of minced rosemary and set aside.
Peel your squash and slice into round slices. I made about 24 slices. You can save the part with seeds for another day. To soften the slices, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and broil for about 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Celsius.
Take your pie crust and add a layer of squash. Then add the caramelized onion mixture. Top with the second half of the squash circles. Brush with 1 T of apricot preserves that have been softened in the microwave for a few seconds.
Bake for 30 minutes!
I also made a salad to go along with it, with an apricot ginger vinaigrette. The salad consisted of candied pecans and walnuts, sliced pear and some arugula.
Apricot Ginger Vinaigrette
- 4 T of apricot jam
- 1/4 c of apple cider vinegar
- 1 T ginger, minced
- 1 small clove of garlic, minced
- pepper, to taste
- 1/4 c of sunflower oil
Blend everything but the oil until smooth, then slowly add the oil while blending until mixed. Yum!
Well, that was a fun experience. Who knew that popcorn could be used to make a crust?