food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

cauliflower tart by foodtoglow
Another tongue-twisting title from yours truly. I could have just left it at Tandoori Cauliflower Tart but then that would miss out the real reason why I am writing this post. If you don’t already know about this blindingly simple way of making pastry, let me introduce you to the Olive Oil Crust. Reader, crust. Crust, reader. Now that you have been formally introduced, you can get to know one another.

cauliflower tart by foodtoglow
I can’t remember when I first came across it, probably in an old, now out-of-print hippy cookbook, but it has also been floating around the Internet for awhile. Clotilde at Zucchini and Chocolate has the most popular version of it, but there are others using vegetable oil (so not really an olive oil crust then), some who freeze their olive oil to make it more like butter, all white flour ones, and probably some other permutations too. I have played with the basic recipe, adding some ground seeds for extra crunch, flavour and satisfying protein, and using small amounts of kalonji/black onion seed and garlic powder  for an extra dimension. If you don’t have the kalonji, or don’t fancy using either this or the garlic, just leave them out. And maybe make up two crusts and do something properly quichey for the second. I  also made a wild garlic, nettle and spinach version that was pretty tasty, but I didn’t chop up the greens enough and we had to do a lot of chewing!

Just thinking laterally, I also think it would be good with light olive oil, ground almonds, vanilla powder (from Steenberg’s if you are in the UK) and a little bit of honey, agave or malt syrup for a sweet version. I could then make an almost healthy chocolate pie (I will give you my filling some time soon – it’s super easy and very good for you. Unbelievably).

For now I give you this pretty nifty little lunch, supper or picnic tart. The colour is so delightful that you might even get some cauliflower-feardies (Scottish for scaredy cat) to take a bite. Especially with a little spicy ketchup on the side. PS I am writing this before breakfast and I am getting very hungry. Better fix some Spicy Kale and Egg Breakfast before I start drooling on the keyboard. Or maybe I fancy some Good-for-you Granola… Choices, choices.

Next post is the last (for now) of my Breakfast mini-series. Another slightly batty idea from me (give you a hint: samphire), Internet finds and the best of your comment offerings. Keep sending in your breakfast ideas, any good weblinks, and tips on your best time-saving tips in the morning.

Before I get on with the recipe I must thank a couple of special people for nominating me for two blogging awards. I have got a couple in the recent past but didn’t really understand how they worked or why I got them so I didn’t ‘comply’ by writing about them and passing the awards along. Here I am to remedy this a bit by thanking first of all ‘Desi Chick’ (the beautiful and extremely youthful looking,  Tahmina) at Kolpona Cuisine for nominating me in April (!) for the Sharing the Love ‘Kreativ Blogger‘ award. I love the pretty logo but as a hosted site I don’t get to display all the fancy badges and what not, so go over to Tahmina, read about the other awardees, and a little about the fabulous Asian recipes that Tahmina creates. She has introduced me to quite a number of new combinations and ideas, and is a generous and thoughtful commenter. Thank you!

My next thank you is to the delightful Karen, a fellow seasonal cook and herb user over at Lavender and Lovage. Karen awarded me the Versatile Blogger award, again with a fab badge that I can’t display (boo!). Karen is a very prolific and creative food blogger and someone I will always go to first if I want to do a spot of traditional baking. But she also does great savoury dishes, especially fishy ones.

The ‘catch’ with both awards is that you have to divulge 5-7 random things about yourself. I am incredibly boring, but here goes: 1) I visited the former Soviet Union back in the mid-80s and picked up a very nasty illness for which I was hospitalised and took a year to recover from. During my hospital stay I was ‘interrogated’ about possible drug couriers in my group!  Scary. 2) I can guess the time anywhere I am to within a minute or two either side. Spooky. 3) I’d rather climb a mountain (well, hill) than come down it. 4) My favourite food is probably Mr A’s mutton curry or baked beans on toast. 5) I love writing and, like everyone and their dog, I think I have a couple of novels in me. Watch out best seller chart! Ha ha.

I now have the pleasure of passing both awards (I hope I can do that) to the following inspirational, funny and talented people, including one non-food blogger: Niki at Unified Space, EA at The Spicy RD, Liz at Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things, Heather at Hef’s Kitchen and Natalie at Cook, Eat Live Vegetarian. Love your work.

Now ladies, it’s your turn to share the love by

1. Thanking the person who nominated you for this Award and linking back to them.
2. Posting 5 random facts about you.
3. Spreading the  joy by nominating  5 other bloggers.
4. Letting your chosen bloggers know about the nomination.
(go to Karen and Tahmina for the sweet badges!!!)
 cauliflower tart by foodtoglow

Tandoori Cauliflower Tart with an Olive Oil Crust

Miss R’s track of Week: Ben Howard’s “Only Love” – a lovely Cornish lad with a soulful voice. Miss R is going to see him perform in November. Lucky girl!

I am extremely fond of this good-natured pie crust, and even fonder of it when filled with something surprising. Marrying tandoori spices, cauliflower and a pie crust is, I think, surprising and hopefully successful. I tried it out on a group that I wasn’t actually teaching (so hopefully they were speaking freely) and the feedback was: ‘can we have the recipe?’ I can’t ask for a better thumbs-up that that.

Olive Oil Crust

100g white spelt flour OR plain flour
100g wholemeal spelt flour OR regular wholemeal/wholewheat flour
50g pumpkin seeds, ground to a fine crumb
½ tsp kalonji/black onion seeds (optional)
¼ tsp garlic powder (optional)
¾ tsp fine sea salt
60 ml olive oil
100-110 ml ice cold water (cold water makes the dough easier to roll out)

28-30cm/11-12 inch tart tin with removable bottom; oiled lightly.

Combine dry ingredients. Pour in the olive oil and mix with a fork or knife. Add water and mix until absorbed. Knead the dough a few times in the bowl – I use one hand before turning the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Flour the dough and a rolling pin, and roll the dough out into a circle big enough to fit your tart pan with room to go up the sides – about 5 extra centimetres. Give the dough a quarter turn every few rolls of the pin, adding a little more flour if it starts becoming at all sticky. Don’t mess with it too much as it will become tough  so if it is a little messy but wide enough, don’t bother with making a perfect circle – you can trim it in a moment.cauliflower tart by foodtoglow

Roll part of the dough loosely onto the rolling pin and ease the dough into the prepared pan and fit it in neatly. Don’t rush this bit and it will fit in just fine with no air pockets. Trim the excess dough and pop the tin in the fridge for 30 minutes to relax the gluten (lucky gluten!). You can leave it in the fridge for longer but cover it to keep from drying out.olive oil pastry

When you are ready to make the tart, prick the dough all over lightly with a fork, line it with a piece of crumpled baking paper (the crumpling makes it easier to fit) and add in some ceramic baking beans/uncooked chickpeas/lentils. Blind-bake the crust for 15 minutes at 200°C (400°F). Remove from the oven to cool a bit before adding the filling. NOTE: some oil crust pie makers say not to pre-bake (blind bake), but I did and it turned out just fine. I would think that with such a wet filling as this that the bottom would be a tad soggy otherwise. And no one wants a soggy bottom!

Tandoori Cauliflower Filling

1 cauliflower, trimmed then cut into pieces  (use the stems too as they have a lot of sweet flavour) – steam for eight minutes, then chop into small pieces (but not minced) and let air dry a bit
1 ½  tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 tbsp Tandoori spice mix (or you could use garam masala with pinch each of cardamom, paprika, coriander and salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
3 eggs
120 ml sheeps’ milk or regular thick yogurt
300 ml semi-skim milk 
½ tsp salt

Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add the onion, garlic, ginger and tandoori spice mix and turmeric. Pop a lid on the pan and slowly cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and crank up the heat a tad to drive off any liquid. You can do this quicker with an open pan but the slow cooking adds flavour. Put the baked crust onto a baking tray then scatter the lightly spiced vegetables onto the baked pie crust, followed by the cauliflower.

Beat together the eggs, yogurt, milk and salt and pour over the vegetables.  Pop the tart into the oven and bake at 180C/350F for 30 minutes, or until the centre is just ever so-slightly ‘jiggly’. Leave the tart in the oven with the heat off for a further 10 minutes. I prop the door slightly with a folded oven glove.

Serve warm – but not hot  – with a crisp green salad and maybe some grilled, seasoned aubergines topped with sliced spring onions/scallions.

This is nice cold or you can reheat it at 180C/350F for 15 minutes.
The pie crust is adapted from one by Clotilde at Chocolate and Zucchini.
Soft food diet: make as a crustless quiche. Oil a suitable baking dish and put the mixture in to bake at 180/350, until just set. It’ll firm more as it cools.

Serves 8 

cauliflower tart by foodtoglow

35 thoughts on “Tandoori Cauliflower Tart in an Olive Oil Crust

  1. I may be trying this for my Mother’s Day luncheon (yes…I am cooking on Mother’s Day) with soy yogurt and coconut milk. And I will DEFINITELY be making this crust! Gorgeous!

    1. That sounds a good dairy-free take, especially the coconut milk. I want to do it that way next time 😀 I didn’t want to recommend a non-dairy version if I hadn’t tried it first though.I will be absolutely thrilled if it makes it onto the Mother’s Day table. Our MOther’s Day was in March and I did an afternoon tea, with no boys allowed! I would really like to know how it turns out if you decide to make it.

      1. No boys allowed…I like that!
        I might post this if it comes out (with a nod to your site of course) if that’s ok with you.
        Thanks Kellie!

      2. Absolutely!

  2. Dad Fitzpatrick says:

    “Incredibly boring” — Indeed!
    Congratulations on your awards

    1. Well, you have to say that, don’t you? I’ll admit the Soviet thing was a bit interesting. To me anyway. I expect to hear that you made the cauliflower tart, btw. Ha ha

  3. This looks great–the color is especially lovely. I bet it is really good crustless too (as you suggest at the end).

    1. Thank you!

  4. NOT boring at all, as I suspected, you hide your light beneath a bushel……thanks very much for your kind comments, and may I just say, FABULOUS recipe too… always, with all my favourite ingredients in it. I have NEVER frozen olive oil – must try that.

  5. thespicyrd says:

    Fabulous tart {No worries-I will adapt it to gluten-free :-}, and a big hug and thank you for the award!! The inspirational, funny, and talented feeling is quite mutual 🙂 I love your blog, and I really hope we can meet in person one day. Since my husband has some Scottish ancestry on his side, I think a family trip to Scotland is in our future one day soon! xoxoxo

    1. Yay!!! I would love to see you too!! Edinburgh is a fantastic, beautiful foodie city – your whole family would love it, and Scotland as a whole. lots of outdoorsy opportunities too 😀

  6. Well where do I start! Firstly, a HUGE thank you for the very kind blog award, you are so supportive and I cant tell you how much I appreciate this.

    For those of you who don’t know Kellie personally, I can tell you she is as lovely as she sounds on her blog. She works tirelessly doing things that improve so many peoples lives and she loves doing it too – doesn’t even consider it as work. An example of this is when my family were sitting it out on an ICU ward in hospital willing my Dad to come out of a coma. When we slipped home to change our clothes, we found the perfect evening meal sitting in a beautiful bag on our doorstep. Nutritious, wholesome and exactly what our traumatised bodies were craving. It saved us, it really did and it touched corners that only thoughtful food can do. She is very very special and I am so lucky to have her as a best friend. Thank you x …and BTW this tart looks wonderful, I shall defo be making it very soon.

    1. Gosh, I feel quite overwhelmed by your very kind & I know, heartfelt, words. The feeling you know is entirely mutual. Your gentle manner, kind consideration, steely determination and your unshakeable friendship are hugely appreciated. Before I get too soppy I’ll sign off 😀 See you v soon

  7. eastofedencook says:

    A marvelous crust! Healty and full of flavor. An outstanding post! Can’t wait to read your first novel, I knw it our be wonderful as I always enjoy your writing.

    1. Bless you, Deb. have a beautiful weekend in sunny CA!

  8. Urvashi Roe says:

    I love the pastry base you’ve come up with. Nice change to use olive oil instead of butter so will have to give that a go.

    1. Thank you Urvashi. It’s not an original idea but I did put a foodtoglow spin on it. The pumpkin seeds are lovely, but almond would be good for sweet or savoury. A very forgiving dough all round. Not that you of all people need such a feature in a dough 😉

  9. Desi Chick says:

    Thanks Kellie, That looks ah-mazing! I know the flavor profile is going to be fantastic. I’ve got to make this one too! 🙂

    1. Thanks Tahmina. Glad I have your approval. Hope you think my stab at a pseudo-Asian taste is passable!

  10. Norma Chang says:

    That’s an incredible crust. Great way to feature cauliflower.

    1. Thank you! I was surprised it turned out because it’s all a bit wacky, but it does!

  11. Faith says:

    I have been really craving a fresh take on Indian flavors lately and this beautiful tart is just the thing to satiate my cravings! It looks fantastic and would be the perfect lunch along with a green salad. I hope you do write a book someday…I love reading your blog posts. Your writing (both style and content) is definitely inspiring. Wishing you best of luck!

    1. Hi Faith! You might want to do your own spicing – I was just going the quick route with this one for my group – but hopefully it’s a good idea. Your book date seems like it’s getting close. So exciting!! I hope I can get a review/giveaway copy. Hint hint! Thanks for stopping by & taking the time to comment.

  12. Emma says:

    Fabulous idea- love the sounds of both the filling and crust. A must for my Foodies 100 Ten at Ten today

    1. That’s brill, Emma! It’s lovely to be noticed by you.

  13. Thanks so much for passing on the award to me, I must have missed it, how rude you must think me!! I am going to have a go at a sweet version of the

    olive oil crust, I have some lovely apricots that have galette written all over them, so will let you know how it goes!!

    1. Don’t worry about it Natalie. You must get these things all the time! And a sweet olive oil crust sounds divine, but not as divine as apricots in a galette. I wish apricots would hurry up and get here!

  14. buzzztab says:

    Hello Kellie, Can we link to your this post (and other indian/tandori posts) from our blog at

    1. Of course! I see my friend Sumayya is already there. 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.