Fork Spoon Knife is the personal blog of Asha where she chronicles her journeys in food through stories, recipes and photographs. She can also be found doodling and sharing her experiences as below.



Kale and Carrot Crostata - Daring Bakers

Kale and Carrot Tart

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of Briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

I have made tarts and tart crusts so many times now, I have lost count. It's almost a staple in our house, especially since it's so easy to put together and one of those dishes that is always elegant with fillings only limited by creativity. Plus I love that I could potentially use the same crust for savory and sweet fillings which makes storage logistically simple! :)

Kale and Carrot Tart wide

But, I had never made a crust with eggs in it. So, the pasta frolla was intriguing. I wanted to see how the addition of the egg changed the flakiness and richness of the tart shell and whether it would actually weigh it down, especially for a savory filling.

Crostata is an Italian dessert made with pasta frolla, a sweet short crust pastry, and varied fillings from pastry cream and fruit jams with the traditional lattice pattern on top of the tart.

Kale and Carrot Tart 2

Given the holiday season and November being a month of many birthdays and festivals, we had been a bit overwhelmed by sweet things at home. Can you believe it, we actually got quite tired of sweet bites. So, for this challenge, I decided to stretch it and make a savory crust flavored with oregano.

For the filling, I used up the last of my farm produce. Kale is a fabulous source of nutrients like iron but can be a bit bitter. To balance that I used grated sweet carrots all sauteed in rich pancetta drippings. Also, instead of cream cheese, I used mascarpone which is lighter while lending a nice and creamy consistency to the filling. For additional flavor, I used fresh goat's milk ricotta.

Kale and Carrot Tart on plate

Verdict: Although, it was not flaky like the traditional French crust I make, we really liked it's richness. The pasta frolla crust naturally lends itself to sweet filling as it's denseness forms almost a cookie like shell but it can, I think, molded successfully for a savory course, as well!

I served my tart with a side of cabbage slaw with red onions, pomegranate arils and mint tossed in a creamy mixture of Greek yogurt and sour cream and topped off with bits of pancetta. We finished off the meal with this gluten free Apple Tart made with this gluten free dough, layers of nutella, apple butter, crushed almonds and apple slices. Simply fantastic!

Glutenfree Apple Tart

Kale and Carrot Crostata
(makes 9 inch tart)

1 pasta frolla dough (recipe below)
1 bunch kale, washed and chopped
2 carrots, grated
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 clove of garlic
3 oz pancetta, cubed
1 egg
2.5 oz mascarpone
3 T heavy cream
3 oz goat's milk ricotta (or 2 oz goat cheese)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg
salt and fresh cracked pepper as needed

Saute the pancetta in a little oil until browned and crisp and the fat has rendered. Remove the pancetta pieces and reserve for the slaw. Retain about 3 tablespoons of the fat in the pan and reserve the rest for later. Saute the onions, garlic and carrots until soft and almost cooked through. Add the chopped kale and cook until the greens have wilted down. Set aside to cool for a bit.

Meanwhile cream the mascarpone and cream together. Add the egg and goat cheese and beat again. Fold in seasoning, nutmeg and oregano and set aside. Fold in the cooled kale and carrot mixture. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pastry shell.

Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes and then at 350 F for 10 more minutes or until the filling is set in the middle.

Pasta Frolla
(this recipe makes one 9 inch crust and 1 five inch crust)

1-3/4 cups flour
1 stick of butter, cubed
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup cold water
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt

Sift together flour, salt and oregano. Cut the butter into the flour to a crumbly consistency. Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs and water into it. Slowly incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients using a fork/whisk and then use your fingertips. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.

When ready, cut away about a third of the dough and set back in the refrigerator. Roll the rest of the dough on a well floured surface to a 1/4 inch thickness and 10 inch diameter. Gently transfer to the tart pan and press into the mold. Refrigerate until the filling is ready.


  1. I like your savory tart, it almost looks like a quiche. Yummy!

  2. I agree, it looks delicious. I also used mascarpone in my tart, but it was a sweet one. I found the pastry delicious--and my husband wanted to eat the pastry on its own...! So I can see that it would make nice cookies.

  3. What a great use for your produce - your savory kale and carrot crostata looks delicious. Really great job.

  4. Very interesting filling. I am a fan of the mini apple tart. I never thought to layer nutella on a tart, but that's an excellent idea. I will have to try that out. How much do you love baking in the mini tart pans??!!!! They're so cute. I love turning them over and receiving a cute little tart shell ready to be filled and then devoured wth a cup of tea.

    The pics look fantastic as always!

  5. I'm so glad you chose to do a savoury for daring bakers Asha. I am really much for a savoury rather than a sweet person - as soon as I can find Kale - this recipe is on my to do list. Beautiful and breathtaking pics as usual.

  6. I really like tart. Savoury or sweet, I'm always for it. But as you may know I have a soft spot for sweets and your apple tart looks so pretty...

  7. Looks great - I like that you chose to do a savoury interpretation. Egg pastry is interesting - I find it harder to deal with.

  8. Yum! Yours is the first savory crostata I've read about today. It sounds delicious. Did you add something to the crust to make it more savory than sweet? Nice job on the challenge!

  9. that looks rich yet healthy :) kale and carrot sounds like a match. the photos also make them look so delicious ;)

  10. I am loving this combo. I would never think of using carrots and kale in a crostata.

  11. That is one gorgeous looking crostata Asha! I'll take a piece please! Thank you! :-)

  12. Awwww I really want a slice of that kale tart ASAP - it sounds so mouth watering!

  13. Kale and carrots that sounds so mouth wateringly delicious and it looks so beautiful also. I love how you sauteed the carrots in pancetta. Superb work on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  14. Great idea to go savoury. Can believe you got tired of sweet. Unfortunately, here evryone prefers sweet except me. :)

  15. Great flavours.. very different from the ones I've seen around.

  16. Your crostata looks awesome! Love the flavors!

  17. Wow - both crostate sound delicious! And I love your pictures - great photography.

  18. This looks so yummy and I have kale in my fridge! I'm going to need to try out a similar version. Your photographs are amazing!

  19. Such a good idea to do a savory one! Looks amazing

  20. WOW! Both sound delicious! Beautiful plating and wonderful shots!

  21. I love the sound of carrots sauteed in pancetta. Really good job!

  22. I like the idea of a savoury crostata! It is indeed great to have a break from all the upcoming Xmas sweets.... Your crostata looks and sounds delicious!

  23. Crostatas are such a lovely, creative way to feature these ingredients. And the slaw you paired it with sounds wonderful!

  24. Yummy and savory. I love the mix of kale and carrots.

  25. I am a great lover of both kale and savory tarts (I made one with phyllo recently) so this is an immediate winner to me. Looks delicious!

  26. With my enormous sweet tooth, I admit I mostly favor sweet tarts. But this one is so magnificent looking, plus filled with my fave kale, that I just might have to make an exception. ;)

  27. Beautiful crosta you did a an awesome job.

  28. That looks incredibly good Asha! I love your idea to use kale in a crostata. Never thought about using that before. Great shots as usual!

  29. Your crostata looks very nice.

  30. I can't believe I missed this! Scumptious!!


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