Festive Chickpea Tart & Other Thanksgiving Goodness

Think back if you will past the onslaught of deals on Cyber Monday, the chaos of Black Friday, to the food fest of last Thursday.  You may remember from my earlier post on vegan Thanksgiving ideas that I was planning on trying something new this year – the Festive Chickpea Tart from Dreena Burton.  (The recipe is available here and in her newest cookbook, Let Them Eat Vegan!)

Dreena’s recipes are no stranger to my Thanksgiving table, as I’ve enjoyed her mushroom gravy and cranberry sauce many times over.  For the main attraction, this year I decided to try something outside of those seitan standards and try my hand at her Festive Chickpea Tart.  Baked in a whole wheat pie crust, the tart is filled with a combination of smashed and whole chickpeas, walnuts,  spinach, and dried cranberries.  Added to that are wonderful fall herbs – parsley and thyme.

When I got to the grocery store to pick up everything on my list (including a couple of whole wheat frozen pie crusts from the freezer section for convenience sake), I noticed that there wasn’t any organic frozen spinach to be found.  I opted instead for fresh spinach and contacted Dreena on Facebook.  How fantastic is the internet age, when we can so easily get in contact with cookbook authors to ask, “How much fresh spinach should I use in place of frozen?”

Dreena was so sweet to get back to me right away.  She said, “One 10 ounce pack of frozen spinach is about the same as using one pound of spinach, steamed – which wilts so much it goes to about one cup (which is about same as frozen).  Either way, you want to squeeze out the excess water, so steam it lightly (don’t overcook), then give a squeeze!  If you are a little short on spinach – don’t fret it!  Even ½ cup is fine to work through mix.  Enjoy!  Happy Thanksgiving!”

Since I was making two tarts, I probably should have picked up two bunches of fresh spinach instead of one.  However, the stores were closed at that point, and it all worked out fine anyway.  Even dividing one pound between two tarts, it still set just fine and tasted fabulous.

We went out of town for Thanksgiving, and so I just made the filling the night before and kept it separate from the crusts.  Then the next day I loaded up the frozen pie crusts and container of filling and threw them in the cooler.  Once I got to my destination, I just had to fill and bake them a while longer than listed in the recipe since the filling was cold instead of warm.

(Update: Several people have found my blog by searching, “Can the Festive Chickpea Tart be frozen?”  The answer is yes!  According to a poster on Dreena’s Facebook page, she makes several at Thanksgiving.  She serves two that day and freezes the rest – covered in tin foil and wrapped in a freezer bag – for Christmas. On Christmas, she pulls them out of the freezer, takes them on an hour-long car ride to the in-laws, and pops them in the oven there with great results!)

The beautiful tart was the essence of fall and made for very pretty presentation with freshly chopped parsley on top.  If you’ve ever tried a savory vegan pate, the flavors were similar with their nutty depth and then a pop of sweetness from the cranberries.

In addition to the chickpea tart, I also made green bean casserole from Susan Voisin from Fat Free Vegan.  The recipe uses fresh green beans in a creamy mushroom sauce.  (No canned mushroom soup here!)  Then it’s topped with breadcrumbs and crunchy French onions, which have been ground in the food processor.  Green bean casserole has always been one of my favorites at Thanksgiving, and I’ll definitely be making this recipe again.

I finished out my Thanksgiving plate with turnip pickles, olive & artichoke pâté, and a big green leafy salad with creamy garlic dressing.  (Not all of those things are pictured above.  That is David’s plate.  It looked better than mine!)

Then I was so surprised and delighted that my non-vegan sister-in-law brought cranberry sauce and roasted sweet potatoes, which were vegan.  My thoughtful niece made homemade Oreo’s again from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. (She’s becoming a consummate baker!)  And my mom went absolutely above and beyond with all-vegan mashed potatoes, creamy sage & pepper gravy from Vegan Diner, and homemade apple crisp!

My mom also made the fluffy biscuits from Vegan Diner for me and David, but my nieces and nephews were so enamored with them, neither of us got to try a bite.  They just kept running to us saying, “These are so amazing!  They’re the best biscuits ever!  Do you mind if we eat another?”  I loved that they were enjoying them so much, I didn’t mind that I didn’t get a nibble!  Also, I have to say that buying my mom Vegan Diner and my niece VCIYCJ has really paid off for me! Now I just have to decide which cookbooks to buy them for Christmas.  I will I mean, they will be so happy!

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a happy one!

Disclosure: Links to cookbooks are connected to the Amazon Affiliate program. When you buy products through my site, I make a few cents.

20 thoughts on “Festive Chickpea Tart & Other Thanksgiving Goodness

  1. Such a decadent feast! I love that Dreena got right back to you about the spinach! I looked at that recipe for green bean casserole on Fat Free Vegan kitchen as well and ended up going with PPK’s one. Next year I’ll do fat free vegans, I think it will taste better. Oh my on the vegan oreos! So cool that your family made vegan goods!

    • I agree, it was so awesome of Dreena to get back to me right away. What did we do before the internet? I’ve never tried the PPK green bean casserole. What didn’t you like about it? It was really sweet of my family members to make so many vegan options. It definitely warmed my heart and belly! :D

  2. Looks like a wonderful Thanksgiving both food and people-wise! I’ve been eying the chickpea tart for a long time and should probably just make it already. I was thinking Let Them Eat Vegan would be a good gift. :) I’ve also had “good luck” giving Appetite for Reduction.

  3. I made the chickpea tart for a Christmas dinner a couple years ago, it was my first year celebrating with my anti-vegan side of the family and I didn’t want to weird them out with seitan. I served it with gravy and it went over really well, my husband thought it was the best part of the meal! I loved the tartness from the flecks of cranberries. Your meal sounds amazing! My mom doesn’t have any vegan cookbooks, so I picked up a copy of Appetite for Reduction to give her this year, I figured it had the least amount of “weird” ingredients.

    • Good call on the chickpea tart for those hesitant of seitan! That was my thinking too. Plus, it’s refreshing to have a different centerpiece sometimes. Yes, the flecks of cranberries were a nice touch!

      We think alike! At the same time that I got my mom Vegan Diner, I got her Appetite for Reduction too. The ingredients are consistently mainstream. Plus, it balances out some of the indulgence of Vegan Diner!

  4. Glad to hear you had a nice Thanksgiving! The chickpea tart looks lovely and sounds perfect for a festive occasion! I don’t have any of Dreena’s books yet but really want to add one to my collection as I’ve heard so many great things about them. I tried Susan’s green bean casserole a few years ago and really enjoyed it too. Thanks for the reminder about it!

    • I’ve had good luck with Dreena’s recipes time and again. They’re definitely worth checking out! Plus, she has a lot of them available online on her website.

  5. It looks like you had quite a great feast! That chickpea tart is just begging for me to make it. Remind me next year that I wanted to make that for Thanksgiving, ok? ;-)

  6. Fabulous feast! The chickpea tart looks gorgeous and like a fun alternative to seitan or roasts. I don’t know which rock I was hiding under, but I didn’t know about Dreena’s cookbooks until this fall when I stumbled across her blog (love it). I checked out Eat, Drink and Be Vegan from the library last week and think it will have to take up permanent residence in our house…and then I’ll probably have to add LTEV as well :)

    • Yes, Dreena’s work is consistently good! LTEV is on my Christmas wish list, but I recently checked it out from the library for a sneak peek.

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