This gorgeous Rustic Spring Herb Tart with Flaky Gluten-Free Sourdough Crust is made with foraged and garden ingredients, and is completely flexible–you can make it with all kinds of delicious herbs and foraged ingredients. The gluten-free sourdough crust is rustic, rich and flaky, and will be a go-to for us now forever forward. I’m not sure we’ll ever make another crust again. I amended this one with a few grinds of black pepper and herbs to make it a savory version, which we really enjoyed. I will use the same sourdough pie crust ingredients for my next fruit tart and will sub in a bit of baker’s sugar and a dash of cinnamon. So easy.
As with all recipes I post here on Eating Buckets, this is an original recipe. Please let me know if you make it, and please credit and tag me if you share it with your friends. Thank you so much for your support.
Easy & Flexible Ingredients
You can make this tart with a variety of seasonal spring ingredients. I used only what was growing in our garden along with wild foraged dandelion greens and flowers. Freshly picked asparagus made this a true hit, with a sweet, tender flavor unlike any store bought asparagus I have ever tasted, ever. Remember: You can plant asparagus crowns now for a small harvest next year, and lots more asparagus to harvest as the years go by.
Remember that all ingredients are flexible. Don’t like something you see? Nix it and sub in what you like or have on hand.
Here’s a walk through our garden as I forage for the ingredients, followed by a step-by-step tutorial to make the crust, layer the fresh ingredients, and bake it.
This filling is desperately easy and completely easy for you to create on your own based on what you have on hand. Fill it with your favorite flavors, remembering to keep things fresh and vibrant, as that’s really the highlight of this tart.
I used only ingredients I could find in the garden. The fresher the ingredients, the fresher the flavor, and you’ll notice the difference, I promise.
As for portions, the best rule of thumb for every ingredient is “a small handful” of the following optional ingredients, with a few exceptions, as noted:
- Fresh asparagus
- Dandelion greens and flowers
- Borage leaves and flowers
- Spring onions
- Radish shoots/sprouts (I used only a few–you can use whatever you have available from thinning your garden, or baby radishes cut into halves or quarters, depending on size)
- Arugula leaves (and flowers if you have them; my arugula is overwintered so it’s producing flowers and heading toward seed at the moment)
- Fresh oregano
- Early red potatoes (about 1-2 cups)
- 4 eggs, gently mixed
- 1 clove chopped garlic
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- About 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar (not pictured) or a squeeze of lemon or drizzle of white or red vinegar
- Favorite protein (optional). I had a bit of grilled Italian tofu knocking about the fridge, so I added it. This is totally not necessary.
- Cheese (optional). I used mozzarella, but Gruyere, Swiss, fresh Parmesan, or provolone would all be amazing. If you don’t have cheese, you could add another egg or two, or just omit the cheese altogether.
Other lovely additions to this tart would be lightly blanched or sauteed nettles, spring leeks, mint, early basil, sorrel, fresh tarragon, fresh thyme, finely chopped fresh rosemary, a few errant fir tips, dead head nettle, a bit of grated lemon zest, broccolini, kale flowers, chopped chard, early hardy greens, chopped mature radish leaves, and more.
Gently saute thinly sliced potatoes in high-heat oil with chopped garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until just tender.
Meanwhile, chop all your ingredients and keep each separated on a distinct little zone on the cutting board.
Then, make your crust.
Sourdough Crust Ingredients
This very well might be the easiest slam-dunk crust you’ll ever make. It is rich, flaky, rustic, and totally simple. No special tools or directions, just mix, chill, and press into the pan. If you don’t have a sourdough starter to work with, here’s how to make it: Video Tutorial and Guide: How to Make Gluten-Free (Or Any!) Sourdough Starter. It happens to be gluten-free, but you can simply follow the same formula for your regular wheat sourdough.
Preheat oven to 425.
Gather your ingredients:
- 1 cup blanched almond flour (I used Kirkland brand)
- 1 cup gluten-free flour (I used Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend)
- 1 rounded teaspoon sea salt (reduce accordingly if you use salted butter; I used Himalayan)
- 1/4 cup butter*
- 1/4 cup shortening*
- 1/4 cup coconut oil*
- 1/4-1/3 cup sourdough starter
- Pinch of baking soda
- Optional: Ground black pepper, Italian herbs
*You need 3/4-cup total oil/fat. You can mix and match or just use one. I haven’t tried this with a liquid oil; I can only recommend a solid, such as what is listed or margarine/vegan butter.
Add almond flour and gluten-free flour to a mixing bowl, followed by sea salt, baking soda, herbs, and pepper. Mix dry ingredients thoroughly.
Using a fork, mix fats into the flour to form pea-sized balls.
DO NOT OVERMIX the dough. The key to a flaky crust is to keep pockets of butter and fat fully discrete within the crust so that when you press it into the pan, they’ll form the layers that make your crust flaky.
If you don’t have all three fats available then simply substitute what you have on hand–don’t stress about running to the store for butter, shortening, and coconut oil. As I explain in the video, I wanted to try working with all three, but you can try the recipe with 3/4 cup of just one of the options, or 1/4 butter and 1/2 cup coconut oil, etc.. I’ve made this crust with only coconut oil and it was truly the best vegan (let alone gluten-free) crust I’ve ever tried.
When flour is in pea-shaped balls, add your sourdough starter, gently mix to incorporate, form easily into a ball, and set aside to cool in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes, the perfect amount of time for your potatoes to cook and for your oven to fully preheat.
A Note About Sourdough Starters
Remember that every sourdough starter has a difference consistency. Mine is relatively thick and fluffy, as you’ll see from the video. If yours is particularly thin or wet, you might want to start with 1/4 cup of starter and add more as needed. I’ve made this a few times and one time I added a precise 1/2-cup and it was perfect. The next time I only used coconut oil (no butter or shortening) and soon realized I needed a bit more starter to hold the dough together in a beautiful, spongy, buttery-textured ball.
My suggestion is to start with 1/4-cup starter and see how your dough reacts, then add in 1/8-1/4-cup measurements til it all holds together nicely with a good intact crumb, not to wet, not so dry that it doesn’t stick together. The video tutorial gives you a good sense of what you’re looking for here.
Remove crust from fridge, and press the entire ball of crust into your pie dish. I rolled half of mine out first, then changed my mind and decided to press the entire ball of dough into the pie pan. It’s a thicker more rustic take on a pie crust, and it was PERFECT.
Precook crust for 15 minutes, turn, and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until golden. Remove from oven.
Filling the Tart
Layer your ingredients into the pie crust, starting with your potatoes and placing more tender greens and herbs in the center, with your asparagus, spring onions, and separated dandelion flowers at the end. Step-by-step instructions for this are in the video tutorial.
Whisk 4 eggs gently.
Drizzle eggs evenly over the herb and potato layers. Top with salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic or other vinegars or a squeeze of lemon, and bake covered with foil at 425 for 25 minutes, rotating periodically.
Remove foil, add borage and arugula flowers and top with shredded cheese. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.