The thing I love most about crostata, a rustic tart that lends itself to sweet fillings as well as savory ones, is that it is freeform and easygoing.
You roll out your dough, place something in the middle, fold up the sides, and bake. That’s it.
Super simple, super flexible, super approachable.
For this savory rendition, I went with sliced and seasoned roasted carrots rustically arranged over a spiced yogurt sauce. I love easy recipes that call for kitchen staples. I want more of them in my life!
I love being able to promptly pull out ingredients that are already in my fridge and cabinets, and getting them prepped right away, just as inspiration strikes.
I usually have a bulk bag of carrots in my refrigerator, since we eat them in a variety of formats, from raw to roasted!
Ground cumin is staple spice in my spice rack – which I love mixing with root vegetables and savory yogurt sauces.
Einkorn flour and butter are both common ingredients in my kitchen – and they provide the base to make an incredibly flaky pastry dough.
The crust of this crostata is lightly adapted from our favorite all-butter einkorn pastry recipe, which we used in our einkorn flour red fruit hand pies.
Here, I made a few changes to the dough for a savory application, with the addition of yogurt and basil.
The crust uses a whole stick of butter, which may seem like an overwhelming amount of fat. But everything is better with butter. And trust us – it yields a crazy flaky dough. In this crostata, it reminded me of the crispy edges of a croissant!
You’ll notice I also put basil in the sauce, garnish, and dough. It provides a subtle layer of flavor and a beautiful appearance, and ties the whole dish together with its floral aroma. But it’s optional, especially if you don’t have fresh basil on hand.
You can also substitute other fresh herbs that pair well with the cumin in this recipe, like cilantro or parsley.
To make full use of the yogurt sauce, I spread half on the bottom of the unbaked pastry before layering the carrots on top. When baked, it transforms into a delicately tangy papery thin layer.
The other half I save for the end as a cool and creamy dipping sauce. When you’re ready to eat, garnish the warm crostata with some extra chopped herbs, a sprinkling of sea salt, and serve with the yogurt sauce on the side.
Warming, tangy, buttery, flaky, savory, earthy, floral, sweet…
In a word, if I had to limit myself to just one: perfect.Print
Cumin-Spiced Carrot Crostata with Basil
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
Enjoy a vegetarian dinner tonight with our crostata featuring cumin-basil yogurt, roasted carrots, and a flaky einkorn flour pastry dough. Read more now.
For the Crust:
- 1 cup all-purpose einkorn flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 tablespoon full-fat Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh basil
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
For the Carrot Filling:
- 1 pound carrots (about 6 to 8 medium)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Yogurt Spread:
- 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/8 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Dough:
- Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until the butter is broken into pea-sized pieces and evenly distributed throughout the flour.
- Cut in the yogurt and water until just incorporated. The dough should not be fully mixed.
- Add the herbs and work them into the dough with a sturdy spoon or your hands to form a cohesive dough without overmixing.
- Form the dough into a disc, lightly sprinkle with flour, and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Prepare the carrots and yogurt as the dough chills.
For the Carrots:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, and cumin.
- Prep the carrots by peeling the skins and chopping off the tops and bottoms. Cut the carrots in half lengthwise and place in the large bowl. Depending on the length, you may need to cut larger carrots in half horizontally as well. Combine with the oil mixture until the carrots are completely coated.
- Transfer the carrots to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or a silicone mat, arranging them in a single layer. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes, turning the sheet halfway through, until the carrots are crisp-tender and starting to brown around the edges and tips.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely, about 20 minutes.
For the Yogurt Spread:
In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, cumin, basil, salt, and pepper. Place the bowl in the fridge until ready to use.
To Assemble and Bake:
- Raise the temperature of the oven to 400°F.
- Remove the chilled disc from the fridge and place on a lightly floured surface. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Carefully transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Spread half of the yogurt sauce in the center of the dough, leaving a border of about 2 inches around the edges. Place the remaining sauce in the refrigerator for serving.
- Top the crostata with the roasted carrots, shingling them as needed.
- Fold the edges of the dough towards the middle, crimping the dough to create pleats. Briefly whisk the egg and tablespoon water so they are lightly beaten together and lightly brush the crust with the egg wash.
- Bake 35-40 minutes or until the crust is golden, turning the baking sheet halfway through baking. Remove from the oven. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Serve!
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Crostata
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Pastry
Keywords: carrot, cumin, crostata, basil, yogurt
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Make and Chill the Dough
Cube the butter, and place it on a plate and put it back in the fridge to keep it as cold as possible while you measure the remaining ingredients.
Roughly chop the basil. Measure out the flour, salt, yogurt, and cold water.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt with a whisk. Using a pastry cutter, incorporate the cold cubed butter into the flour until the butter is broken into pea-sized pieces and is evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Cut in the yogurt and cold water, mixing until just incorporated. The dough should not be fully combined, since you will be adding the basil next. You don’t want to overmix the dough, or else it may become tough.
Using your hands or a sturdy spoon, mix in the basil until it’s evenly distributed and a cohesive dough forms. Again, don’t overmix!
Form the dough into a flat disc, lightly sprinkle the top and bottom with flour, and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
You can make the dough ahead of time and leave tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to two days.
While the dough is chilling, this gives you just the right amount of time to prepare and cook the carrots and make the yogurt spread.
Step 2 – Prep the Carrots
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prep the carrots by peeling the skins with a vegetable peeler. Chop off the tops and bottoms and discard them (or save them for stock!). Cut the carrots in half lengthwise.
Depending on the length of your root vegetables, you may need to cut larger carrots in half horizontally. Longer pieces may get in the way of folding the crostata over to form a crust.
Whisk together the oil, honey, and cumin in a large bowl. Add the carrots and toss to combine until the carrots are completely covered in the oil mixture.
There may be some oil mixture left at the bottom of the bowl, which will not go to waste!
Step 3 – Roast the Carrots
Transfer the carrots to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or a silicone mat. Using a spatula, scrape any remaining oil from the bowl and drizzle it over the carrots. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, turning the baking sheet halfway through, until the carrots are crisp-tender and starting to brown around the edges and tips.
You don’t want the carrots to get too soft, since they will continue cooking when the crostata bakes.
Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside to let the vegetables cool completely, for about 20 minutes.
Step 4 – Make the Yogurt Sauce
While the carrots are cooling, make the yogurt sauce by whisking together the yogurt, cumin, basil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Place the bowl in the fridge until you’re ready to use the sauce.
Step 5 – Assemble
Raise the temperature of the oven to 400°F.
Remove the chilled disc from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface. Let the dough sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes.
It will be easier to roll out if it softens slightly at room temperature. But don’t let it sit too long – you don’t want the butter to start melting!
Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circle that’s about 12 inches in diameter. Carefully transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Spread half of the yogurt sauce in the center of the dough, leaving about 2 inches around the edges free. Top the yogurt sauce with the roasted carrots, allowing them to overlap as needed.
The other half of the yogurt sauce will be used for serving on the side. Place the remaining sauce in the fridge to keep it cold.
Fold the edges of the dough towards the middle, crimping the dough to create pleats. It’s okay if the edges rip slightly – this is supposed to look fun and rustic!
Whisk the egg and water in a bowl, and use a pastry brush to brush the crust with a thin coating of the egg wash.
Step 6 – Bake
Immediately transfer the baking sheet to the oven – you don’t want the dough to be at room temperature for any longer than is absolutely necessary, or it will begin to melt excessively in the oven and lose its shape.
If the dough feels too soft before baking, you can place the entire crostata on the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or until the dough feels stiff and chilled.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the tips of the carrots start to brown. Remove from the oven. Let cool slightly on the pan, for about 10 minutes.
Step 7 – Serve
If desired, you can lightly drizzle the tart with honey and garnish with additional chopped basil and a sprinkle of salt.
Cut into wedges and serve warm with the remaining yogurt sauce. The crostata is also delicious at room temperature. Choose your own adventure!
Add a Salad for a Full Meal
Consider serving this crostata with a simple side salad. A small plateful of fresh greens is all you need to transform this savory pastry into a complete dinner that is satisfying any night of the week.
But make sure you’re making the right choice of salad!
Fresh, crisp lettuce and other raw ingredients will help balance the buttery luxury of the crust and the deeply roasted earthiness of the carrots.
You don’t want to serve anything that features similar ingredients in the crostata itself. Save the autumn napa cabbage salad or roasted vegetable and herb salad for another night.
Serve a salad that will provide more of a crisp contrast. Our satsuma, red onion, and pomegranate salad, or this easy house salad with cucumbers and tomatoes would both be ideal options.
Whatever you decide, don’t forget to let me know! The comment section is wide open for all of your suggestions.
I’d also love to know what you thought of the crostata recipe – did you try different spice combinations? Maybe you used a different root veggie? Leave me a message, please!
For more vegetarian dinner ideas with bold flavors, I have a few more I think you’ll love to try next:
- Garlic Ginger Vegetarian Tacos with Cabbage Slaw
- Spaghetti Squash with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta
- Mexican Street Corn
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on September 2, 2015. Last updated on February 10, 2022. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.
21 thoughts on “Cumin-Spiced Carrot Crostata with Basil”
so happy to see you writing again..i bet with baby, everything changes but hopefully with time, you will find that rhythm.
Every day, things become a little more normal in this new life. I’m learning! And thankful.
I’m happy to see you writing again too! But just so you’ll know, a peek at Rocco in the midst of the delicious food photos wouldn’t hurt my feelings. 😉
Haha! Trust me, the world does not want for Rocco photos. We have a separate instagram set up @dailydoseofrocco where can overgram to our hearts’ content. : )
What a delicious way to mark the return of your kitchen mojo; it’s so good to see you back here.
You’re so kind, K. Thanks for being here!
So happy to read this – not only baby stuff (i love babies!! and congrats!!) but also nourishing food. it’s important. i remember when i had lillie, we had sandwiches for so long that i couldn’t look at sandwiches for a year or so. 😉 but you do what you can. thanks for this amazing recipe, crafted with love and care AND baby. xo
haha! I so understand. “You do what you can” is a good motto to keep!
Welcome back, so happy to hear you are on the mend and feeling a little inspired again. Take it easy. We’ll be here the next time too. Congrats again. Love to you three.
Thanks, Stephanie! xx
Your comment about pantry ingredient recipes hits right at home for me as I live in a fly in/out wee town in the Arctic! Since we get NO fresh herbs here, how much dried basil would you recommend using? Hubby and I are empty-nesters and are discovering how much we love to actually cook again. While our three (all a year and a half apart in ages) were home, week nights were more survival mode than real cooking. Enjoy all your new firsts with Rocco and thank you for this amazing looking recipe!
Hi Chris, Hello out there in the Arctic! I believe you are the first person I’ve heard from out there. And no fresh herbs — so sad! I’d probably just forgo the basil here completely if I didn’t have fresh, but if you want to try dried, maybe a few dashes? You don’t want it to be overpowering, just a kiss of basil. good luck and enjoy!
Oh Shannon! I used a few dashes of freeze-dried basil, and this recipe was FANTASTIC! We had some for dinner, and then the next day for lunch again. My little grand babies (almost 4 and 5.5 years old) that live here always come to our house for lunches on school days, and both had to try this. Great advice on cutting the carrot sticks super thin; a few of mine were a bit too thick, and the difference was immediately noticeable. Thank you so much for this and all your recipes! I so envy your talent, but am so grateful that you share it so freely. With Thanksgiving being only a week and a half away here in Canada, you and your fellow bloggers are definitely one of the things I am very grateful for!
Oh I’m so glad! Happy Thanksgiving in advance!
This sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing Shanna, I’m happy to hear you’re getting back to normal after having your little one. I can imagine birthing another human would take a lot out of a gal! I will definitely be giving this a try in my kitchen, especially since I have an abundance of garden carrots!
Health and Happiness to you and your family,
Oh sheesh it certainly did take a lot out of me — I am surprised and amazed by the whole process and by women in general. Our bodies are crazy. I look at Rocco all the time and think “how did you grow inside me!?!?” Amazing.
Shanna, so glad you’re ok and fine now. And that you’re back writing! Missed your voice! 🙂 Big changes usually throw us off tangent for a while, but once we manage to find our equilibrium, we’ll get back to doing what we love the most.
sending love from Washington DC (just moved here!!)
Welcome stateside, Felicia!
I wonder if I could get Ayla to eat carrots (which she adamantly refuses these days) if I made them into this tasty looking crostata? 😉
This INDIAN-SPICED CARROT CROSTATA WITH BASIL is so beautiful. I haven’t really cooked a lot with Indian spices but this looks and sounds wonderful.
This sounds delicious! I love anything with cumin in it so I will definitely have to try this