Kale, Mushroom & Cranberry Tart, plus some BIG Trees

Kale Tart-featured

Before I tell you about how awesome this tart is (and how awesome I felt after successfully veganizing one of Giada’s cheesy, buttery recipes), I wanted to share some photos from our recent trip to California.  Kevin attended the Microsoft Build conference in San Francisco, while I did some solo city exploring.

Alcatraz & GG BridgeflowersFerry Building

I was lucky to have a gorgeous day while visiting Alcatraz and the Ferry Building.

Prior to the conference, we drove up to Redwood National and State Parks for some camping and hiking.  I think this was my favorite portion of the trip.  We had seen giant sequoias a few years ago in Yosemite, but Mariposa Grove is nowhere near the scale of  the coast redwoods.  Seriously, look how tall these guys are!

Elk Praire Tree

Kevin Tree Hugger

Tall Trees

Kevin hugging the base of that redwood might be the cutest hug ever :P

The woods there are so beautiful, and immense.  We didn’t see too many other hikers, so walking through those old green forests felt peaceful, and a bit magical.

Mossy Trees_2Kevin in Mossy TreesMossy Trees_1

One of  the coolest areas we hiked through was Fern Canyon.  This canyon has walls 40-50 feet high, and is covered in six varieties of ferns.

Fern Canyon-large

After the conference, we spent the weekend in Sonoma.  Hello wine country!


Woodhouse chocolatesLondon's Beauty Ranch vineyards

100+ temps weren’t the most fun, but we did some inside activities.  Like having lunch at SHED (above is a pic of their fermentation bar, blueberry vinegar drink – woah) and picking up some fancy chocolates from Woodhouse (brown butter ganache coated in a thin layer of white chocolate – holy).

Ok, vacation is over, back to the tart .  I saw Giada making this recipe on her show a few weeks ago, and thought it would be really fun to make it, and make it vegan.  The tart has three layers – crust, cheese mixture, and veggie topping.

The crust is essentially a flatbread.  The dough comes together quickly using a stand mixer, and only needs a few minutes of kneading.  To make it healthier, I subbed in some whole wheat pastry flour, and I used vegan butter instead of regular butter (here is the butter recipe I use).  For the blue & cream cheese layer, I used a vegan goat cheese recipe I found online.  Although this spread doesn’t have a true goat cheese flavor, it was still pretty decent on its own, and tasted great on the tart.  Next time I make this, I’ll probably use the baked almond feta I love.  For the kale, mushroom, leek topping, I again used vegan butter, and subbed vegetable broth for chicken.

After assembling the layers, I was so excited.  It looked beautiful!  The colors are gorgeous, and the flatbread crust developed some serious grillmarks (go Calphalon grillpan!)  It was also absolutely delicious.  I love leeks, shallots, kale, and shiitakes, so it’s not surprising I loved the topping.  But I was a bit surprised that the flatbread and creamy layer were just as good, and made for one tasty tart.

Kale Tart

Don’t be scared off by the length of the instructions.  It’s just three layers, each layer is pretty simple, and they can be made ahead of time (the “cheese” even the day before).  If you could care less about it being vegan, just use regular butter and either make the blue cheese mixture or spread goat cheese.  If you want a nice light summer dinner, pair this tart with a simple green salad and some white wine.  Mmmm. :)

Kale, Mushroom & Cranberry Tart – adapted from Giada at Home

Vegan Goat Cheese Spread (adapted from this recipe)

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • water (to thin)

Place the cashews in a bowl of water, and soak overnight.  Drain and place in a food processor. Blend the drained cashews, vinegar, lemon juice, & salt until white and creamy (scraping down sides often). Add water to thin if the mixture is very thick. Cover and let sit for at least 8 hrs. to “ripen.” Store in the fridge.


  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup (2oz.) vegan butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Combine the flour, salt and baking soda in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until incorporated, about 2 min. With the machine running, slowly add 1/3 cup water and mix until a dough forms, adding more water if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 4 min. Form the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 min.

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 1/4-inch-thick circle, about 9-inches in diameter. Brush with olive oil. Grill for 4 minutes per side.


  • 2 tbsp. vegan butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 oz. sliced shiitake, cremini or button mushrooms (I used a mix of shiitake & cremini)
  • 1 medium leek, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise & thinly sliced (washed)
  • 1 large or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • One 8oz. bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, leeks, shallot, 1 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about 8 min. Add the kale and cook until wilted, about 6 min. Add the broth and cranberries. Bring to a boil and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper.


Using a spatula, spread the cheese layer evenly over the crust. Spoon the filling on top. Cut the tart into slices and serve.

Yield – 4-6 servings


21 thoughts on “Kale, Mushroom & Cranberry Tart, plus some BIG Trees

  1. What a lovely post. I grew up in California, in a small town just outside of Yosemite (Mariposa) and your story made me a little homesick. Although I don’t miss the heat! And Napa. Awwww. What a nice trip you made. Your tart looks wonderful.

    • Aw, thank you! What a wonderful place to grow up. Yosemite was our first national park experience, and we budgeted wayyy too little time there. Hope to go back at some point and spend a couple weeks.

  2. Aren’t those trees the best!? The tart looks great. Was the flatbread crumbly at all? Can’t wait to try it

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