Rainbow-Carrot Tart with Pea Shoots

This dish is the perfect way to use the rainbow carrots you bought at the farmers' market.

Rainbow-Carrot Tart with Pea Shoots
Photo: Johnny Autry; Food and Prop Styling: Charlotte L. Autry
Active Time:
25 mins
Roast Time:
25 mins
Bake Time:
20 mins
Cool Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins

The centerpiece for any elegant lunch or brunch, this Rainbow-Carrot Tart with Pea Shoots is the perfect way to celebrate the warm weather. And though this tart may look impressive, it's deceptively easy to throw pull off. Thanks to the pre-made, frozen phyllo pastry, this tart comes together rather quickly—no days of lamination or miniscule cubes of butter required. In fact, this tart comes together in just under an hour and a half.

Thanks to vibrant rainbow carrots, this tart looks as good as it tastes. Unlike some other fruits or vegetables, carrots retain much of their pretty color when cooked—we simply love the deep, inky hue of purple carrots in particular. If you can't find rainbow carrots, this tart will still work with the regular orange variety—but multi-colored carrots add a touch of whimsy to this tart that we can't help but adore. All of the components of this tart are arranged separately, so when the final product comes together, you'll be amazed at the ease of this stunning tart. The carrots—which roast separately from the pastry—rest on a base of crunchy phyllo and swoops of creamy ricotta spread.

Never come across pea shoots before? The delicate leaves and tendrils from pea plants are often sold at farmers' markets in the spring. If you can find them, their mildly sweet flavor and crunchy texture make them a lovely garnish or addition to a salad. Here, they work alongside fresh mint to add herbal brightness to a stunning spring dish. If you can't find pea shoots, watercress is an easy substitute.


  • 1 (1-lb.) bunch baby multicolored carrots, tops removed, halved lengthwise

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, grated (about 1 ⅓ cups), divided 

  • 1 ½ cups whole-milk ricotta cheese (from 1 [16-oz.] container)

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint, plus small mint leaves for garnish

  • 1 garlic clove, grated (¾ tsp.)

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon), divided

  • 20 thawed phyllo pastry sheets (from 1 [16-oz.] pkg.)

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted

  • Fresh pea shoots, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F with a rimmed baking sheet on center rack. Toss together carrots and oil in a large bowl to coat; spread in an even layer on hot baking sheet. Roast until tender and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once halfway through cook time.

  2. Meanwhile, measure 2 tablespoons of the pecorino Romano into a small bowl; set aside for serving. Place remaining pecorino Romano in a medium bowl. Add ricotta, mint, garlic, pepper, salt, and 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest; stir to combine. Set aside until ready to use.

  3. Once carrots have finished roasting, remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F. Place 1 phyllo sheet on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (cover remaining phyllo sheets with a damp towel to prevent drying out). Generously brush with some of the melted butter. Repeat layers using remaining phyllo sheets and butter.

  4. Spread ricotta mixture in a thin layer over top phyllo layer, leaving a ½-inch border. Arrange roasted carrots over ricotta mixture. Bake at 400°F until phyllo is golden brown and crispy around edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

  5. Sprinkle tart evenly with reserved 2 tablespoons pecorino Romano and remaining 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Garnish tart with mint leaves and pea shoots. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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