This is a delicious savoury take on a classic Christmas recipe. The soft, sweet caramelised shallots pair perfectly with the earthy chestnuts and make for a real showstopper dish. Great as both a main and a side alongside other festive recipes.

Cooking times: 50 minutes  / Serves: 6


3 tbsp olive oil 

6 banana shallots, skin removed and halved lengthways 

1 x 180g pouch Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts 

3 tbsp brown sugar 

4 tbsp balsamic vinegar 

3 thyme sprigs, plus extra to serve 

2 rosemary sprigs 

320g roll of pre-made puff pastry (Vegan)  


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan).  
  2. Cut the roll of pastry into a circle 2.5 cm larger than your pan. Lightly dust with flour, place on a sheet of non-stick baking paper on a tray or board and chill for 20 minutes, or until needed.  
  3. Heat the olive oil in a 10 inch ovenproof, non-stick pan. Add the shallots, cut side facing up, and cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat until starting to char on one side. Add the chestnuts, then sprinkle over the brown sugar and flip the shallots over, arranging everything neatly in the pan to ensure there are no gaps.  
  4. Lower the heat, then add the balsamic vinegar, thyme, rosemary and a splash of water. Simmer gently for 5 minutes until starting to thicken. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat.  
  5. Place the chilled pastry on top, tucking it into the edges of the pan, using a wooden spoon to help you if it’s too hot. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.  
  6. Wearing an oven glove, place a large plate or board over the top of the pan and once secure, quickly flip to turn out the tart. Sprinkle over some fresh thyme sprigs and serve.  

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