Vegetarian flammekueche is a spin on the traditional dish originated from Alsace, and consisting on a thin crust topped with onions, crème fraîche and lardons, here replaced with smoked tofu. Light and elegant, it makes a delicious appetizer to entertain your guests.
I’ve been experimenting a lot around smoked tofu lately and I’m loving it. It worked great in my vegetarian tartiflette and it works equally well in this flammekueche recipe, as a replacement to “lardons”, a bacon-type product mostly found in France.
The idea is to keep these French classics close to the original recipes, although turned into vegetarian versions, and most importantly easy and accessible to anyone. For this reason, I keep the list of ingredients and the cooking instructions as simple as possible.
What is vegetarian flammekueche?
Vegetarian flammekueche (also called “tarte flambée”) is a spin on the traditional dish originated from the region of Alsace in France. This tart consisting in a very thin crust, baked at very high temperature and resembling to a pizza crust, topped with crème fraîche and onions. While the original recipe adds a bacon-type product on top, this vegetarian version features some smoked bacon strips instead.
The ingredients you need
- For the dough, you will need flour, salt, canola oil and lukewarm water. Unlike pizzas, there is no use of yeast in the flammekueche that is meant to remain flat while baking.
- Crème fraîche + ricotta cheese. The original French recipe calls for a mix of crème fraîche and “fromage blanc”, which can be hard to find overseas. I replaced it here with ricotta cheese and found that it worked just as fine.
- Onions. You will need to medium yellow onions for this recipe, sliced thinly.
- Smoked tofu. While the original recipe calls for some lardons, a bacon-type product commonly found in France, this vegetarian version uses smoked tofu cut into thin and short strips, lightly seasoned with paprika.
- Seasoning. Flammekueche calls for a very basic seasoning of salt and pepper, to which you can add some nutmeg for more subtle and elegant flavors.
Pro-tips to make flammekueche
- Place the tart in a hot and fully pre-heated oven. You’re looking for a high contrast of temperature. Ideally, you could warm your oven up to 530°F (280°C), but I found that you can get pretty fair results with a slightly lower temperature too.
- Keep it light. In other words, do not overload your flammekueche, as the toppings are supposed to be light and sparse rather than too generous and very filling. Make sure you slice the onions thinly, and same goes for the smoked tofu that I recommend you cut in thin short strips (see note below the recipe card).
- Make 2 small tarts rather than 1 large one. There is no right or wrong here, but I like to divide the dough into two equal parts, then roll them out into an oval shape. In my opinion, it looks more elegant than one very large flammekueche. But again, this is more a matter of aesthetics and personal preference.
A quick variation to your veggie flammekueche
If you don’t have smoked tofu, you can replace them with about 5.3 ounces mushrooms. If doing so, slice them and sauté for just a few seconds in butter before adding them to the tart. No need to use smoked paprika, but there is nothing wrong in doing it either. Your choice!
How to serve flammekueche?
There are two ways to enjoy your flammekueche:
- As an appetizer, sliced into small, individual bites you can grab on the go.
- As a starter/a main, sliced into larger pieces, and served with a side of lettuce seasoned with vinaigrette.
In both options, it’s always great to accompany your flammekueche with a dry white wine, ideally from Alsace, such as a Riesling or a Gewürztraminer.
Other French classics, revisited in a vegetarian version:
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- Prep Time: 45 mins
- Cook Time: 8 mins
- Total Time: 53 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Diet: Vegetarian
Vegetarian flammekueche is a spin on the traditional dish originated from Alsace, and consisting on a thin crust topped with onions, crème fraîche and lardons, here replaced with smoked tofu.
For the crust:
- 2 cups + 1 Tbsp (250g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup (50 ml) canola oil
- ⅔ cup (150 ml) water, lukewarm
For the filling:
- 2 yellow onions, sliced
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, divided
- 5.3 ounces (150g) smoked tofu, cut into short strips*
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3.5 ounces (100g) crème fraîche
- 3.5 ounces (100g) ricotta cheese**
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Freshly ground nutmeg (optional)
- In the bowl of a stand processor equipped with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, salt and canola oil. Slowly add the lukewarm water, and mix for a few minutes, until a smooth dough forms. Cover and place in the refrigerator while making the filling.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Heat 1 Tablespoon butter in a large frying pan, and melt the onions on low-medium heat for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside.
- Reusing the same pan, melt the remaining butter. Add the tofu strips*, smoked paprika, and saute for about 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until slightly golden.
- Mix together crème fraîche and ricotta cheese in a bowl.
- In a lightly floured surface, place the dough and divide in two equal parts. Roll each of them into a thin oval shape, and carefully transfer them onto the prepared baking sheet, side by side.
- Spread the cheese and cream mixture over each dough, leaving a border all around. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, then add the onions and smoked tofu strips.
- Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the crust is golden. It’s ready!
* Note about the smoked tofu. Make sure you choose “smoked” tofu, not plain tofu. To cut into short strips, slice your block of smoked tofu into slices, then cut each slice onto short strips, using the shorter side to do so.
** The original recipe calls for a mix of crème fraîche and so-called “fromage blanc”. If you live in France, you may want to replace ricotta cheese with it. Otherwise, ricotta works fine too.
Keywords: Vegetarian Flammekueche
Did you make this recipe?
Lastly, if you make this Vegetarian Flammekueche, be sure to leave a comment and give this recipe a rating, letting me know how you liked it. And of course, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Thank you and enjoy!