A Silky Chocolate Tart With the Crunchiest Quinoa Crust

Two unlikely pantry staples come together in this very-versatile tart.

February  1, 2021
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine. Food Stylist: Lauren LaPenna.

Our friends at Imperfect Foods are reimagining grocery delivery. Their mission: to eliminate food waste and build a kinder, less wasteful world. So we're sharing smart recipes and meal-planning tips that make the most of their grocery delivery offerings—from a wide variety of produce to their budget-friendly pantry and private-label goods (think: pasta, grains, chocolate, and more).

My best friend Erin has always been the most prepared person I know.

Hitting the road for a cross-country trip? She’d come packed with freshly baked cookies, bags of pretzels, and a cooler filled with cans of sparkling water. Unexpected guests (back in those days when you could have people over)? A bag of tortilla chips and homemade salsa were always ready and waiting.

The embodiment of this quality was her awe-inspiring pantry, stocked with every canned good, condiment, grain, flour, sauce, and spice you can think of. (She’s even got a kid-friendly shelf filled with individually packaged snacks.)

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Top Comment:
“There is a good deal of confusion about the terms grain, cereal and their relatives, but pseudo cereals (cereals being grasses, members of the poaceae, while pseudo cereals come from broadleaf plants) are most often classified as grains (or pseudo cereal grains) for commercial and culinary purposes. ”
— Smaug

It took years of friendship for me to go from admiring this quality of hers to realizing that I could attempt this level of pantry preparedness myself. The trick is to buy strategically, stay organized, and always keep shelf-stable goods handy. One of the ways I do this is with Imperfect Foods—I get a weekly order of their groceries delivered to my house, and cook from it throughout the week.

I always look forward to the variety of produce that comes in each order, but I’ve come to especially rely on their private-label products. Imperfect’s private-label goods are not only high-quality, but budget-friendly too. Even better, some of their products help fight food waste. For instance, their up-cycled double chocolate chip cookies use flour made from coffee cherries (the part of the fruit that doesn’t turn into our favorite caffeinated beverage) and their chocolate-covered pretzels use broken pretzel pieces that might otherwise get tossed. Whatever you’re shopping for, they’ve got an extensive line-up to choose from: cooking oils, spices, nuts, pasta, rice, lentils, quinoa, and—key to any prepared pantry—multiple kinds of chocolate and snacks to suit any craving. (The Dark Chocolate-Covered Broken Almonds are a personal favorite, and the Hatch Chile-Seasoned Corn Chips are next on my list to try.)

Two of their private-label products have already earned permanent positions in my pantry: their Chocolate Discs and Organic Black Quinoa. The Dark Chocolate Discs come in either 64% or 85% cacao—I like having both on hand for last-minute baking adventures. Their Organic Black Quinoa is such a versatile grain (okay, technically it's a pseudo-cereal, but we treat it like a grain) to have at the ready for everything from stews and salads to vegetable bowls and burgers. Also, since we eat with our eyes, I like that it’s a different color than what I can typically find at the store (usually just white or red quinoa)—it’s the little things, you know?

I’ve recently discovered that these two items play really well together, a revelation I came to after deciding that our family game night needed a little something sweet. If anything can improve Mondays, it’s board games and chocolate—in this case, a rousing game of Qwirkle and a Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart with Rosemary-Quinoa Crust.

The crust was inspired by one of my all-time favorite cookie recipes: Heidi Swanson’s Pine Nut Rosemary Shortbread Cookies. They’re nutty, buttery, and not-too-sweet—all factors that I thought would go well in a tart crust (the quinoa stands in for the pine nuts). And since I’ve long thought that her cookies might be good dunked in chocolate, well, it wasn’t a big leap to fill my nutty rosemary crust with creamy chocolate.

It’s my idea of a perfect dessert: one that walks the line between sweet and savory, and requires only a small amount to satisfy. The dark chocolate discs do the heavy lifting as one of only three ingredients in the rich ganache filling, while the black quinoa lends its crunchy, nubby texture to a tart crust that gets a zippy edge with lemon zest and fresh rosemary.

Since the tart shell has only a smidge of sugar, it can easily go towards the savory side, too. I’ve enjoyed it filled with whipped lemony goat cheese and roasted root vegetables, and I’m already counting down until summertime, when I can fill it with lemon mascarpone and heirloom tomatoes.

What are your must-have-on-hand pantry items? Share in the comments, so I can continue to up my pantry game!

In partnership with Imperfect Foods, we're sharing clever recipes that don't leave anything (even the scraps!) to waste. Think: winter noodle soup with coffee-roasted squash and a silky chocolate ganache tart with rosemary-quinoa crust, for starters. To make all these dishes and then some, sign up for your own Imperfect Foods grocery plan. It's totally customizable, plus you can add additional staple items (from pantry must-haves to eggs and dairy) to your weekly order so that your fridge and pantry stay stocked.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • Smaug
  • Lindsay-Jean Hard
    Lindsay-Jean Hard
I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.


AntoniaJames February 10, 2021
Thank you for the metric mass quantities in the recipe, L-J! ;o)
Smaug February 10, 2021
They aren't mass measurements unless you're using a balance scale.
Author Comment
Lindsay-Jean H. February 11, 2021
Of course AJ! Please report back if you try it.
Smaug February 1, 2021
There is a good deal of confusion about the terms grain, cereal and their relatives, but pseudo cereals (cereals being grasses, members of the poaceae, while pseudo cereals come from broadleaf plants) are most often classified as grains (or pseudo cereal grains) for commercial and culinary purposes.
Smaug February 10, 2021
ps the term "grain" (like the term "vegetable") has no botanical meaning so far as I know.