Monday, 20 May 2013

Asparagus Tart- vegan

Celebrate Spring with the season's delicacies...

We couldn't resist getting a bunch of asparagus from the market this week; it's a luxury, but now it's peak season and it's at it's succulent best- so tempting! But decent asparagus is not cheap so how to make the one bunch go round 6 or 7 people? - Make a vegan twist on the traditional asparagus tart, that's how! Attractive and simple to make with either puff or shortcrust pastry, this tart makes a great picnic or lunchbox addition, or you could make it a main course like we did and serve it with minted steamed new potatoes and steamed or braised veg such as purple sprouting. I've never seen a dinner so quickly eaten up with no fuss :)

I couldn't resist adding some cherry tomatoes and olives.
This recipe made 2 tarts; just halve the amounts if there are less of you. You could even make a gluten-free version using the pizza base recipe here. (Or even omit the pastry altogether.)
200g asparagus, trimmed
about 80g cherry tomatoes, halved
a few olives
about 500g pastry- see here
one quantity of "aumlette" batter- see here
a couple of spoonfuls of almond parmesan- see here
some fresh herbs like sage, thyme, marjoram or oregano (optional)- but don't let their flavours overwhelm the delicate asparagus.
  • Prepare and steam the asparagus, reserving any liquid to add to the batter in place of plain water(you get more vits that way).
  • Make the pastry, line oiled flan tins/ dishes and blind- bake for 10 minutes or so at 200C.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together the batter (adding chopped fresh herbs of you like) and make the almond parmesan.
  • To assemble the tart, fill the cases with the batter then arrange the asparagus, tomatoes and olives as shown on the pictures. Add a liberal sprinkling of almond parmesan.
  • Bake for about 15-20 mins in an oven preheated to 200C, until the filling has set.

The almond parmesan sprinkles add extra flavour and texture.

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