Tuesday, 13 May 2014
Vegan and gluten free asparagus tart
It’s Spring and it is asparagus season. Those little stems of green joy are one of the wonders of the seasonal vegetable calendar that I wait for with eager anticipation as icy and grey winter days turn to less icy (but often still pretty grey) spring days. After indulging in multiple bunches of fresh Kentish (a.k.a the homeland) asparagus last week I was perusing the internet for a little inspiration on how best to use the excessive quantity I had to consume. Usually I am more than happy just to gently steam the stems before seasoning with liberal quantities of salt and pepper and plunging the tips into vast vats of melted butter. But then I came across this divine looking dish over at The First Mess, and so I gave it a go (with a few little alterations as detailed below). The original recipe was described as a pizza, but my base was less doughy and more thin and crispy with a closer resemblance to pastry so I am going to describe this dish as more of a tart. But either way it is a great way to utilise some delicious spring veg and it is gluten free and vegan friendly. So whether you go for the original recipe or have a go at mine hopefully the results will be asparagus loaded and springingly fresh!
200g millet (soaked overnight in water)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
Glug olive oil
1 medium white onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
Bunch fresh oregano and thyme, shredded
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
150ml coconut milk
1 large flat mushroom
5 asparagus stems, slice in half length ways
Large handful of curly kale
(A few generous shaving of parmesan if you want to go for a non-vegan option)
Pre-heat the oven to 220°C.
Place the drained millet, water, olive oil and salt and pepper into a food blender and whizz until a smooth batter is formed.
Take a 18 x 25 cm baking tray, pour on a glug of vegetable oil and place in the oven to allow the oil to heat up. Once heated remove the tray from the oven and pour over the batter, smoothing out with a spatula so that the mixture covers the tray. Return to the oven for approximately 10 minutes until the mixture has solidified and turned golden in colour.
Using a spatula carefully flip the base over and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes until the reverse side of the base is also golden in colour. At this point remove the base from the oven and place to one side and lower the oven temperature to 200°C.
Heat a large pan over a medium heat, add the olive oil and the onions and allow too soften and caramelize gently. Once the onion is softened add the garlic and herbs and continue cooking for a couple of minutes. Add the vinegar, and once it has been absorbed by the mixture add the coconut milk. Stir together thoroughly, increase the heat a little and let the mixture gently bubble until it has reduced and thickened slightly.
Once thickened transfer the coconut mixture to the food processor (or use a stick blender) and whizz until a smooth paste is formed. Then spread the paste over the tart base so that it is evenly covered.
Place the vegetables on top of the coconut cream (you can use any combination you like here but I added kale and mushrooms to my asparagus). Sprinkle over the fresh herbs, and if you are happy to have a non-vegan version of this dish top with a few shavings of Parmesan cheese.
Place the tart in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden and bubbling then remove, serve and enjoy!
This recipe was adapted from the vegan and gluten free pizza recipe over at The First Mess.