Sometimes finding new recipe inspiration can be difficult. Most people draw on meals of their childhood and veganize family favorites. I grew up eating a lot of boxed macaroni and cheese, rice-a-roni, and frozen TV dinners, which I have no desire to recreate.
I do sometimes get inspired to veganize dishes when looking through non-vegan magazines, as is the case with this Asparagus and Tomato Tart. I recently came across a recipe that looked quite tasty while flipping through Self magazine, but it used frozen puff pastry, two kinds of cheese, and eggs. It wasn’t too difficult to veganize, and the resulting dish was fresh and light and perfect for warm summer days.
Asparagus and Tomato Tart
This Asparagus and Tomato Tart is really easy to make. The cashew ricotta comes together quickly in a food processor, but if you’re in a hurry, you can always use store-bought ricotta. Kite Hill is my favorite.
Don’t let the fillo dough scare you. It’s pretty easy to work with, once you get the hang of it. You just need to make sure you keep the dough under a damp towel to prevent it from drying out. If you’d prefer not to use fillo, you can use puff pastry for the crust.
This is a great meal for springtime gatherings, such as Easter dinner or Mother’s Day brunch. It’s perfect for any day you’re craving an easy, light meal, too!
Asparagus and Tomato Tart with Cashew Ricotta
Topped with fresh asparagus spears and tomato slices, this Asparagus and Tomato Tart with Cashew Ricotta is perfect for springtime dining.
- 2 cup raw cashews soaked in water for two hours or more
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 6 tablespoons water
- 10 sheets of 13”x18” fillo dough, thawed according to the package
- ¼ cup + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 1 bunch asparagus (about ¾ lb)
- 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Zest from one lemon
- 5 or 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
To make the cashew ricotta, process the raw cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and water in a food processor until fluffy and ricotta-like. This could 5 to 10 minutes. You may need to stop the food processer and scrape down the sides with a spatula a few times. Set aside
To make the crust, Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Lay down one sheet of fillo dough on top of it. Keep the rest of the fillo sheets covered with a clean, wet kitchen towel to avoid drying out. Quickly brush the sheet with a thin layer of olive oil using a pastry brush. Layer another sheet on top of it, and brush that one with a thin layer of olive oil. Continue this step until all of the sheets are layers and brushed with oil.
Gently roll the edges of the dough in towards the center to form the crust’s rim. Brush with a small amount of olive oil to help keep it in place.
Carefully spread the cashew ricotta over the crust. You may need to use your hands to avoid tearing the fillo dough.
Layer the tomato slices to top of the ricotta.
Trim the tough ends off the asparagus. Gently toss with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil. Layer them on top of the tomatoes. Press down lightly to ensure the veggies are firmly in place in the ricotta. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
Sprinkle the cooked tart with lemon zest and chopped fresh basil leaves.
Using the parchment paper, carefully slide the tart from the baking sheet to a cutting board to slice it. Serve hot.
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