Spring Asparagus, Pea & Arugula Tart

Spring has sprung…for real this time! It was a mild winter, especially for Michigan, but we hit another cold/rainy spurt that lasted a few weeks too long. Nonetheless, it’s always wonderful to smell the fragrant hyacinth flowers and to watch all of the trees bud in so many gorgeous hues of green. The contrast of the greens with all of the yellows, pinks, whites, and fuchsias of the many flowering trees and shrubs simply makes me happy!  I even like the pesky dandelions in the field behind our house, until they seed and make the lawn look like it’s covered in snow, of course.

When my kids were growing up, this used to be the craziest time of year. We hosted 8 foreign exchange students from 7 different countries (Finland (2x), Thailand, Spain, Switzerland, Latvia, Germany, and Chile). I remember every Spring how shocked they were at how many words I could fit on my then paper calendar in the months of April and May! My kids never did travel sports, but they played on a local baseball/softball team, then there was track which I also coached, and as they got older all of the plays, and concerts, and awards nights, and banquets. Yikes!  No wonder Spring seemed to go so quickly!  Now, although I of course miss having my children home every day, I definitely don’t miss that hectic pace. It’s nice to slow down a little and enjoy it all, AND have time to cook full meals.

I love heading to the store every week to see what new fresh, locally-grown Spring produce has arrived. Time to say goodbye to winter squash, pears, sweet potatoes, and apples for a while & welcome in fresh, bright asparagus, peas, rhubarb & strawberries!

To welcome Spring, we bring you this Spring Tart inspired by the amazing Lindsay of The Fit Fork Feed. She always make the most gorgeous tarts! We needed a gluten free crust, so I turned to our favorite cornmeal crust recipe by Salted Plains and adapted it to fit the flavor profile of this tart. I also used vegan ricotta & a bunch of fresh herbs to create a light, tangy filling. I pretty much couldn’t stop eating this once I started, and you can easily change it up with different herb and veggie combos.  Hope you enjoy- Happy Spring!

Spring Asparagus, Pea & Microgreens Tart

Spring Asparagus, Pea & Microgreens Tart

Ingredients

    Cornmeal Almond Crust:
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 tbsp cold vegan butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2-3 tbsp ice water
  • 1 tsp fresh dill
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • Vegan Ricotta Herb Filling:
  • 12 oz vegan ricotta
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Dill Oregano Pesto:
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 3 tbsp (or more if needed) olive oil
  • pinch of cayenne (if desired)
  • For assembly:
  • 20-25 stalks asparagus
  • 1/4 cup peas
  • Microgreens
  • Lemon zest
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

    For crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. In a food processor, add cornmeal, almond flour, salt & herbs and pulse until combined. Add vegan butter and pulse until mealy. Add 1 tbsp water at a time until crust comes together when you pinch it.
  3. Press crust into a round springform pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely.
  4. For Vegan Ricotta Herb Filling:
  5. Blend all ingredients in food processor until well combined. Spread evenly over crust.
  6. Dill Oregano Pesto:
  7. Add all ingredients except olive oil to food processor or blender and slowly pour in oil last. Blend until pesto is smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust spices if necessary.
  8. Spread pesto evenly over vegan cheese layer.
  9. For assembly:
  10. Blanch asparagus in lightly salted boiling water for 2-3 min depending on thickness of stalks.
  11. Immediately remove and plunge into ice cold water to halt the cooking process. Dry gently on paper towels.
  12. Arrange asparagus however you wish on top of tart.
  13. Add freshly shelled peas and microgreens, sprinkle lemon zest & salt and pepper to taste.
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