Sunday, October 24, 2010

October 19, 2010: Asparagus and white bean pesto tart

Spring finally turned up in Melbourne and in the same week we got our first vegie box asparagus of the season. Cindy had tucked this tart recipe from VeganYumYum away for just this kind of occasion.

They're super easy to make and show off the beautiful flavour of in-season asparagus. The bean pesto is simple and delicious, and the leftovers are wonderful smeared on bread or crackers (or eaten straight from the container with a spoon!). These are the perfect weeknight meal - brilliantly tasty and straightforward to make.

Asparagus and white bean pesto tart (from VeganYumYum)

For the pesto:
1 can white beans (we used cannellini), drained and rinsed
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon basil pesto pasta sauce (we couldn't find a vegan pesto at Safeway, but they do exist!)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy milk
1/2 - 1 teaspoons salt

500g asparagus
1 puff pastry sheet
salt, pepper and olive oil

Defrost your puff pastry sheet and preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Blend together all the pesto ingredients, scraping down the sides of the food processor occasionally to make sure everything is smooth and pastey.

Spread a thick layer of the pesto onto the puff pastry sheet, leaving 1-2 centimetres gap at the edges.

Place your asparagus spears in a neat little row on top of the pesto - you fit more if you put adjacent spears head to tail.

Brush or spray the asparagus lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 25-30 minutes until the asparagus is soft and the pastry is puffed and golden.


  1. Brilliant idea of making a white bean pesto in place of ricotta! Can't wait to try this, cheers for posting!

  2. the white bean pesto sounds wonderful - have been wondering what to put in tarts lately - I think the pesto at la manna fresh up sydney road is vegan but not sure - it is great pesto if you get up that way

  3. I love this recipe! It's a dinner party staple. I use the King Valley pesto which is vegan - the coriander one is especially fantastic (although it's very pricey - it's SpecialTreatsVille).

  4. Zo, it's definitely worth your while. :-)

    Thanks, Johanna - we do make it up to La Manna on occasions.

    Thanks for the vegan tip, Miss T! I seem to remember you making this recipe for the first vegan potluck that Michael and I attended. :-)