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April 2011
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Sweet Potato Asparagus Tart with Asparagus Pesto

It’s been awhile since I entered the SOS (Sweet or Savory) challenge over at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs, but when I saw this month’s ingredient, I couldn’t resist.  Asparagus is just plain awesome, and I knew the hardest part would be doing something different and creative with it, because I’ve done lots of fancy things with asparagus….and I just don’t think there’s anything better than tossing it in soy sauce and oven-baking.  But I went creative, it WAS delicious (although perhaps a bit more work then it was worth) and it looks pretty…so check it out, and then I’ll share the recipe.


First off, I need to admit that I’m not sure what the crust it is….every so often when I make dough for something and there is too much, I’ll wrap the remainder up in some plastic wrap and toss it in the freezer for another time….this was one of those dough balls in the freezer.  I have a feeling it is from knishes, but I’m not 100% on that.  You can use whatever quiche crust recipe you like, and it would work out great.  As for the filling, I wanted something with good nutritional punch and a nice shot of protein to give me some energy, and so this was a pretty solid tart, as tarts go.

Ingredients—makes 2 tarts in creme brulee ramekins
1 recipe dough of choice
8 asparagus spears, tips only
1 sweet potato, cubed and boiled until soft.
1 quarter block of extra firm tofu
Approx 1/4 cup sliced onion
3-4 strips roasted red pepper, packed in oil
1/8 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos
1/8 cup white wine
2 tbs lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp olive oil

1. Pre-heat oven to 375. Roll out dough, and press evenly into each ramekin, coming all the way up the sides. Bake for 5 minutes, just to get the dough started a bit, and pull out. Keep oven heated to 375F.
2. Add onions to a hot skillet with olive oil, and cook until caramelized, adding the minced garlic about halfway through. In the meantime, combine boiled sweet potatoes, tofu, wine, lemon juice, braggs, and salt and pepper to a blender. Blend until smooth.
3. It’s time to put together the “tarts”. Start each with two asparagus tips on the bottom, cover that with sundried pepper and a layer of caramelized onions. Cover with sweet potato mixture, pressing down to get into all the crevices. Fill up to the top, and press in another two asparagus tips.
4. Bake at 375F for 15 minutes, then pull out and let cool for at least 5 minutes before handling. Garnish with leftover caramelized onions if desired, or with asparagus pesto recipe to come…

It is difficult to see in the picture, but those three dots on the plate were a bit of the asparagus “pesto” I put together quickly to dip forkfuls of the main dish into.  I had to do something with the 8 “tipless” asparagus spears, and so this was what I came up with.  Each spear was given a rough chop, and then they were boiled for 4-5 minutes, until bright green, at which point I pulled out my mini-food processor.

Approx 8 asparagus spears, chopped, boiled and drained
1/8 cup cashews, given a rough chop
1/8 cup nooch (nutritional yeast)
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs lemon juice

Combine everything in a small food processor and pulse into smooth and creamy. Ladle over anything and everything!

Now I’ll be totally honest, this was delicious and everything, but I had some soy sauce glazed, oven-baked spears on the side….because you can just never get enough of the simple stuff…


3 comments to Sweet Potato Asparagus Tart with Asparagus Pesto

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