This Charred Asparagus Tart with butter bean paste and baby leeks is just packed with fresh, seasonal produce and bursting with Spring flavours!
And in case if you didn't know, it's the Eurovision weekend!
I'm not the one to celebrate it, but I know many who will. There will be many parties happening, and where's the party, there's always food! And I'm always up for that!
With all the seasonal, fresh produce that Spring has on offer, I feel like we are spoiled for choice at the moment! So today's recipe incorporates quite a few of this season's veggies and herbs, and it's bursting with Spring flavours! We have asparagus, baby leeks, peas, pea shoots, pine nuts, fresh herbs and butter beans. Yup, all in one go!
But before we get to today's recipe for this delicious charred asparagus tart, I want to say couple of words about my 'inspiration' and recipes. Because there was a time when I felt really bad. Really bad for re-creating the recipes...
I'm not a culinary genius. And quite often, I do struggle to come up with a good recipe. Don't get me wrong, I know many, many, manyyyy recipes. I'm also capable of experimenting with them. But when it comes to constantly creating, producing and inventing new recipes...well... I suck. A big time. So if you are one of these bloggers who comes up with brand new, own recipes time and time again, I do envy you...
When starting this blog last year, I was so eager to make at least 3 new recipes every week, and even more eager to post them on this website at least every other day. And I did. To start off with...But after a few weeks/ months of doing so, I hit the wall. And I hit it so badly, that it resulted in me almost giving it all up. I was exhausted and drained. No matter how hard I've tried, every recipe I came up with was just terrible. I also quickly discovered that smoothie bowls and chia puddings are not what I want to do long term (I have nothing against either, I just got very bored of them very quickly).
So I knew, that in order to find some new inspiration, I had to simply look in the new places/ sources. As much as I love Instagram as a source of inspiration, I felt like I was suffocating a little bit. Same images of same stuff all the time, all day, every day...
And I think I'm not the only one, who had these feelings. I know there are some of you out there, struggling to find new ideas, fresh content and some inspiration... So I just wanted to share with you a couple of tips, on what you can do, to bring your culinary mojo back! Also, just to re-assure you, there is no shame in re-creating the recipes of others, or being influenced and inspired by the recipes of others! At the end of the day, these recipes are there to be created, tested and experimented with!!!
Some of these tips may seem really obvious, but when we are stuck in that 'hamster wheel' mode, we don't always see them as solutions. And of course, I can only speak from my own experience, but I know for a fact that many bloggers out there found some great inspiration by referring to one of the below:
- Magazines! Yes, good old fashion, printed on paper magazines! It's my monthly ritual, as soon as my subscriptions turn up in a letter box, I start scanning through the pages, reading it front to back, studying the images and recipes I really like and making a note of them (what is it that I really like about it? what ingredients are being used, how is it made?), quite often my recipes come from the food magazines, but I always try to add my own spin to it. Today's recipe for example, is from Delicious Magazine , but I have excluded buratta cheese and replaced it with pine nuts. Magazines are a great source of inspiration, latest trends, and tested recipes. Plus, reading a magazine gives you that much needed break from the computer screen! 😉
- Other blogs! That's the really obvious one, but had to be included here. There are trillions of food blogs out there with absolutely stunning photography and recipes, waiting for you to visit them. I'm planning on making a separate post about super inspiring (at least in my opinion) blogs, and they are not all necessary food related, but for sure will get your creative juices flowing!
- TV Food Channels- another really obvious one. Whenever I'm watching my favourite food program, I always have a pen and paper ready, in case if there is a good recipe worth testing!
- Podcasts are a great source of information and inspiration, so go and explore!!! You will be shocked how much you have missed!
- Pinterest! My latest, absolute favourite. It's like a visual Google, a never ending source of gorgeous images, which, when everything else fails, will for sure unblock your creativity!!! If you are not using Pinterest yet, I urge you to start doing so. I don't really understand how it's so underestimated along many people comparing to any other social media. Pinterest is literally the best thing online ever!!! Especially the function of secret boards, where you can just pin ideas on mass, and keep referring to them whenever you want (you can follow me on Pinterest too, here is my account)
So there you have it dear friend. And I'm aware I have not discovered anything new in these tips above. But if it helps even one person out there, who is stuck for any new recipes/ ideas, I'm happy! Just remember to give the necessary credits where needed. If you have been inspired by particular recipe or a blogger, mention it in your post, link to the relevant website or social media channel.
Such a long intro to get to the recipe!
But we got there. All what's left is to say that this charred asparagus tart with baby leeks and butter bean paste will be probably your favourite tart of the season. It's really easy to make, despite long description and instructions. Ingredients can also be easily customized and you can use your favourite veg and herbs.
I hope you will enjoy it, and as always, have a great weekend!
Charred Asparagus Tart with Butter Bean and Baby Leeks
- 320 g ready- rolled puff pastry
- 300 g fresh asparugus (woody ends trimmed)
- 200 g baby leeks
- 200 g peas
- 50 g pea shoots
- 1 small handful of toasted pine nuts
- 200 g vegan mozzarella (optional)
For the filling:
- 3 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for griddling)
- 1 small onion (finely chopped)
- 1 small garlic clove (crushed)
- 300 g butter beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 tsp dried sumac
- ½ medium lemon (zest and juice)
- ½ bunch fresh mint (chopped)
- ½ bunch fresh parsley or corriander (chopped)
- Heat the oven to 200 C. Unroll the puff pastry into a baking sheet and using small, sharp knife, score a rectangle onto the pastry, leaving about 2 cm boarder (you can score the boarder to make a pattern).
- Brush the boarder with some nut milk (or beaten egg yolk if not vegan) and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Set aside.
- In a medium pan, boil some water and cook asparagus and baby leeks for a couple of minutes. Take them out and cool under cold, running water. Set aside on a paper towel. Add the peas to the boiling water and cook for couple of minutes, remove from the water and cool down under running tap. Set aside on a paper towel.
To make the filling:
- Heat some oil in a saucepan and cook the onion over a medium heat for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes, remove from the heat.
- Put the onion and garlic in the food processor, add beans, sumac, lemon juice and zest, tahini, half the herbs and oil. Add pinch of salt and pepper and whizz to a puree.
- Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot, add a little oil, asparagus and leeks. Char for 5- 8 minutes until the veg are cooked through and have sear marks all over.
- To assemble the tart, push the middle of the rectangle of the pastry down, leaving the raised boarder. Spoon the butter bean puree to the centre and smooth it all over the base. Top with charred asparagus and baby leeks, peas and pea shoots, some toasted pine nuts and mozzarella (if using). Garnish with a pinch of sumac and remaining herbs.