Charred Asparagus & Leek Tart
This is a FANTASTIC dish to serve your Easter Brunch/Lunch guests. Its easy, you can make it ahead of time, and JUST LOOK AT HOW PRETTY IT IS. Its a STUNNER.
But first, let's talk about Asparagus. Asparagus contains phytochemical compounds such as chlorophyll and lutein that act as organ cleansers. They get deep into organs such as the liver, spleen, pancreas, and kidneys, scrubbing out the toxins that can build up over time. Some of the phytochemicals in asparagus are toxin inhibitors, meaning once toxins such as DDT, pesticides, and heavy metals have been cleansed from the organs, these special phytochemicals stay behind and prevent new toxins from moving in. All of this makes asparagus and amazing tool for daily detoxing and daily cancer prevention.
When we're under stress, we lose our B vitamins very quickly. Asparagus is high in bioavailable (easily absorbable) B vitamins, which can bring our bodies back into balance after a loss of these nutrients. Asparagus is also an alkalizing food, meaning it lowers the body's acidity levels by flushing out unproductive acids in the body. Acidity in the body means a breeding ground for disease and inflammation.
A fun thought to leave with: Every piece of asparagus was once on its way to becoming a small tree. When we eat asparagus, their tree-like qualities are transferred to us: Upward flowing energy, grounded-ness, stability, flexibility, and resilience.
1 1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-4 tbsp. of water
1 cup of raw cashews, soaked in hot water for at least one hour
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 zucchini, roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic
3 tbsp. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp. yellow or white miso paste (optional*)
1 bunch of fresh asparagus
1 leek, thinly sliced and thoroughly washed
1/4 cup of water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a springform pan, anywhere from 7-9 inches, and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the oat flour, almond flour, and salt together. Gradually add in the olive oil, one tablespoon at time, mixing with a spatula or wooden spoon as you go. Gradually add the water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture comes together in a ball.
Using your hands, take the dough ball and spread it over the bottom of the springform pan, coming up the sides about half an inch. Use the back of a measuring cup to pack it down firmly into the pan. Pop in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes. Once done, let the crust cool completely before filling it.
While your crust is cooling, combine the soaked cashews, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, zucchini, garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and miso paste* in a high-speed blender. Process until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Heat a dry pan over medium high heat and add the washed and trimmed asparagus. Let the asparagus cook until its charred on each side (anywhere from 2-5 minutes) before turning them. Once charred, add a 1/4 cup of water to the pan, cover, and let the asparagus steam for another 5 minutes. Move the cooked asparagus to the side and return the pan to the stove.
Using the same pan, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and heat the pan to medium heat. Once hot, add the cleaned and sliced leeks, stirring occasionally. Sauté the leeks until they soften and caramelize (about 15-20 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Pour the cashew filling onto the cooled crust, and use the back of a spoon to spread the filling evenly across the pan. Sprinkle the caramelized leeks evenly over the top, and finally add the asparagus spears in a fun way. I was going for a "fountain look" in my picture above.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but its better to let it sit overnight. Slice and serve chilled, and soak up the oos and aahs from your Easter Brunch guests. You deserve it!
*If you are using the miso paste, decrease the salt to 1/4 teaspoon to start with. Miso paste is naturally pretty salty, so start small with the salt and add more later if you think it needs it.
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