I’ve been working with food nearly my entire life, with the exception of a short stint as a law firm receptionist – please, let’s not talk about that again – and an even shorter stint as a photography dark room assistant – you know, before they had digital photography and stuff. While the food service is a very difficult profession, one who’s workers are ridiculously under-appreciated, overworked, and underpaid, I do love the work itself. Using my hands and creativity to make something that will bring substance, joy, and celebration to others is truly satisfying.
Especially when I get to do it in my own kitchen wearing sweat pants while listening to Ani Difranco. It really doesn’t get better than that.
Even before I started working on this blog, I appreciated aspects of the food service industry during the decade and a half I spent there. It was social, creative, interactive, and there was always a reason to party. By that I mean that every holiday was celebrated as we would change up our bakery to honor whichever holiday was on the horizon with the best way we knew how – food! Halloween candy, Thanksgiving pie, Christmas cookies, Valentine’s chocolates – every few weeks there was another reason to celebrate.
Those little reminders from the bakery helped me remember that there are special occasions all the time, even in the doldrums of routine.
For the next couple weeks we will be celebrating Easter and the arrival of spring just as we would in the bakery – with food.
I’ve already been sharing several spring-y recipes like my Green Goddess Pizza and Gluten-Free Carrot Cake. Today I’ve got another one for you: a Vegan Asparagus and Cashew Cream Tart, which would make a perfect appetizer or side dish to your Easter dinner.
This Vegan Asparagus and Cashew Cream Tart is made with a vegan puff pastry which you should be able to find at your local grocery store, homemade cashew cream, and fresh asparagus. It can be made in under 45 minutes for a delicious and impressive Easter recipe.
So, let’s get celebrating the season of rebirth, life, and sustenance.
- 1 sheet vegan puff pastry
- about 30 stalks of asparagus
- 1/2 cup lemon cashew cream (recipe to follow)
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the puff pastry from packaging and let thaw for 30 minutes. Once it's thawed enough to move, gently open up the pastry so that it's laid flat. Gently mark a 1" border around the entire pastry. With a fork, poke holes around the bottom of pastry leaving the border untouched.
- While the puff pastry is thawing, snap off the bottom 1" of asparagus stocks and boil for 7 minutes, until slightly tender. Remove from water and let cool.
- In a high powered blender mix together the ingredients for the lemon cashew cream until it's thick, creamy, and smooth. Pour onto puff pastry and spread evenly over the bottom, leaving the borders clean.
- Lay the asparagus over the cashew cream. Brush tops and sides with olive oil then top with minced garlic, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the border is golden brown.
- Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
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