26 March 2012

white beans

I like to try out recipes before I post them for you because, heck, I'm that kind of pal. And it is a good thing I do so that my negative experiences can stay where they belong - in my memory - and not doomed to be repeated in your own kitchen.

Want to know what happened? Well you are going to have to read this entire post (hah!) because I will have the information hidden somewhere on this very page of the interweb.  

... Yes, asparagus again. It's nice to have options for the little veg. 

1 can white beans (I used cannellini)
1/4 cup raw cashews (soak them for about 30 minutes in room temperature water prior to use)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp pesto sauce 
2 tbsp water

1 bundle fresh asparagus 
1 sheet puff pastry
fancy salt (I used a lemon tarragon sea salt), fresh ground black pepper, and olive oil

Puff pastry is sold frozen. Before you use it, it must defrost. Fully. Most brands take 2 hours at room temperature or overnight in the fridge. Take that into consideration. Other than that, this recipe is super fast. 

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Rinse and drain the beans. In a bowl combine all of the ingredients from the first list then blend with an immersion blender. Or skip the bowl and blend in a traditional blender. I just don't own one of those.

Carefully unwrap the pastry. This is where things get dangerous. The original recipe tells you to unwrap the puff pastry onto a piece of parchment paper. This is bogus. Do not do this. I did this. The edges of the paper tried to catch fire in my oven and then the middle of the tart stuck to the paper, despite my genius idea to flour the parchment paper because I know how sticky puff pastry can be. Basically, my casual kitchen yoga whilst tart-baking was interrupted by a need to remedy the smoke coming from the oven and open a window immediately.

My recommendation? Take a good ol' non-stick or silicone baking sheet, flour it well and roll out the puff pastry slightly into a rectangle. Spread your white bean pesto onto the pastry in an even layer, leaving a 1 or 1 & 1/2 border on each side. Trim your asparagus into even spears and lay onto the paste, alternating tip to bottom (for prettiness sake). Brush a bit of olive oil onto the asparagus and sprinkle with fancy salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tart is puffed and golden. My oven is super hot, I think it took 21 minutes, including drama.

The original recipe says fresh basil is a nice garnish.

Original recipe with step-by-step photos from Vegan Yum Yum. Photo also from Vegan Yum Yum.


  1. Some of you seem to be under the impression that all puff pastry has dairy and you are incorrect my darlings! Vegan puff pastry exists, just read the ingredient list and look for vegetable shortening (au lieu de butter or lard).

  2. Aubs! This sounds and looks amazing!! I'm going to try and whip this up this weekend! Sans drams, obvs.