It's been over two weeks since I last posted a recipe. Time flies when you're doing very little apart from watching crap telly and drinking even crapper white wine.
It was something that I was reminded of when I saw British tomatoes back on the shelves, along with asparagus. You know winter's over when those bad boys make their reappearance.
Seasonal? Yep, that's good. Local? Yeah, if you like. That's good too. Cheap? Now we're talking - less money spent on veg means more for that cheap white white.
Here's a recipe with both tomatoes and asparagus in. All you need to go with it is a few salad leaves and some cheap sauv blanc.
Tomato and asparagus half-and-half tart
3oz cashew nuts (cashew pieces are fine)
Two heaped dessertspoons of nutritional yeast
One garlic clove
Half a teaspoon of mustard powder
One dessertspoon of tahini
The juice from a quarter of a lemon
Two heaped dessertspoons of vegan mayonnaise
50-100mls non-dairy milk
One sheet of puff pastry (Jus-Rol is vegan)
One ripe tomato
One bunch of asparagus
Salt and pepper
Extra non-dairy milk for brushing
How you do it
Put the cashews into some water (about double their volume) and leave them to sit for a few hours. Two is enough, overnight is good too.
Drain the cashews, then add the nutritional yeast, garlic, tahini, mustard powder and lemon juice, then blend to a paste.
Add in the mayonnaise and stir. Then add your non-dairy milk - the amount of milk you'll need will depend on how long the cashews have been in the water, so add a little at a time. You'll want to end up with something with a consistency a bit like Boursin. If it's thinner, that's fine - you just want to be able to spread it and have it stay where you put it, not run off the pastry.
If you can't be bothered to finish the tart now, that's fine. The cashew mixture will keep for a day or two in the fridge.
Take the sheet of puff pastry out of the freezer until thawed, then put it on a greased baking tray.
Preheat your oven to 200C.
Using a sharp knife, score a line about 1cm from the edge of the pastry - you should end up with a frame all the way round. Inside the frame, score a criss-cross pattern diagonally - make the lines every 1cm or 2cm. Don't go out of the frame.
Spread the cashew mixture inside the frame (you may end up with a bit of cashew mix left over. That's fine. Use it as a spread on toast, or stir a spoon of the mix into scrambled tofu)
Then cut your asparagus into two, and slice the tomato into thick slices.
On half the tart, lay the tomato slices out. On the other, lay the asparagus top to tail.
Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Then brush the pastry frame with milk. If you've not got a brush, dip your fingers in the milk, then run them round the frame.
Cook for 25 minutes in the oven, or until pastry is risen and brown and the veg is cooked.