2 June 2021

Mini Tofu 'Ricotta', Asparagus & Tomato Pesto Tarts


Perfect to pack for a picnic or simply for a speedy meal, these buttery pastry puffs are layered with a creamy Tofu 'Ricotta' cheese base, roasted asparagus, juicy multi-colour cherry tomatoes and a fresh basil pesto. Best served with a side of Roasted Rosemary & Garlic Baby Potatoes baked on the same tray for a simple single sheet-pan dinner dish...

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SERVES:    2-4 PEOPLE    |    PREP TIME:    30 MINUTES    |    COOKS IN:   25-30 MINUTES


INGREDIENTS

FOR THE TOFU 'RICOTTA'
1/2 cup raw cashews 
1 block silken tofu, drained
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp garlic puree
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp onion granules
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper


6 asparagus stalks, trimmed and halved

80g mixed coloured tomatoes, halved

Olive oil, for brushing 

Salt & black pepper 

1 320g sheet ready-rolled puff pastry 

Basil leaves


FOR THE ROASTED ROSEMARY & GARLC BABY POTATOES

12 baby potatoes, halved 

1 tbsp olive oil 

1 tbsp garlic puree (or 2 cloves finely minced garlic) 

2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Salt & pepper 



FOR THE PESTO

1 small garlic clove

1/4 tsp coarse sea salt 

1 tbsp raw pine nuts

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

Large handful basil

3-4 tbsp olive oil


METHOD 

1. For the first step of the Tofu 'Ricotta', place the raw cashews in a small bowl and cover with boiling water, then set aside to soak for 10 minutes.

2.  If serving with the Roasted Rosemary & Garlic Baby Potatoes, at this point combine the olive oil, garlic puree, fresh rosemary,  sea salt and black pepper together in a mixing bowl. Throw in the baby potatoes and toss them through the rosemary-garlic oil to get them well coated, then set aside in the fridge.

3. Back to the Tofu 'Ricotta', next add the block of silken tofu to a food processor. Drain the water off the cashews then add those in with the tofu, along with the nutritional yeast, garlic puree, lemon juice, olive oil, onion granules, sea salt and black pepper. Blend that up until nice and smooth, run a spatula around the bowl ensure all is well combined, then set that aside.

4. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Lay out the sheet of puff pastry and measure it out into a square, roughly 25cm by 25cm. Cut off the excess and store in the fridge - this can be used later to make extra tarts or for any pastry like cheese straws. Cut the 25cm square into 4 small even squares, then carefully place on a baking tray ensuring there is space in between. Using a small knife, score a border around the edge of each square, around 2cm in thickness and this will just allow for the edges to rise when baking. 

5. Add around 2 heaped tablespoons of the Tofu 'Ricotta' to the centre of each pastry square and roughly spread that keeping within the centre square. Arrange 4 of the sliced asparagus stems diagonally on top and nestle on some cherry tomato halves. Season the tarts with some salt and black pepper, and lightly brush the asparagus with a little oil to help it roast.

6. Remove the baby potatoes from the fridge and place on the end of the tray, cut-side facing down to cook quicker. Lastly, i just i had then preheated my oven so i put that in to bake for around 25-30 minutes. 

7. Meanwhile make the fresh pesto using a pestle and mortar. Grind the clove of garlic and sea salt together into a smooth paste. Add in the pine nuts and nutritional yeast, and grind together again. Next add in the basil and grind again until a thick pesto begins to form, then lastly, squeeze in the lemon juice and drizzle in the olive oil, then just continue grinding until a smooth pesto forms. 

8. Remove the Mini Tofu 'Ricotta', Asparagus & Tomato Pesto Tarts from the oven and set them aside. Spread out the Roasted Rosemary & Garlic Baby Potatoes and place them back in the oven for a couple more minutes. Drizzle the fresh pesto over the tarts and add on some basil leaves, then serve with the roasted baby potatoes and a side of fresh rocket leaves.


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