Vegan Savory Spring Tart with Grilled Asparagus, Kale and Strawberries (yep, strawberries in a savory quiche!)

Grilled Asparagus, Kale and Strawberry Quiche--Birdseye ViewYield: 8 servings

Beautiful plump, juicy strawberries–with their perfectly balanced sweet and tart notes–from Pungo, a local farming community and home to the Pungo Strawberry Festival–and fresh asparagus gave rise to this beautiful, simple, and simply delicious quiche.  When I removed it from the oven, even my husband said, “That’s pretty!”

Vegan Presto! Press-In Pie Crust

1 ½ cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour or half of each (I prefer all whole wheat)

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons sugar

½ cup canola oil

2 tablespoons plain or unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use soymilk)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together dry ingredients, make a well, add wet ingredients, and stir together with a fork, just until combined.  Press the crust into the bottom and sides of an 8-inch tart pan with removable sides.  (Pressing with the bottom of a sturdy glass can be helpful in achieving a uniform thickness and neat appearance.) Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set and slightly browned (or, if not making this quiche, bake according to the directions for whatever recipe you are making). Leave oven on when you remove the crust. Note: this crust, made with whole wheat flour, made beautiful, sturdy 4-inch tart crusts that held up perfectdly even when removed from the tart pans and slid off their removable bottoms.  I suspect the same would be true of mini-tarts made with my go-to choice of white whole wheat.

Grilled Asparagus, Kale and Strawberry Quiche--Slight Birdseye ViewVegan Grilled Asparagus, Kale and Strawberry Filling

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, fairly finely chopped

3 large cloves garlic, minced

14 ounces extra firm tofu, drained

½ cup unsweetened or plain nondairy milk (I use soymilk)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons vegetable powder (or 1 vegetable bouillon cube, crumbled)

¾ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

¼ to ½ scant teaspoon red pepper flakes

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional: 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast or grated vegan Parmesan cheese

2 cups lightly packed chopped kale

16 asparagus spears, trimmed to about 4 inches (the radius of the tart pan), grilled (I oil, lightly salt and grill in a grill pan over medium-high heat for about 12 minutes, turning occasionally)

8 strawberries, stemmed and halved

Optional garnish: 1 whole strawberry, white balsamic reduction (homemade or available in most grocery stores) and sunflower seeds

In a large cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high.  Add onion and saute, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and saute, stirring, for another minute.  Remove from heat.  Place all ingredients, including sauteed onion and garlic, except kale, grilled asparagus, strawberries, and optional garnishes, in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Add kale, submerge it into the filling mixture with a spatula, and process again until kale is very finely chopped and well-distributed, but not pureed.  Scrape mixture into tart shell, lightly spreading to the edges of the tart and smoothing the top.  Arrange asparagus spears in evenly spaced spokes with the tips facing out.  Place strawberry halves, cut side up, between every other pair of asparugus spears, and bake tart for 35 minutes or until set.  Remove from oven, let rest 10 minutes on a wire rack, carefully remove sides, garnish with a whole berry in the center, and serve slices with a drizzle of white balsamic reduction and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds.

Grilled Asparagus, Kale and Strawberry Quiche--Slice

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  1. Thanks, Bry! And it’s so tasty. If it sounds odd at first–as it did to a dear friend and colleague–I explained that the idea is similar to strawberries in a spinach salad and she got it! I hope you had a beautiful Mother’s Day! (Do you celebrate Mother’s Day in Canada?)

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