Monday, April 16, 2012

rustic asparagus quinoa tart

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to me, at first a lot of things seem intimidating.
becoming a vegetarian - no way to hard. fast forward 6 years later , it had become second nature - a way of life.

taking the leap over to veganism - out the question, life would be so hard without eggs and cheese. 2 years from when that statement was made i find myself flourishing on a whole foods plant based diet and loving it.

gluten free vegan cooking & baking - wow, you have to be some kind of super hero to conquer that one.  come to find out, like with most things you just need to be open, aware and willing to try new techniques. having a few mentors and inspirational bloggers along the way such as Cara from fork & beans, Caitlin from the vegan chickpea and Richa from hobby & more helps too.

inspired by a few of my favorite gluten free vegan bloggers i have ventured into the wonderful world of gluten free vegan, i figured i would take it for a test drive. and you know what, it is a pretty wonderful ride (sorry for the awful comparison, i had too)

asparagus, lemon, sun dried cherry tomatoes, parsley and poppy seeds are your main flavors
the sun dried cherry tomatoes add a nice contrast in flavor, color and texture to the overall dish
a mixture of quinoa and millet, both seeds are cooked and tossed with your flavor base
poppy seeds and lemon zest are added to the gluten free tart crust
stalks of asparagus are layered on top of the quinoa millet mixture
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the edges of the tart crust are pulled up and over the side of the filling
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this entire rustic tart is full of spring flavor and brightness - truffle oil is drizzled over the top adding a welcome earthiness in contrast to bold lemon flavor.

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my cousins and i (and my sister when she is home) are the vegans/vegetarians of the family, for every holiday i try to contribute a dish to the family table that will appeal to both vegan & non-vegans alike.  this year, i brought along eggplant rollatini (guest post over at fork & beans) and this beautiful tart.
my aunt and uncle instantly fell in love with the flavors - the bold lemon won their hearts 
i love introducing my friends and family to new healthy and tasty food. it shows them that healthy food can does taste amazing.
<>the gluten free tart crust was incredible, flaky and tender - absolute perfection.
i will absolutely be making this again, it is an all around feel good dish.

i hope your family loves it just as much as mine did.

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Rustic Asparagus Quinoa Tart
serves 10-12
you will need:
for the millet quinoa: mix
2 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
1/2 cup millet
1/2 cup quinoa - rinsed well
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sun dried cherry tomatoes with marinade
juice of 2 lemons
2 tbsp fresh curly leaf parsley
1 tbsp truffle oil
handful of fresh asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut in half
for the tart crust
1 1/4 cups all purpose gluten free baking mix
zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp sugar
pinch of salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold vegan buttery sticks ( i used earth balance)
1 -2 1/2 tbsp ice water
to make the tart crust
in a medium mixing bowl combine gluten free baking mix through salt, mix well
using a pastry cutter, 2 knives or a fork cut in the cold butter until pea size pieces form
slowly add the ice water a tablespoon at a time working the water into the flour until a dough forms, use as much water as you need until the flour forms a ball when squeezed and holds it shape
turn dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and tightly wrap the dough forming it into a disc as you secure the plastic wrap. allow to rest in fridge for at least 20-45 minutes.
preheat oven to 375*
while the dough is resting prepare the millet quinoa. in a medium sauce pan bring water/broth to a boil- add millet and quinoa, cover and reduce heat to simmer. simmer for 15 minutes, turn off heat and allow to sit, with the cover on for an additional 10 minutes (do not lift the cover or else the steam will escape). once the quinoa millet has finished cooking stir in salt through parsley and mix well - set aside.
prep asparagus - set aside.
on a lightly floured surface (with gf baking mix) roll out tart crust into a 12inch in diameter rough circle (its rustic, not perfect)
leaving a 4-6 inch border add quinoa millet mixture to the center of the tart crust. layer asparagus in a pretty patter atop the quinoa millet. fold up the sides of the tart crust leaving the center exposed. drizzle the asparagus with truffle oil. bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until the crust begins to turn a light golden brown along the edges and bottom.
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  1. Heather, can you get any more amazing? Everything you tackle seems to turn out beautifully. You're so talented!

    I'm absolutely in awe of this crust... I would never have thought to add in the lemon and poppyseeds to a savory dish like this, but with the asparagus it just sounds so good! :)

    1. Wait isn't that what I am supose to say about you? No really Willow YOU truly inspire me to be a better all around blogger - from thinking outside of the box to being a better photographer :)

      I loved everything about this tart, especially the lemon/poppy seed combo!

  2. This is incredible, you have beautiful recipes. Always different and have delicious flavors to them. You are really a great cook!!

    1. Coming from you means so much to me! You are the best Lysa

  3. omigosh, girl, YOU are the inspirational one! this rustic tart looks beyond amazing and delicious. i LOVE this combination of flavors. you are extraordinary!

    1. Caitlin I really wish there was a way I could shrink you down and keep you in my pocket all day - no matter what kind of day I am having, reading one of your comments always puts a huge smile on my face - you are one special girl!

    2. aww, lady <3 thank you <3 i mean every word!

  4. Oh my gosh - I'm so glad I found your blog! These pictures are incredible and I'm pinning the recipe now. Gorgeous! :)

  5. Get the heck out of my head! I was JUST thinking about making an aspargus tart, you saucy minx. And then you give me a shout-out? What is this kindness and why would I deserve such a thing? But thank you :) (I was just over at GiGi's blog and she did a recreation of a novel and now I am talking like I am from the 1800s--it's her fault!)
    Seriously though--beautiful tart girl.

    1. But I kinda like it inside your noggin' its a pretty interesting place, nicely decorated - looks like a cross between pottery barn and anthro :)

      ooo Saucy minx - I like that! Yes you absolutely deserve that, you do inspire me you know, tons <3

  6. I love the idea of lemon and poppy seeds in your crust. I imagine they are quite good with the asparagus. Your recipes seem to play a lot with textures and flavours.. I really like that. :)

    1. I love layering flavors and textures - I am so happy to see someone appreciates that! I am the same way when I decorate or create a menu...I think its hardwired in my brain to think that way :)

  7. The photos are gorgeous and the food combo stunning. I seriously love the torn parchment...makes this feel so rustic.

    1. Torn parchment totally makes this even more rustic :)

      And I love how you used both gorgeous and stunning in the same comment!

  8. What an interesting combination - I wouldn't have thought to take that dough, which I would normally associate with dessert, and fill it with a savory mixture. But knowing you, I'm sure it tasted amazing! I love making healthy vegan or vegetarian dishes for my family to try too...and congrats on being brave and venturing into gluten-free cooking and eating!

    1. I loved the flavor layering in this dish and thankfully so did my family! They can be a pretty honest and critical bunch :)

  9. I don't think I am moving home soon enough! I can't wait to be your voluntary guinea pig! <3

    1. You're right you can't be home soon enough!!! I am looking forward to all our hiking and eating when you coeme home <3

  10. this is so fabulous Heather. Theres so much goodness in just this one tart! Love that crust all pretty with the sprinkly poppy seeds.. and then you add all the earthy millet and quinoa and then asparagus drizzled with truffle oil! wowza! i am sure everyone was just busy helping themselves to another piece and being disappointed when it got over!:)

    Thank you for the shout out! When i first read up on gf breads on other blogs, i was intimidated, because everyone spoke about mishaps and how you have be a stickler for the measurements and the temperature and stuff. Now though, i can just throw in things together and make some! dont you love it when something you thought was not possible is totally and so gorgeously possible!
    super gorgeous tart!
    Tight Hugs!

    1. I for one was pretty dissapointed when it was all gone!

      I love how daring you are with Gluten Free Baking - you are a huge inspiration :)

  11. Wow! That is something different. :) I bought some millet a while back but never quite used it. I didn't know you could use it in this kind of dough. Looks so yummy!

    1. I first learned about Millet about 6 months ago - it is very versatile, you should definitely start experimenting with it!

  12. Thanks for posting such a great gluten-free crust recipe love! I'm trying to get the nerve to try gluten free cooking and baking. And knowing that this lovely crust is a winner makes me less nervous. :)

    I love quinoa and asparagus. This tart looks incredible! :) You have so much talent in both cooking & photography. I agree with the others - you are a huge inspiration!

    1. Talk about inspiring me, you inspire me each and everyday- you are the best Court!

      This crust was so so yummy, after how good it turned out I am definitely less intimidated by gf baking :)

  13. Beautiful! Asparagus happens to be my favorite vegetable and this is one of the most creative ways to serve it that I have ever seen! I have the feeling my family would love this.

    1. I LOVE asparagus too - there are so many ways to enjoy this spring veggie. This turned out so much better than I had thought it would - I hope you enjoy it as much as we did :)

  14. This tart looks so delicious! It is so packed with dresh vegetables and flavoursome fillings :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  15. Since you like asparagus, you might be interested in this collection of all things asparagus. Asparagus Food on Fridays

    1. Thank you Carol- I will definitely have to check it out!

  16. Look tasty. I'm going to feature this on my blog. Check out's yummy food photo of the day

    1. Thank you so much for the yummy food photo of the day and for visiting!


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