Vegan Asparagus Tart with a Slow-Cooked Tomato & Olive Sauce

by Dominic Franks from @DomInTheKitchen

I love cooking seasonally and since I live in the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds, I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by wonderful growers and producers.  We’re currently in the middle of asparagus season and this Vegan Asparagus Tart with a Slow-Cooked Tomato & Olive Sauce is a celebration of this wonderful vegetable. I think when ingredients are this good, it’s best to show them off at their finest.  I try not to mess with them too much so they’re simply laying on a bed of a stunning slow-cooked tomato sauce with an extra bite of salty kalamata olives.  Utterly divine.

This stunning sauce is packed with oregano, both fresh and dried so I’d recommend the brilliant Saunderton Herb & Spice Storage Shaker as well as the Tealby Freshly Cut Herb Keepers Pot. 

Prep:  20 mins
Sauce cooking time:  2 hours

Tart cooking time: 20 mins
Difficulty: Easy
Serves: 6

For the tomato and olive sauce

  • 1/2 medium onion – finely chopped.
  • 2 cloves garlic – finely grated.
  • one teaspoon chopped fresh oregano.
  • one teaspoon dried oregano
  • 200g fresh tomatoes - chopped.
  • 6 large kalamata olives - finely chopped.
  • 1/2 pint of veg stock.
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon tomato puree
  • a dash of white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • a pinch of sugar

To make the tomato sauce, sauté the onions in a pan with a little olive oil until they begin to soften.  A medium heat is good here as you don’t want them to burn.  Stir in the garlic and half the fresh and all the dry oregano and let the onions cook gently until they begin to colour – another 4 mins should do it.

Pour in the tomatoes, then add half the stock and the chopped olives. Then add the puree, balsamic vinegar, white wine, sugar and season well. Let the whole thing come to a boil, then turn down the heat to the very lowest and let it gently plop away for at least two hours.  It should reduce by half, if not more. You may need to add a little more stock as it reduces.  You want it thick and juicy, not dry. Stir in the remining fresh oregano at the end. Let is cool before you use it.

For the tart

  • 1 sheet of vegan ready rolled puff pastry
  • 1 bunch of fresh British asparagus
  • A few tablespoons slow-cooked tomato sauce
  • Fresh thyme

Pre-heat the oven to 160C (fan)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To assemble the tart, lay out the sheet of pastry directly onto a baking sheet and run the back of a knife 1cm in the from edge all around the pastry.  This will create a break in the pastry and allow it to rise in the oven and create a little raised edge.

Spoon a few spoonful’s of the slow-cooked tomato sauce directly onto the pastry, up to the cut edge. Lay the asparagus on top and season well with salt and pepper and a sprinkling of fresh thyme.

Bake in the oven for 20 mins or until the asparagus are tender and beginning to darken and the pastry edge is puffed and golden.

Tip: The sauce can be made up to a month in advance and frozen or make it a few days in advance and keep it in the fridge.  It works well on pizzas and stirred into pasta dishes or served on a burger!


Kitchen tools that could be useful:
Tealby Freshly Cut Herb Keepers Pot

Saunderton Herb & Spice Storage Shaker

The serving board every kitchen needs for expert entertaining. Choose from small, medium and large to present your best culinary creations.