This gorgeous Vegan Ricotta and Asparagus Tart has a gluten free cornmeal crust. It’s a great vegan/vegetarian spring appetizer and the perfect way to use up all of the asparagus you bought this week! The vegan ricotta filling is made with macadamia nuts, cashews and plenty of fresh herbs.
Asparagus season is in full swing, so naturally that means we *have* to buy at least two bunches every time we go to the grocery store. Hey, you can’t blame me for being unreasonably excited about spring produce, right? More than anything, I’m really just overjoyed that spring is actually here. Last year, we still had the occasional snow storm in April, so any signs of spring are very welcome in Michigan!
In addition to asparagus, we’re loading up on ramps, rhubarb, peas, radishes, leeks and fresh herbs. They’re all such fresh, vibrants ingredients and we’ve been having so much fun experimenting in the kitchen.
This vegan ricotta and asparagus tart is a recipe we’ve actually been working on for over a year! Our final version of this recipe includes a cornmeal crust studded with vegan parmesan, a creamy, rich vegan ricotta filling, and of course, asparagus on top. The asparagus is first blanched, then patted dry, then added to this tart and baked until slightly crispy. The end result is tender, but not overcooked asparagus that really highlights the herbaceous flavor.
Here’s a quick visual guide to the recipe (AKA: I took too many photos but still wanted to share them!).
If you’ve never made vegan ricotta before, here’s a basic breakdown. We blend soaked cashews and macadamia nuts with various spices and nutritional yeast to add a cheesy flavor. The final product has a slightly gritty texture that resembles traditional ricotta. Fresh herbs lighten it up and make for a gorgeous color! If you don’t have time/don’t want to make your vegan ricotta at home, there are some great store-bought options. This is our current favorite – you can always blend in some fresh herbs in a pinch!
You may wonder why we specify to soak the cashews ahead of time. When you soak cashews in room-temperature water for 2-3 hours before using, they are much easier to digest and easier to blend. Simply throw them in a bowl a few hours before you start cooking, cover with water, and drain well before using. Also note that it’s important to re-measure the cashews after soaking as they absorb some water and may increase in size.
If you’re anything like us and have more spring produce in your refrigerator than you know what to do with, here are a few more recipes you might enjoy!
- Rhubarb Vanilla Chia Compote – the perfect way to use up all of your leftover rhubarb! We spread this on toast, stir into yogurt or oatmeal, and even spoon it over vanilla ice cream. YUM.
- Spring Vegetable Vegan Frittata – a great way to use up a variety of spring produce! This recipe is a brunch favorite in our house.
- Spring Potato Salad with Asparagus and Peas. We love this lighter, seasonal take on potato salad.
- Roasted Vegetable and Tofu Sheet Pan Dinner – the easiest (and laziest) possible way to use up all of your produce!
Add this vegan ricotta and asparagus tart to your Mother’s Day brunch menu or any time you need to use up a bunch of asparagus!Print
This gorgeous Vegan Ricotta and Asparagus Tart has a gluten free cornmeal crust. It’s a great vegan/vegetarian spring appetizer and the perfect way to use up all of the asparagus you bought this week!
- 1 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 3/4 cup oat flour
- 3 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1/2 cup vegan butter, cold
- 8–9 tbsp cold water
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/2 cup shredded vegan parmesan-style cheese
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp fine kosher salt
- 1 cup cashews, soaked in room temp water for 2–3 hours or hot water for 1 hour
- 1 cup macadamia nuts
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup fresh dill
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends removed
- For topping: lemon zest and pea shoots
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- To make filling, add all ingredients except water to a food processor and pulse to combine. Pulse until mixture starts to come together, then add water one tablespoon at a time until mixture doesn’t crumble when you press between two fingers.
- Press dough into a 9″ square tart pan, then chill in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
- Bake crust for 12-14 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add asparagus and blanch for 3 minutes, then transfer to a bowl filled with ice and cold water for 30 seconds. Remove asparagus and pat dry.
- To make ricotta filling, combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined. The final texture does not have to be perfectly smooth – just make sure herbs are well incorporated.
- Pour filling on top of crust and spread evenly. Top with asparagus, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for 17-20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool before removing from pan and serving. Top with lemon zest and pea shoots.
If you don’t have time/don’t want to make homemade vegan ricotta, there are great store-bought alternatives available at most specialty stores.