3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Olive oil, to fry
4 medium button mushrooms, finely chopped
6 asparagus spears (more if you wish)
400g can kidney beans, drained
2-4 tbsp white wine
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
For the pastry
150g brown rice flour
50g chickpea (gram) flour
1¼ tsp xanthan gum
2½ tsp dried mixed herbs
¼ tsp salt
Good grinding of black pepper
200g dairy free spread
60-80ml rice milk, plus a splash more
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Remove the woody end of the asparagus spears and lovingly cut off the tips.
Preserve the tips for later, you may kiss them if you wish. Cut the remaining middle section of the asparagus into fine rounds. In a large frying pan, gently heat the olive oil and add the garlic and mushrooms.
Fry for a minute or two. Add the chopped asparagus and fry gently for another 2 minutes.
Add the tin of beans and stir, then as the beans warm up, use a wooden spatula to gently squash them so that they release their mushy centre; this helps to bind the mixture together.
When you've finished squashing, add the white wine, stir and let it all simmer for about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and season to taste.
Now get cracking on the pastry. Sieve the flours into a large mixing bowl.
Add the xanthan gum, dried herbs, salt and black pepper and mix with a mini whisk to make sure everything is evenly distributed.
Now this is weird, but melt your dairy free spread slightly. It doesn't have to be completely runny, but more liquid than not is what you're aiming for.
Make a well in the centre of the flours and pour in 60ml of rice milk.
Add the melted dairy free spread and use a wooden spoon to mix it all together. You will have a very wet dough. I ended up adding the other 20ml of rice milk as well.
Dust a work surface with rice flour and plop your dough down into the middle of it, the base of the dough will get coated in flour. Lift up the dough, flour the surface again and turn the dough over so that the other part of it gets coated in flour. Following? What you're trying to do is get the dough 'dry' enough to roll it out.
When you think you can chance it, roll out the dough on your well-floured surface until it's about 3mm thick. The edges of the dough do crack a little when you roll it out, but I tried not to let that panic me
Line your tartlet tins or large tart tin with the pastry. As every pastry chef knows, cracks in the pastry can be squidged together and patched up with other bits of pastry. It's a little known artform, sometimes called 'covering up a bodge'. Originated somewhere in the Middle East I believe. Just make sure your final product looks smooth and crack free
Line the base of the tart with the bean mixture (don't add the asparagus tips yet), cover with tin foil and place in the oven for about 15 minutes, until sizzling well. Remove the tarts or tart from the oven, take off the tin foil and put them back in for about another 5 minutes until the pastry is lightly tanned.
After 5 minutes, remove the tarts and artistically press your asparagus tips down into the bean mix. Lightly brush the tips with olive oil using a silicone brush, cover the tarts back up again (on, off, on off, make your mind up, Pig) and put them back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
The point of doing this is so that the asparagus tips 'steam' between the bean mix and the tin foil, and they don't end up getting too brown. I left my tips a little crunchy; nothing worse than overcooked asparagus.
Recipe by blogger Mel, Pig in the Kitchen
As Seen On The Channel 4 Website