Tom and I made this last year or so when we were just beginning to learn about the health aspects of transitioning to our new diet (or as a friend says, “food lifestyle”) but I made it without the use of a food processor and it literally took me half the day to make the dish and despite how delicious it was, I was hesitant to try it again. Enter new food processor. Wow. WOW. It’s so easy (and so fast) with a food processor! This dish is now a staple in our house. It’s an adapted version of a recipe by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. It’s GREAT for dinner parties or if you’re bringing a dish to share and has a very warm hearty (but light) feeling. (And now my stomach is growling, I guess it’s time for breakfast!) Enjoy!!
What You Need
â˜‘ 1 or 2 pie crusts
â˜‘ 4 Tb olive oil
â˜‘ 1 pound asparagus, rough ends cut off and discarded
â˜‘ 3 shallots, skins removed, chopped
â˜‘ 3 cloves garlic
â˜‘ 1 cup pecan halves
â˜‘ 1 19-ounce can white kidney beans (aka navy beans aka haricot), drained
â˜‘ 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh tarragon
â˜‘ 2 Tb cornstarch
â˜‘ 3/4 tsp salt
â˜‘ 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
â˜‘ Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
â˜‘ Panko (or crushed vegetable thins, or bread crumbs)
â˜‘ 2 medium tomatoes
What You Do
I’ve found this recipe actually makes enough for two pies, so you can either bake them both at the same time or only bake one and refrigerate the mixture for another day. You don’t have to worry about it going off right away or anything so don’t worry if it’s a few days before you make your next one. (Bake them both if you’re serving to guests, trust me.)
1. Preheat your oven to 350°, and heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. If you’re only making one pie now cut seven pieces of asparagus and three tips and set aside for garnish. If you’re making both pies double that and chop the rest into smaller bits.
2. Hopefully when you’re done with this the oven is preheated, if not you’re super fast. If you need to pre-bake your pie crust(s) (store bought or homemade) now would be a good time. (I do mine for ten minutes!)
3. SautÃ© the asparagus (except for the reserved tips) in a tablespoon of olive oil for about 7 minutes, or until beginning to darken and stir them occasionally.
4. While the asparagus is cooking, place the pecans, tarragon, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse into crumbs, so that no big chunks of pecans are left. (Don’t forget to take out your pie crust! And if you’re going to make the second pie, now would be a great time to pre-bake your second crust!)
5. Remove the asparagus from the pan and transfer to a shallow bowl to cool and then sautÃ© the shallots in the same pan. Put in your three cloves of garlic and another tablespoon of olive oil and sautÃ© until lightly brown. Be careful not to burn these babies! Transfer the shallots and garlic to the asparagus and let cool.
6. Add your kidney beans, cornstarch, and your bowl of sautÃ©ed asparagus and onions to the food processor and blend into a relatively smooth purÃ©e. Transfer the entire mixture to a bowl and try to avoid standing over it and smelling the yummy goodness you’re about to devour. It’s hard, I know.
7. Spoon the asparagus filling into your crust and smooth it out evenly. Now we’re going to add a very thin layer of Panko (or bread crumbs). The first time I made this I followed the recipe exactly and the breadcrumbs were definitely over powering. The second time I cut back on the breadcrumbs but after that I switched to Panko and I can say the taste is much more to Tom and I’s liking.
8. After you’ve added your Panko, take one tomato and cut four thin slices, and then half those. Place the tomato slices aesthetically on top of your mixture, and then add seven asparagus pieces plus three tips you set aside for garnish. Drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil.
9. Bake for 20 minutes or until warm! Remember everything in this dish is already cooked so you don’t have to worry about “the right time”. Keep an eye on it and when it starts to smell like a browning crust and it’s nice and hot, take it out, let it cool for about five minutes and DEVOUR that sucker!!
** While your first pie is baking you can prepare the second one (since you already pre-baked the second crust!) and when the first one comes out to cool you can plop that second one in there straight away. OR you could prepare them both and bake them together. How’s that for super timing? Now you can sit back and pat yourself on the back because you just pulled off a master chef timing move. Good job, you.