I always have high hopes for the summertime. I have started constantly daydreaming of picnics, movies in the park, berry picking, and most of all, summer parties. It is not that I frequently throw them, but I usually always try for one nice warm weather get-together. We have plans this year to get our backyard together, so I keep thinking about white holiday lights, soft music, and our table outdoors with candles all over it. I really cannot wait.
Another one of my favorite things about throwing parties is the food. I adore tiny finger foods, both savory and sweet. I love the idea of big beautiful plates covered with dozens of miniature delicious hors d'oeuvres. On Friday, I was flipping through cookbooks and suddenly felt like making something small and party-like. After flipping through ideas with Alice, we both agreed on me making some tiny tofu quiche tartlets made with fresh zucchini and asparagus from the farmer's market. And oh, these were good.
This recipe can easily be altered to your taste. Feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand or are in season- broccoli, mushrooms, roasted peppers, sundried tomatoes, spinach, eggplant. etc. Also, you are more than welcome to add cheese to this. I kept them vegan, except for a curl of fresh parmesan on the tops.
Spinach-Asparagus Tofu Tarlets:
For the pastry shells
9 tablespoons of butter or margarine, cut up into small pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons ice water
2 teaspoons olive oil
For the filling
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 small zucchini, finely chopped
5-6 asparagus spears, finely chopped (remove tough ends)
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
Fresh black pepper
1 12.3-ounce package firm silken tofu, drained of water
1/4 cup milk or soy milk
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon tahini or nut butter (preferably cashew or almond- I wouldn't recommend peanut)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
For the pastry shells: Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter or margarine until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the ice water and the olive oil and work into a loose dough. Knead gently until smooth. Shape into a flat disk and refrigerate for about an hour.
When chilled, break off small a ball of the dough and flatten into a small circle. Push into an ungreased mini muffin tin. Repeat. At this point, you can also crimp the molds to your liking.
For the filling: Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add garlic, asparagus, and zucchini and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the green onions and black pepper and remove from heat. Blend the remaining ingredients in a blender until very smooth. Add the tofu mixture to the warm vegetables and stir until completely combined.
Spoon the filling into the pastry shells. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes until the filling appears to have set and the crusts appear golden. Top with shaved cheese, roasted tomatoes, or fresh herbs.