Vegan Tomato and Asparagus Tarts

Prep time 15 mins plus overnight | Cooking time 40 mins | Makes 4


It’s meat free week and to help get you in the swing of things Renae Smith has put together a wickedly delicious tart that’s meat-free and dairy free. Photographs by Nicholas Rider.


Now in its third year, Meat-Free Week has returned and it’s even bigger than before. The team have launched in the UK and hope to spread their message of animal welfare and human health throughout the world. MasterChef Renae Smith has kindly shared a tasty tomato and asparagus tart with an almond cream. The best thing about this one is that it is meat-free and dairy-free. Actually, I lied, there is something even better. It’s the sweet, sticky balsamic glaze which Renae drizzles over the top of the tarts. Check out the recipe below and make yourself a glorious lunch, then check out what Renae has been up to since leaving the MasterChef kitchen here.



  • ¼ cup of raw almonds
  • ¼ cup of raw cashews
  • ¼ cup of raw sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry (butterless)
  • ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • A few sprigs of fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper


Make the almond cream. Soak the nuts and seeds overnight in enough water to cover them and then drain. The next day place nuts into a blender with a little water and oil and blend.  Add more water and oil (in equal portions) until you have a smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Roast the tomatoes. Take the tomatoes and quarter them.  Place them into an oven at 200ºC and bake until collapsed, about 15-20 mins.

Prepare the asparagus. Trim the asparagus and then cut each one in half, all at even sizes.

Assemble the tarts. Place a sheet of puff pastry and cut into four squares. In the centre of each square place some of the nut cream and spread over the pastry leaving about a 1cm edge the entire way around. Lay asparagus over this (cut to size if needed). Place a roasted tomato on top of the asparagus. Place into the oven at 200 degrees until puffed and golden, about 15-20 mins.

Make the balsamic glaze. Meanwhile, place sugar and balsamic vinegar into a pan and simmer gently until reduced.  Taste and add sugar until you have a sweet vinegar syrup. Remove tarts from the oven, drizzle with caramelised balsamic vinegar and garnish with fresh basil.

Want more Meat-Free Week? Check out my interview with Simon Bryant from ABC’s The Cook and The Chef here. I love receiving photos of your kitchen creations. Send me your recipes and dishes by tagging #brendonthesmilingchef on Instagram or Tweeting to @bthesmilingchef. Let me know what you’re making today by leaving a message in the comments section below, or send me a message via my social networks.

Happy Cooking and Keep Smiling,

Brendon 🙂



5 Comments Add yours

  1. bdinasnap says:

    Reblogged this on BD In A Snap and commented:
    Check out this post from my food blog Brendon The Smiling Chef


  2. Oh I love the sound and look of these!


    1. They were absolutely divine. Great crispy base with delicious filling toppings. The best bit was Renae’s balsamic syrup glaze 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Totally want to try this!


  3. chefceaser says:

    Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.


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