I know all sliced up this vegetable loaf looks like its holding garden peas, but I assure you these green polka spots are sliced asparagus baked in a pastry loaf. It is based on my Vegetable Pasta Loaf recipe. I decided to replace the pasta this time with seasonal asparagus. I also remembered having some black garlic showcased on my blog a couple of months back for Celia's In My Kitchen Series, so decided to include a few sweet, chewy balsamic flavoured black cloves too.
It turned out pretty okay. The asparagus still had some crunch, slight saltiness came from the feta cheese and the black garlic, surprised us with each bite. D likes this kind of food and doesn't understand why I don't make it often, but then he loves the leggy asparagus.
A slice of this Asparagus and Black Garlic Loaf is perfect for today with the weather being quite Mediterranean 25 degrees Celsius in some parts of the U.K, The kind of weather when you would sit out in your garden and dine with some lovely light salads. I actually do feel like doing that, except for the fact that I have a bunged up nose, I think I may nibble on some black garlic something about it just makes me feel better! I am sharing this post with Simple and in Season: April hosted by Fuss Free Flavours and Ren Behan.
Asparagus and Black Garlic Pastry Loaf
Serves 6 - 8 depending on size of slices
For the filling
2 bundles of asparagus, rough part of stalk snapped and then blanch for a few minutes.
Remove from the heat and cool under cold water. Set aside.
1 tablespoon cornflour, mixed to a paste with 2 tablespoons of cold water
250ml double cream
3 medium eggs, beaten
100g feta cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
4 - 5 black garlic cloves, chopped
Ready Rolled shortcrust pastry (or feel free to make your own - I often do)
Line the 2 lb loaf tin with the shortcrust pastry.
Cut off over-lapping excess and re-roll this to fit as a lid.
Layer the blanched asparagus stems in the loaf tin, if they are too long, just trim so to snuggly fit in the pastry case.
Then in a bowl, combine the cornflour paste with cream, eggs and feta cheese. Season to taste. Then pour this over the pasta in the tin, until it just covers the asparagus leaving a bit of space for the pastry lid.
Dampen the edges of the pastry with a little water, then top with the pastry lid. Seal the edges by pressing with your thumb or fork. Make a small hole in the top for the steam to escape. Bake in a preheated oven gas mark 4/180oc for 45 minutes to an hour or until the pastry is golden. Leave to cool 30 minutes, before turning out and cooling for a further 30 minutes before slicing.
Best enjoyed the following day.