01 Aug Asparagus & Fetta Oat-Crusted Pie
This is a goodie. It has been rebirthed from an old childhood favourite of mine; asparagus and cheese triangles. These guys were made by my mum, who hates cooking, and consisted of canned asparagus ‘tips and cuts’ with cheddar cheese and mustard stuffed inside thawed out puff pastry. Don’t get me wrong, these triangles of canned glory blew my mind on the deliciousness scale, and still do, but I was starting to crave a slightly more wholesome, uncanned, unthawed version. And I do love pie. So the asparagus and fetta pie has been born. Sorry mum.
Note! I recently made this pie with a combo of cheddar and parmesan instead of feta and it was bloody delicious. So feel free to get loose with your cheese choice.
So! Let me tell you a little bit about a friend Asparagus. She’s a liver & kidney-lovin’, free-radical-kickin’, DNA-dotin’ immune-ignitin’ beauty, spear-heading your body into good health! Yeow!! This is due to her fantastic amounts of B vitamins, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, and glutathione. Glutathione you say? Heck yes! Glutathione is one of our body’s king endogenous antioxidants, made up of the amino acids glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine. This body buddy protects our cells from free radical damage (anti-aging amongst other things), helps to recycle other antioxidants, and charges up our detoxification pathways. Glutathione gets depleted as we age, and can also be depleted by intense physical exercise, viral infections, environmental toxins, household chemicals, heavy metals, inflammation, and nutritional deficiencies (particularly amino acids). Other great dietary sources of glutathione, or the precursors to glutathione, include eggs, garlic, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage etc.), and whey. It’s a good thing this glutathione.
So yes, I’m going to say that this is a magical anti-aging pie, because I REALLY LIKE PIE. But if you continue to age, apologies, but my pie and me take no responsibility (yes, this is a anti-aging pie disclaimer). However, I can guarantee that this pie will at least bust out some great macronutrient numbers! Per serve, you’re getting a healthy 30g of carbohydrate, 13g of protein and 18g of healthy fats. A balanced win. And hopefully less wrinkles.
Asparagus & Fetta Oat-Crusted Pie (serves 4)
For the Crust:
¾ cup rolled oats, processed to flour
¼ cup buckwheat flour
2 tbsp. cold butter
2 tbsp. cold water
½ tsp./good pinch of salt flakes
For the Filling:
3 large eggs
80g feta (or 80g mixed cheddar and parmesan or any other delicious cheese)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
1 bunch of fresh asparagus
1 ½ tbsp. wholegrain mustard
Cracked black pepper
You will also need a 19cm tart pan.
To make the crust, first process the rolled oats into a flour by placing in food processor on high for a couple of minutes. You’re looking for a flour-like texture, but a bit coarser than normal flour.
Add the oat flour, buckwheat flour and salt to a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Chop the butter into small chunks and add to the flours along with the water. Have a sheet of cling wrap to the side, ready for putting the dough in. Using your hands or pastry cutter, combine the mixture into dough, I do my best to spread the butter evenly throughout the mixture with my fingers. Form a ball and wrap in cling wrap, then flatten to about 1cm thick. Place in fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to375°F/190°C
Remove dough from fridge and unwrap, keeping the dough on the cling wrap. Put a piece of baking paper over the top and using a rolling pin (OR a wine bottle like I use…), slowly and firmly roll out the dough into a circle, just a bit bigger than your tart case. Grease the tart pan. Gently pick up the pastry and place over the tart case, then press the pastry into the case, filling all grooves and edges. Using a sharp knife, horizontally run the blade across the edges of the case, removing overlapping pastry and creating a clean cut across the edges. Use these bits of pastry to fill in any thin parts of the pastry, aiming for a consistent thickness across all parts of the crust. Prick the bottom of the pastry a few times with a fork, and blind bake in the oven for 10 minutes. I don’t use pastry weights for this blind bake.
While the crust is blind baking, prepare the filling. Grate most of the fetta/cheese, leaving about a ¼ of it to crumble on top of the pie. Cut the asparagus in to spears and tips, cutting the spears to about half the length of the tart case, and cutting the tips into 1 cm pieces.
Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until frothy, then add asparagus tips, grated fetta, wholegrain mustard, pepper and chives (leave a sprinkling of chives for the top of the pie).
When the crust has baked for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and pour the filling mixture into it. Arrange the asparagus spears like clock hands around the pie, then crumble leftover fetta and sprinkle leftover chives over the top.
Reduce the oven to 350°F/175°C and bake the pie for approximately 30-40 minutes, or until golden on top. Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes, before removing from tart case. I usually serve mine with a big side of salad, such as a nice rocket/apple/walnut/honey balsamic vinaigrette number.
Nutritional Info (per serve/4 serves per pie)
Carbohydrate 30g, Protein 13g, Good Fats 18g