Do you have a favourite season? I can never decide! I love each season when we're in it, but then I love the change too. I guess we're lucky to live in a place that has real seasons. We can watch the leaves fall off the trees in Autumn, we have cold winters (although no snow!) and then the bulbs start emerging and all the trees start shooting.
Walking around the garden in Spring brings such joy, seeing it come to life after the dormancy of Winter.
And with a new season comes new foods. After the heavier, warming foods of Winter it's so lovely to start enjoying the lighter foods of Spring. On the warm mornings getting the chia puddings out again, and the warm evenings enjoying salads - oh how I miss salads over Winter!
Each season as I write these posts and do the season workshops with Amanda Adey from Auricfields kinesiology, I learn so much about not only the emotions and the physical sense of the season but how much food plays a huge role. And the depth which Chinese medicine delves into and relies on food to heal.
Spring is the season of anger, the season of the gallbladder and liver. It's about detoxing, it has the sound of shouting, so let it all out!
Anger, if it's turned inwards, becomes depression. Spring is about shaking off the cobwebs from winter, detoxing and putting plans into action.
This tart was made for Amanda's Spring Retreat attendees. I have to say, I LOVE this tart! The tang of the minty pea puree (which is a twist on recipe I have been using for years, the original recipe can be found in the Freya's Nourishment Community) the delicious char of the vegetables and for those of you who are gluten free and miss tarts, this one's for you!
The tart was served with a green (of course!) salad, homemade pickles and sprouted buckwheat and sunflower seeds. Have you ever sprouted seeds? I love it! It brings me back to my childhood and I love watching the daily progress of the seeds swelling and the little tails sprouting forth.
Go with all things green for a healthy Wood Element season.
Raw foods remind the body of being young, and wakes it up from a slumbering winter. Pungent foods, sprouts, leafy foods and lots of fibre helps to clear out excess phlegm, toxins and regulate our blood sugar. Sour foods to cleans the liver, root vegetables to detoxify the liver. Remember that Spring is ruled by the liver and gallbladder, which can become congested with excess fats, so keep a balanced diet and avoid excessive greasy foods.
Green Tart with Charred Vegetables
- 350g broccoli
- 1 cup pistachios
- 2.5 tbsp flaxmeal with 5 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp dill (fresh if possible)
- 1 tbsp cardamom
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup peas (defrosted if frozen)
- Handful of basil
- 1 clove garlic
- Lemon juice to taste plus lemon zest (approx 2 tbsp of juice)
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Salt and pepper
- Chilli flakes
- 2 bunches of spinach, stems removed
- 2 zucchini
- 1 fennel
- basil leaves
- fennel fronds and dill
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Mix the flaxmeal and the water together in a bowl and set aside. This will be your binding agent in lieu of eggs
- Blitz the pistachios together in a food processor until they form a meal (you can use almond meal instead if you prefer) then add to a large bowl
- Cut the broccoli into florets and roughly chop the stalks. Process the stalks first into a large crumb then add the florets and continue to process until they are fine like a couscous, then add to the nut meal
- Mix through the flax egg and the remaining ingredients until you can feel the mix sticking together in your hands
- Press into a tart tin with removable base - you can make it in a large case or 4 individual ones. Make sure to press into the sides as well as the base
- Bake in the oven 180C for 50 minutes until golden
- Remove the base from the oven, and set for a moment on a wire rack. Remove from the tart tin and feel the bottom of the base, if it is a little soft still, turn the base upside down and put back in the oven for a few minutes. There's nothing worse than a soggy bottom!
- The cases can be made in advance, they keep well in a container for up to 4 days. If you are making them fresh, start on the remaining steps while the tart is cooking
- Add peas, garlic, basil, chilli, salt and pepper to a food processor and blitz until the mix is broken down but still has a little texture
- Mix through the oil and the lemon juice & zest - taste for balance
You can use any vegetables you want, but this mix worked really well. Prepare all the vegetables separately and I grilled them using a Tefal Optigrill, but you can use a BBQ, a griddle pan, a George Forman grill, whatever you have handy.
- peel strips of the zucchini with a peeler and toss in olive oil, salt and pepper
- slice each broccolini stem in half so the stem isn't too thick. Again season and drizzle with oil
- slice the fennel as thinly as possible - if you have a mandoline this will help. I don't so I just sliced it by hand
- blanch the spinach in salted boiling water and drain
- grill each vegetable alone, so they become slightly charred and cooked through
- gently spread the pea puree on the base, but don't flatten it too much
- next goes the wilted spinach, add some black pepper here
- then layer the fennel, zucchini and finishing with the broccolini on top
- scatter over basil leaves and dill/fennel fronds. It's also delicious with some preserved lemon slices scattered over the top
This was also served at the Earth Element Retreat. The same base was used then filled with a mashed sweet potato (golden sweet potato boiled then mashed with cumin and a little almond milk and nutritional yeast) and topped with slices of pumpkin roasted in a little oil and sprinkled generously with cumin. Sauté some leeks to top the pumpkin then sprinkle with alfalfa sprouts.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy some of our seasonally inspired Recipes: