Shopping at my local farm stand during this time of the year means being greeted by an abundance of asparagus. I don’t mind it as I enjoy the vegetable very much. Having access to fresh asparagus means I can make delicious recipes like this asparagus tart.
This French tart is a seasonal favorite for a reason. A tarte aux asperges is a simple and scrumptious way to utilize fresh market asparagus.
This recipe goes beyond simply roasting the asparagus on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper. While simply roasted asparagus is delicious, it can be underwhelming at times, especially if you’re entertaining.
One of the reasons this asparagus tart is so yummy is because of the cheese. If you add cheese to your veggies, they suddenly don’t look and taste so boring, non?
Typically, an asparagus tart will call for a cheese like gruyere. Gruyere melts well and has lots of flavor. In this case, I used a medley of cheeses.
I like using a gruyere-cheddar mix because I appreciate both cheeses’ flavors. While I adore gruyere, I acknowledge that it can be a bit overpowering for some. The cheddar helps balance that out.
If I haven’t already shown how versatile puff pastry truly is, then this recipe ought to prove it. Whether it’s a sweet, chocolate pastry braid or a savory asparagus tart, puff pastry always comes to the rescue.
And by rescue, I mean puff pastry can be a total time-saver and game-changer in making a recipe really easy.
I like to make my foods from scratch when I can, but if I’m entertaining with multiple courses, something’s got to give, right? I don’t feel guilty about using a sheet of store-bought puff pastry to make this delectable asparagus tart, and neither do my guests.
I’ve never seen anyone complaining, at least.
Appreciating the Season
The beauty of this asparagus tart is that it’s not only delicious, easy, quick and wonderful, it’s also a statement.
It’s a statement that you’re aware of the seasons, aware of what’s fresh and at its prime, and that you consciously cook meals having this awareness.
This is how the French cook and consume, and I think this asparagus tart is just a fantastic example of that.
A quick and simple spring appetizer or lunch using puff pastry, fresh asparagus, and cheese.
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 1/4 lb. thin asparagus (60 grams) rinsed and dried
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese (113 grams) gruyere, cheddar, or a mix
- olive oil to drizzle
- 1 egg beaten
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper. Unravel your sheet of puff pastry. Use a fork to prick the puff pastry all over except for a 1/2 inch (1/3 cm) border along the edges of the puff pastry.
Add the shredded cheese to the puff pastry, leaving the 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) border bare. Line up the asparagus stalks on top of the cheese, placing the stalks side-by-side, facing one direction.
Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus. Add a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper all over the asparagus. Brush the bare border of the puff pastry sheet with the beaten egg.
Bake the tart for 20 minutes, until the puff pastry is deeply golden throughout. During the baking process, the tart may puff up in the center. Simply use your fork to poke the center region down if this happens. Your tart will be very inflated when it comes out of the oven, but this is OK. It will deflate as it cools.
If you decide to use thicker stalks of asparagus, take care to steam them for a minute or two before using as they will take longer to bake. You will also want to trim the tough, woodsy ends as well beforehand.