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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Friday, April 18, 2014

Tart of the Month: Spring Asparagus & Goat Cheese Tart

We have an asparagus patch in our garden and it is the greatest.  Every year it gives us more and more fresh asparagus in the spring.  But not quite yet this year.  The asparagus from this tart came from the store but maybe I'll make it again with garden asparagus when it's ready.  

This tart also uses spring onions if you can find them.  They are the ones with large white bulbs and green stems.  Once again, I didn't have any ready yet so I used regular green onions.  

Here's what you need for this spring tart:

1 store-bought pie crust
2 bunches asparagus (about 1 pound)
5 spring onions or 12 green onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
225 grams soft fresh goat cheese (ch
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk or cream
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 tablespoon minced chives
2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
3 large eggs

Tart pan with removable bottom

You can roll out the dough on the counter but I used a sheet of parchment.  Sprinkle it with flour, either way.  

Of course you can make your own dough, but I am not quite at that point yet.  A store-bough frozen pie crust works great.  Thaw it and roll it out so it fits into the tart pan.

Then press the dough into the tart pan and up the sides.  Preheat the oven and bake the shell according to package directions.  Mine was 8 minutes at 400 degrees F. 

Once baked, remove the tart crust from the oven and preheat to 425 F.

Break the ends off the asparagus and discard. Cut the tips off the asparagus and set aside in a bowl.

Thinly slice the asparagus stalks.

Cut the white parts from the green onions and halve them lengthwise.  Slice the light green parts thinly.   

Add the white parts of the green onions to the bowl with the asparagus tips.  Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  

Place the asparagus tips and onions on a baking sheet and roast for 12 to 15 minutes until tender and asparagus is bright green.  Reduce oven temperature to 375 F.

Melt butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan.  Add the sliced asparagus stalks and green onions.  Cook about 5 minutes until tender.  Allow to cool a bit.

Meanwhile, mince the tarragon, chives and parsley.  

Mix the herbs with the goat's cheese, sour cream and milk.

Whisk in the eggs.

Spread the sliced asparagus in the bottom of the tart shell.

Pour the egg and goat cheese mixture over the asparagus.

Sprinkle the roasted onions and asparagus tips over the top of the tart.  Carefully place in the oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes until puffed and set.

Cool the tart in the pan for 20 minutes, then remove and serve warm or at room temperature.  

This makes a fantastic brunch or dinner with a fresh, crisp salad.  Spring flavours combine for a lovely, delicate tart.  Try this!  

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