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


Monday, May 19, 2014

Tart of the Month: Asparagus & Gruyere

I have plenty more to tell about our road trip to Nashville, but let's take a break from travel for our tart of the month!  This month we're doing asparagus again. We have a small asparagus patch in our garden and due to the cold winter and late spring, it is just starting to produce asparagus now in mid May.  Asparagus is one of my favourite vegetables so it gets two months of tarts before spring turns to summer and I suspect the tart of the month will turn from savoury to sweet for a while.

This tart is so easy.  Once again, no pastry skills needed, just frozen puff pastry.  Here's what you need for this simple spring tart from Martha Stewart:

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 cups Gruyere, shredded (about 180g)
1.5 pounds asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Sprinkle flour over the work surface.  I used a sheet of parchment to make life easy.

Roll out the puff pastry into a 16 x 10 inch rectangle.  

I used a measuring tape because I don't know my inches very well.  Trim the edges into an even rectangle.  I used a pizza cutter for this.

Now, lightly score a one-inch border around the outside edge of the pastry without cutting all the way through.

And use a fork to poke holes all over the pastry inside the scored rectangle.  Place the pastry and parchment on a baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes until lightly golden and puffed. 

While the pastry is baking, shred the gruyere.

And break the woody ends off the asparagus.  If you bend the stalk it should have a natural breaking point. 

Remove the pastry from the oven.

And sprinkle evenly with the gruyere.

Lay the asparagus over the cheese in rows, alternating tips up and down.  My asparagus wasn't long enough to cover the whole pastry so I made a few horizontal rows up top.

Drizzle the asparagus with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  

Bake for another 20 minutes until asparagus is tender.

Slice the tart into rectangles and serve.  This makes a great lunch with a salad or a nice appetizer.  Unbelievably quick and easy.

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