Friday, March 30, 2012

Asparagus and Cheese Tart

In the April 2012 issue of House & Home magazine, a recipe for roasted asparagus and cheese tart caught my eye. I love asparagus and this tart seemed like the perfect way to welcome spring. It is as delicious as it is pretty. We had my husband's mother over for Sunday dinner and I made this to have with homemade split pea soup. It was my first experience with puff pastry, so I was a little concerned that it might be a disaster. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that puff pastry is actually quite easy to work with. I will note that the recipe doesn't say anything about flouring the work surface and dough, but when my rolling pin started to stick, I ran for the flour. I lightly dusted both sides of the pastry and the parchment paper surface with flour and no more sticking. This tart makes a lovely, light supper with salad or soup. It would be perfect for brunch as well. Enjoy! 
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Ingredients to make one tart:
3/4 lb. thin to medium-sized asparagus, tough stalk ends snapped off
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (thawed 30 to 40 minutes at room temperature)
1/2 package Boursin cheese, garlic and fine herb flavor
1/2 cup grated Gouda cheese
1 egg, beaten with a touch of water to make an egg wash

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a bowl, toss asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

2) Dust a large piece of parchment paper lightly with flour; unfold the thawed puff pastry onto the parchment, and dust pastry lightly with flour. Using a rolling pin, carefully roll out the pastry into a rectangle, roughly 10" x 15" or 11" x 14" (mine was about 11" x 12" which worked perfectly). Transfer pastry to a baking sheet. Using a paring knife, score a line around the perimeter of the pastry, about 1" in from edge, to create a border (do not cut all the way through). Using a fork, prick the dough all over within the border; this part will remain flat during baking while the border puffs up.

3) Crumble the Boursin cheese within the border, then sprinkle the gouda on top. Arrange asparagus in a single layer evenly over the cheese. Lightly brush tart border with egg wash.

4) Bake tart until asparagus is tender and pastry is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool briefly before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The next time I make this, I will alternate the asparagus tips so each side of the tart has some tips and some stalks, rather than line them up with the tips all on one side, as shown below. I didn't even notice I had done this until my husband pointed it out.


An egg wash along the border makes a beautiful golden brown crust.
 

8 comments:

  1. Thank you for this recipe! It looks delicious and I will be making it soon :-)

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  2. That looks so good, and it is a beautiful photo. I'll bet you mother-in-law was impressed! I will have to try this, maybe as a side dish for Easter.

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  3. Looks delicious! I have a sheet of puff pastry in the freezer, and I've been wondering how to use it. (Made a chicken pie when D was home.) I will let you know how this goes!

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  4. Oh my lord, you are killing me here. This is on the menu for this week for sure! Where do I find a package of Boursin cheese?
    Camille

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    1. You're funny, Camille!
      I found Boursin at our local grocery store in the specialty cheese section. Get the crumbly kind, not the spreadable kind. It is a little pricey at $8.49, but one package makes two tarts. It's less expensive than eating out. And more fun!

      Let me know how it turns out!
      Claudia

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  5. This looks so awesome! What could be better for spring?

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  6. I shared your blog post with my readers. Thanks so much for great additional instructions. I have taken it to two parties since and people were literally fighting over it.

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