With two kilograms of this seasonal veg in the fridge, I was bound to make an asparagus cheese tart!
As is so often the case in Poland, our friends downstairs know someone, who knows someone who is growing organic asparagus. Our friends buy a lot of the asparagus every year at this time, we’ve been the recipients of part of their annual organic asparagus haul. Two kilograms of asparagus is more than I would usually buy at one time, but this is so fresh that it’s keeping well. So far, we’ve wrapped asparagus in bacon; we’re preserving asparagus in brine, and now a tart.
I loved the taste of this tart, but I’m disappointed in the appearance. I should have added the asparagus last, so they would be more apparent, but I was concerned about fitting the entire 500 grams of asparagus into my pastry shell, so they were placed first (and buried by the cheese.) So this will be a case of do as I say and not as I do. The pastry is one I use for my savory galettes. It’s nice to work with and adds an lovely texture and flavor. If you have some yummy fresh asparagus, give this a try. It’s one of those dishes that I could eat for any meal of the day
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ¾ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dry sage)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 to 8 tablespoons cold water
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- dash cayenne
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 pound fresh asparagus spears
- To make the dough, pulse the flours, butter, sage, and salt in a food processor until it has the texture of a coarse meal. (I'm not intimidated by making pie crust, so I usually don't bother with using the food processor - too many parts to wash, but in this case, it seemed like the best way to insure the sage was finely chopped and evenly distributed.)
- While pulsing, slowly add ice water, using just enough for the dough to form a ball. Don't overwork it.
- Shape the dough into a 5 inch disk, wrap in plastic, and chill at least one hour.
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Roll out dough to fit your baking pan; I used a shallow 8 x 11 pan.
- Place dough in pan, trim crust, I just cut it at the top of the pan, no fancy fluting or anything.
- Mix the eggs, cream, salt, pepper, and cayenne, and pour into crust.
- Sprinkle with cheeses.
- Remove the woody ends of the asparagus by holding the bottom and middle of the stalk and snapping.
- Add asparagus to the pan, lining it up side by side.
- Bake for approximately 25 minutes.
- Allow to set up for 10 minutes before slicing.