With two kilograms of this seasonal veg in the fridge, I was bound to make a cheese and asparagus 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 a sage crust , one I use for my savory galettes. It’s nice to work with and adds a 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.