Posted 4:17 PM 3/20/2013 : Asparagus and cheese tart
On this first day of Spring we celebrate one of my all-time favorite foods. Asparagus is in season right now. Plump, beautiful green bundles of Spring. Treat these seasonal beauties simply, and you will be rewarded with the flavor and essence of what asparagus is supposed to taste like.
Growing up, asparagus was always an Easter staple. It was a luxury item back then. Today it is one of the staple greens in our cuisine culture and found in markets at affordable prices. One of the reasons that Asparagus is such an Easter friendly companion food is because of how well it pairs with egg. The richness of the egg and the brightness of the distinctive asparagus tang make a winning combination.
For Easter this year, try this Asparagus Tart for a starter in place of the traditional Easter Bread.
Asparagus and Cheese tart
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1 cup gruyere, Emmental or Swiss cheese, shredded
1 pound medium asparagus, washed, trimmed
1 Tbsp olive oil
freshly ground pepper and sea salt to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place the pastry sheet on a baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to score the dough one inch in from the edges on all four sides, to form a border. Using a fork, pierce the dough inside the markings at half-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 12-13 minutes.
Remove the pastry from the oven, and sprinkle the cheese inside the border. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over the cheese. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until spears are tender. Serve warm.
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