Asparagus cheese tart offers a trio of three cheeses, topped by tender roasted asparagus nestled in a puff pastry crust. It’s perfect for brunch, and as a side for lunch or dinner along side soup or salad. It’s also a favorite appetizer for almost any occasion.
When is asparagus “in season”?
Asparagus is in season during spring in the U.S. April is the “high season,” but it’s available year ’round from other parts of the world, mostly Central and South America.
Asparagus Health Benefits
A healthy addition to your diet, asparagus is low in calories but high in nutrients. It’s a great source of antioxidants and vitamin K (involved in bone health and blood clotting), and also a good way to get vitamins A and C.
We love asparagus for it’s pretty green color too. It’s good in so many dishes from soups and salads to quiches, and appetizers like our yummy asparagus tart. This dish gives bright color, delicious flavor and a certain elegance.
Having fun with puff pastry!
Puff pastry is so easy and fun to use! It gives a refined look to pastries and tarts. Follow the package instructions to thaw and roll out the puff pastry. By simply scoring the edges of your puff pastry with a small sharp knife, you get a professional looking raised edge when you bake.
We prick the surface of the pastry with a fork to keep it from puffing up in the middle.
Bake the pastry alone
Next, we bake the pastry for a few short minutes, then pull it out to cool slightly and add the filling.
Choose your cheese
In this recipe, we use three different cheeses: Grueyere, Fontina and Parmesan. Havarti and Mozzarella are good in this tart too. You could easily change these cheese for any variety you’d like.
Add an egg and a bit of milk to the cheese mixture to help bind the ingredients. It gives an almost quiche-like layer over the pastry. Fresh parsley and black pepper also go in the egg-cheese mixture.
Prepping the asparagus
Trim the tough ends off the asparagus. Then blanch the asparagus before adding it to the tart to brighten the green color. You can easily skip this step if you like, as the asparagus will roast sufficiently to make it tender while you bake the tart. You want to keep fairly similar asparagus lengths for the tart to look best.
Toss the blanched asparagus with olive oil, garlic salt and pepper to coat it. Then arrange the asparagus end to tip across the puff pastry.
Bake and zest
Simply pop the tart in the oven, then sprinkle with lemon zest once it’s out.
As we mentioned, any cheese you have will work well. You could also add chopped green onions, bacon, or just about anything you like to suit your taste. It’s easy, fun to make, and it’s delicious.
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- 1 pound asparagus spears
- 1 sheet puff pastry (about 8 ounces or ½ package)
For cheese mixture
- 2-3 ounces Fontina cheese (about 1 cup)
- 2-3 ounces Grueyere cheese (about 1 cup)
- 2 Tablespoons shredded or shaved parmesan cheese
- 2 Tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
- 1 egg
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For asparagus coating
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- zest of one lemon
1. Trim tough end off asparagus spears (try to keep spears similar lengths).
2. Blanch asparagus in boiling water for 2 minutes. Then place immediately in ice water. (this will brighten the color and help the asparagus be crisp-tender when baked.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Thaw puff pastry according to manufacturer’s directions. 4. Open pastry and roll out on a lightly floured board. Roll it so it’s approximately a 10 x 16 inch rectangle.
4. Move pastry dough to baking sheet and score a 1-inch border around the edges with a small sharp knife. Prick the pastry all over (inside the score line) with a fork.
5. Bake about 10 minutes and let cool.
6. Mix the cheese, parsley, egg, milk, ¼ teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl to combine.
7. Spread the cheese mixture over the puff pastry inside the border.
8. Toss asparagus with olive oil, ½ teaspoon garlic salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper to coat.
9. Arrange the asparagus end to tip across the puff pastry. Trim any pieces that are too long. The tart looks best with same-length asparagus spears.
10. Bake 15 minutes or until edges of pastry are golden brown.
Remove from oven and sprinkle lightly with lemon zest.
We like this best warm. But you can serve it warm or room temperature.
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