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Recipes

Spring Asparagus Tart

This easy, cheesy-asparagus tart is perfect for a spring brunch.

March 26, 2018

Celebrate spring beautifully with this easy, cheesy-asparagus tart. Perfect for brunch or as an appetizer, a packaged crust lets you show off with minimum fuss.

Serves six to eight people.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound medium asparagus (about 1 bunch), ends trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-and-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fontina or aged cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot (about 1 large clove)
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half or whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Tart Crust

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed, or premade refrigerated pie crust such as Pillsbury)
  • All-purpose flour

Preparation

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss trimmed asparagus with olive oil and set aside.

On a sheet of parchment paper, lightly dusted with flour, roll out the puff pastry or pie crust into a 10-by-16-inch rectangle. Mark the edges on the back side of the parchment as an easy guide. Slide the parchment and the dough onto a rimmed baking sheet and prick dough all over with a fork. Bake 10 minutes, until light golden-brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before adding the filling.

While the crust bakes, in a large bowl combine cheeses, shallot, egg yolks, half-and-half, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper just until evenly moistened.

Spread mustard evenly over the pastry, leaving a 1-inch border on the sides. Spread the cheese mixture over the mustard footprint, then arrange asparagus over the cheese. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the cheese mixture begins to brown.

Transfer the tart with the parchment underneath onto a serving board or platter. Pull the parchment out from under the tart and serve.

Cook’s note: Medium asparagus, rather than pencil-thin or tree-trunk thickness, cooks perfectly as the cheese melts without any other prep necessary. Most good-quality cheeses work in this recipe, so experiment with your favorites. Fontina and Gruyere are on the expensive side, so buy just what you need from the deli.



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