There are so many reasons to love spring: longer days, blossoming trees, shedding layers and of course, asparagus. Organic asparagus abounds right now. I’ve been enjoying adding it to lots of meals. So far I’ve made asparagus hash for breakfast, added it to stir fries and served it roasted as a side.
Today’s Meatless Monday recipe puts asparagus front and center. This asparagus tart is easy to assemble and holds the HM blog record for the recipe with the smallest number of ingredients. It looks a whole lot fancier than it actually is, so it’s a good recipe for company. It’s also great for a weeknight meal.
A couple tips:
- If you’re using frozen puff pastry, take it out of the freezer in the morning and let it thaw in the fridge. It should be thoroughly thawed by the time dinner prep rolls around.
- Make sure you dry the asparagus as much as possible after you boil it. You can blot it with some paper towels after you rinse it with cold water and let it dry in a colander. If you don’t dry it, the crust underneath will be soggy. This happened the first time I made this tart. It still tasted good, but the crust was doughy.
I found this asparagus tart recipe in The Heart of the Plate by the prolific and entertaining cookbook author, Mollie Katzen.
Meatless Monday: Spring Asparagus Tart
- 1 frozen puff pastry (You can find it in the freezer section of most grocery stores. Popular brands are Dufour and Pepperidge Farm.)
- 1-1/2 pounds medium-thick asparagus
- grated cheese (I used manchego, but Parmesan or gouda would be nice too.)
Put It Together:
- Break off the tough ends of the asparagus.
- Place your colander in the sink so that it’s ready when the asparagus is done.
- Heat a couple quarts of water in a large pot. When the water boils, put the asparagus spears in the pot and boil for one minute.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove the spears from the pot and run cold water over them to stop them from cooking further. Let them drain for a minute or so, then place them side-by-side on a clean counter and blot with paper towels, turning them to make sure you dry them all the way around.
- Grate the cheese (I used the side of a box grater with the small holes.) Set aside.
- On a large baking sheet, carefully unfold the puff pastry dough into a large rectangle.
- Spread half the grated cheese over the dough, and then line up the asparagus so that the spears are touching.
- Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is puffy and golden.