I wasn’t going to blog the recipe for this tart – I came up with it almost on a whim last weekend when we were hosting friends for our first outdoor dinner of the year (stay tuned next week for some tips on that!) and I was looking for a little something extra to serve alongside vegetables, cheeses and charcuterie. I wanted something I could prepare in advance and this fit the bill because it can be served warm or at room temperature. It’s inspired by a creamy mushroom and thyme galette I developed last year (that has become a staple in my French cooking classes and which everyone loves!). I was almost apologetic about serving it (“Here’s something I made with asparagus that needed cooking and a leftover roll of puff pastry – I hope it’s ok!“) but it really was very, very good.
This recipe uses store-bought puff pastry so it’s really simple to prepare, yet it looks impressive (I think it’s something to do with arranging the asparagus neatly). Choose asparagus spears of equal size for this recipe to ensure they are all cooked properly. Serve it hot or cold either as the “main event” or cut up into smaller pieces for apéritif snacks (if you do that, be careful cutting it small pieces because the asparagus might not cut “clean”).
Easy asparagus tart
A quick and easy asparagus and cheese tart.
- 1 roll puff pastry (mine was 25cm x 25cm), thawed but still cool
- 125g cream cheese, softened (I used 1/2 tub of spreadable variety)
- 1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 16-18 asparagus spears
- approx 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- 1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash
- Pre-heat the oven to 375˚F.
- Roll the puff pastry out and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Use the tines of a form to make a border approx. 3cm wide all around the pastry. Place the tray in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
- Mix together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
- Use an offset spatula to spread the cream cheese mixture evenly on the pastry base, making sure to leave the border clear.
- Place the asparagus on the cream cheese mixture, pressing down slightly.
- Scatter the Parmigiano cheese evenly across the asparagus, then drizzle with approx. 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Brush the edges of the tart with egg wash.
- Bake at 375˚F for 45-50 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the asparagus is cooked.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before slicing and serving or serve at room temperature.
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