Sunday, March 14, 2010

feeling green, Asparagus Tart

I love this moment of awakening, rebuilding and renewing.... always associated with arrival of spring. Switching to lighter clothes, lighter foods.... feeling more energized and more alive.... starting new projects... finding new looks and more positive outlooks... if this was up to me, first day of spring would also be first day of a new year. It would be so much easier to follow through with your new year's resolutions with longer, sunnier days on one's side. Not that I'm counting....but six more days and we are there!!!
In the mean time I found this recipe for lovely asparagus tart to celebrate spring with. It has layers of puff pastry, thinly sliced potatoes, eggs, cheese, touch of cream and organic asparagus. This combination of different textures and flavors was so delicious that even my usually carnivorous other half ate seconds and thirds. It tastes great with white wine, as an appetizer for six or light dinner for four.

Green Asparagus Tart with Potatoes

shopping list (serves 4):
1 bunch of organic green asparagus (I used about18 pieces)
1 large potato, sliced
3-4 tbsp olive oil
puff pastry, used 1 sheet
75g Gruyere, grated, used aged cheddar instead and more than recipe called for
2 eggs, lightly beaten
100ml heavy whipping cream
a pinch or two of freshly ground nutmeg
sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Cut off the asparagus’ tougher stalk ends (about 1-2 inches). Blanch the asparagus briefly for 1 to 2 minutes in boiling, lightly salted water, then transfer to a bowl with ice water.

Peel and thinly slice potatoes and add to a pan with a few spoons of olive oil. Carefully pan-fry potatoes over low to medium heat for about 5-8 minutes (don’t let them brown). Then remove the slices from the pot.Place them on a paper towel.

Grease a rectangular tart ( I used 9 inch) form with butter, arrange puff pastry and form a small rim. Using a fork, stab little holes all over the arranged puff pastry. On top, add a layer of potato slices and sprinkle with grated cheese.

Combine eggs and cream in a bowl, season with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and nutmeg and pour over the potatoes/cheese layer. Arrange asparagus spears equally across the tart. You may want to brush the tart edges with egg yolk to let it gain a nice golden color while baking.
Bake at (350°F) in the preheated oven for about 30min or until edges are golden.
Serve warm. Adapted from delicious days.

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