Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring Asparagus Tart

I used to detest asparagus. Before the age of 30, those little spears caused anxiety because growing up, my Mom boiled and served them without salt or pepper. Please do not ever do this to your own children or they, like me, will hate it for a very long time. A few years ago, my Mom redeemed herself by coming up with the idea to throw the asparagus in a bag with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and grill it. The results were fantastic and since then my hate for asparagus turned into unadulterated love.

So, a couple of weeks ago I was surfing my favorite blogs and I came across a recipe on Cupcakes and Cashmere for an amazing Asparagus Gruyere Tart. I am huge fan of this fashionista and cooking goddess all rolled into one and this recipe is no exception. Another note here is that I usually stay away from Martha Stewart recipes since they tend to ask for ingredients that require a special trip to a special store which especially annoys me. This tart is different. Simple, elegant and very tasty. I made a few changes to the preparation because I love that grilled, slightly burnt, garlic taste. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart website


Flour, for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator overnight
5 1/2 ounces (2 cups) Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 1/2 pounds medium or thick asparagus
5 - 6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Preheat your grill to 400/500 degrees. Snap the bottoms of the asparagus off and place in a big ziplock bag with a liberal amount of olive oil, salt, pepper and the garlic. Set aside while you prepare the pastry.

On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet brushed with olive oil. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

While the pastry is baking, place the marinated asparagus on the grill so none of it overlaps. Turn the spears once or twice while grilling. Grill about 15/20 minutes or until a black crust appears on several sides of the spears.

Remove pastry shell from oven, brush with thin layer of olive oil and sprinkle with Gruyere. Take the grilled asparagus and fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Place tart back in the oven for about ten minutes to melt the gruyere. Remove and serve immediately.

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