Nothing says spring and early summer like asparagus. It is one of the few ingredients that I really miss through the winter and it’s arrival marks the start of local abundance every year. We often eat it raw (or lightly blanched) and generally treat it very simply. But sometimes I like to dress it up and take it for a night on the town. Last night was one of those nights:
While we make most things by hand, I did not make the puff pastry on this one. Perhaps one day we’ll learn that art but I happened to have a partial package in the freezer and was looking for an easy Sunday meal. It’s one of the few things in our kitchen I haven’t made by hand.
For this recipe to really work, you need to cut potatoes very thin and evenly. This pretty much means that you’ll need a mandoline – if you don’t have one you may want to modify the recipe by cooking the potatoes and puff pastry for 5 minutes before continuing to assemble the tart (i.e. cook it for 5 minutes between 6-7 minutes of the recipe below).
- 1 package of puff pastry
- 2 pounds asparagus, washed and stems broken off
- 1 large potato
- 1 lemon
- 1/3-1/2 cup of chevre (goat’s cheese)
- 1/3-1/2 cup of feta cheese
- 1/4-1/2 cup of parsley
- 3 eggs
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1-2 teaspoons of fresh garlic (chopped fine)
- Chile flakes (optional, I used a lot)
- Olive oil
- Flour (for cutting board)
- In a large bowl, mix lemon, chevre, feta, parsley, salt, pepper, chile flakes, garlic and ginger. Stir in a little extra olive oil for flavor (this stage can be done will in advance and will benefit the longer it sits together).
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Grease a cookie sheet by spreading butter onto it. You can add a bit of olive oil as well if you’d like to be really decadent.
- Flour a cutting board and dust with flour. Place the puff pastry onto it and roll it out to a large rectangle. Make the rectangle as high as an asparagus is long and as wide as you want.
- Add a bit of butter to one side of the pastry and gently flip it onto the cookie sheet. Add a bit more butter to the top.
- Clean the potato and cut them as thin as possible. Toss them in a bit of olive oil and fan the slices over the pastry. I used 2 layers of potato with a slight hit of salt and pepper between them.
- Scatter the cheese and parsley filling on top of the potato slices.
- Lay the asparagus down to cover the tart.
- Bake 15 minutes and check the pastry. It should be almost done. Assuming it is, crack the eggs on top of the asparagus (if it’s not, cook for longer). Season with salt and pepper.
- Place the tart back in the stove until the eggs are cooked the way you’d like. This should take 3-5 minutes.