Monday, March 28, 2011
I've decided that it's "Asparagus Week" for no other reason other than the fact that I am trying to get back into my regular blogging schedule. And because this first week of spring has acted more like winter, maybe we can trick ourselves into thinking it's warmer by eating a ton of spring veggies. It's worth a try!
It may be too early in the season for local asparagus, but I've started to see it cropping up in stores from a variety of locations. The season typically runs from February to June, so depending on where you live (Hawaii!), you may be able to find a local variety. (In Michigan for example, asparagus is harvested for a six - seven week period from late April/early May through mid to late June.) Fun facts: The asparagus plant is a member of the lily family, which also includes onions, leeks, and garlic. It's also super healthy as it's high in folic acid and is a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamin. Plenty of reasons to eat asparagus this spring! And so is this (almost not a recipe) recipe for an asparagus tart. It's more of an assemblage. All you need is puff pastry, cheese, and asparagus. And an oven.
(adapted from Martha Stewart Living)
Flour, for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 - 1 1/2 pounds asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim any uneven edges. Place the pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score the pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. (See photo below.) Using a fork, pierce the dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
2. Remove the pastry shell from the oven, and sprinkle with the Gruyere. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell. Arrange in a single layer over the Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush the asparagus with the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until the spears are tender, about 15 minutes. Makes 8 appetizer servings.