“Once a costly seasonal treat…
asparagus can now be found from February to Autumn.”
~ Carolyn Hart
I buy asparagus every week!
Usually, I cook it quite simply, as a side dish,
but I really enjoy it this savoury tart.
I use fresh thyme in the pastry base and in the filling.
Rolled, chilled and ready for blind baking.
- 125g plain flour
- 55g butter
- Pinch of salt
- 3 tbs cold water
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1tbs olive oil
- 3 eggs, whisked with a little milk
- 6 asparagus spears
- 2 shallots
- 2 clove of garlic, minced
- Parmesan, freshly grated
- Salt, freshly found black pepper & cayenne
Chop the stalks and reserve the spear tips.
Sauté till soft…
Plunge the cooked spear tips in iced water.
- Sift the flour and salt in a bowl, add cubes of cold butter, then rub in to make fine breadcrumbs.
- Stir in 1 tsp of finely chopped fresh thyme leaves, then add water and mix to form dough.
- Knead for a minute, then wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge while the filling is prepared.
- Dice the shallots, mince the garlic, chop and reserve the asparagus spear head, then finely slice the remainder of the stalks.
- Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the asparagus spear tip, simmer for 2 minutes, drain, then plunge in iced water to arrest the cooking.
- Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured board, line the flan tins, trim the excess, pierce the base, then chill in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC / 400ºF/ Gas Mark 6.
- Line the chilled flan case with parchment paper and baking beans and bake for 15 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a shallow pan, add the other tsp of thyme leaves, allowing the flavour to infuse, then add the chopped vegetables and sauté till soft.
- Whisk the eggs and milk in a bowl, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Remove the pastry from the oven, discard the parchment paper and baking beans.
- Grate some parmesan in the base of the pastry case, evenly fill with the soft vegetables, then pour in the egg mixture.
- Top with the cooked and chilled asparagus spear tips, then sprinkle lightly with cayenne pepper.
- Bake for 30 minutes till the egg is set.
- Allow the the tart to cool slightly before removing from the tin.
Parmesan on the base, filling and then the whisked egg.
Well risen, straight from the oven.
Hot or cold, lunch or dinner…this is how I like it best!