Three-Ingredient Asparagus Tart

Three-Ingredient Asparagus Tart

A cold bottle of Riesling, a sunny afternoon and a few friends should be the three ingredients required for this tart, because that’s how I prefer  to eat it. But before you open the wine, you’ll just need to pick up some asparagus, puff pastry and cheese. For this is the most accommodating of tarts. It requires very little to turn simple ingredients into a dish that looks like you trained in a French patisserie to make.

Three-Ingredient Asparagus Tart

Three-Ingredient Asparagus Tart

Store-bought puff pastry is always handy to have in the freezer. This recipe uses one sheet, so you’ll have another sheet ready to  turn the last of a punnet of berries into a fancy-looking dessert or to sit atop a ramekin of leftover roast for a pub-style pie. Thaw your dough according to package directions, and once you’ve rolled it to the size you need, fold it gently in thirds like a letter in a long envelope. This makes it easy to transfer the dough from the bench to the baking sheet where you can then unfold it, sans stretch marks.

When choosing asparagus, select ones with medium to thick stems that are uniformly sized. This will ensure they cook evenly and you’ll avoid unsightly shriveled rows in your nicely arranged tart.

Gruyere is an excellent melting cheese and lends this tart a salty, nutty flavor that goes so beautifully with the buttery shell. Emmentaler or Fontina can be substituted if you can’t find any Gruyere.

This tart is of the low-fuss kind, requiring very little to become the pretty centerpiece of a long lunch or picnic. I included it in my Easter Sunday lunch this year and my vegetarian cousin, who enjoyed it on the day, has now put it into her weekly dinner rotation. I served it with a small bowl of hot pink beetroot sauerkraut, because I couldn’t resist the colour, but a simple side salad will do just as well.

Three-Ingredient Asparagus Tart

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 2 cups grated gruyere cheese
  • 6-700 grams (1 1/2 pounds) asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flour for work surface

Method

Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.

Roll out the puff pastry on your lightly floured work surface. Using a ruler as a guide, make a rectangle roughly 40cm x 25cm / 16 x 10 inches. Trim uneven edges.

Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with baking paper (the paper makes it easy to lift the tart when it’s done). Lightly score the dough with a sharp knife to form a 1-inch border around the edge of the dough. Pierce inside the markings to stop the base from puffing up too much. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

While the pastry shell is baking, grate your cheese and trim your asparagus to fit crosswise inside the shell.

Remove pastry from oven and sprinkle with Gruyere. Place the asparagus in a single layer over the Gruyere, alternating tips and ends to make it look beautiful. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until spears are tender, around 20-25 minutes.

(Recipe from Everyday Food, 2003)

26 thoughts on “Three-Ingredient Asparagus Tart

  1. I love finding new recipes. but as a Type-1 diabetic i have to find inventive ways to stay with the spirit of a gorgeous recipe, yet fit my diet restraints:
    So I’m making this tart as a egg-based, rather than pastry-based dish.
    I’ll bake as you did, in individual oval ramekins and I’m sure the colours will be just as temping.

    Thanks for a great Idea!

  2. Looks delicious! Do you have the beetroot sauerkraut recipe? Or is this something you purchase? Love the color too, I think eating colorful tasty food is a key to being satiated {and thus eating less}, we feed many senses at once!

    • Hi Kristy. I bought the sauerkraut at the Union Square green market in NYC. They had all different flavours, including a curry one which looked interesting, but I loved the colour of the beets! I like having a jar in the fridge so I have a ‘side’ on hand if I’m too lazy to make a salad.

  3. this looks amazing! absolutely making it for my dinner party on friday. thank you! and thank you for including such beautiful pictures. a really lovely site!

  4. wondering if i could prep/cook any part of this ahead of time? will the puff pastry not be as good if i were to bake the first part and then cover to bake it with the cheese and asparagus closer to dinner time? i don’t want to be rolling out puff pastry while my guests are here.

    • Sorry to hear that, glad you saved it in time. I’m getting to grips with my new oven and it’s taking a while for us to get to know each other. Every oven has a different personality.

  5. Pingback: Easy to make, hard to stop eating: Three incredible appetizers

  6. anyway I can JUST print the recipe with out all the comments etc-too much paper wasted.
    I wanted one recipe and had6 pages print out!

  7. Pingback: Simple Asparagus Tart

  8. Pingback: AWOL & April | The Littlest Bakehouse

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