Is there anything as lovely as a morning in June? Tomatoes are planted. Basil is tall and leafy. The grass is green and growing like crazy. Baby ducks swim around with their mamas leading the way. Kids come home for the weekend for cookouts and bonfires. Asparagus abounds.
This simple tart can be made with puff pastry or filo dough. You can use Gruyere (which is the all-time best cheese) or you can use cheddar. You might even use some type of vegan cheese. Look carefully at all the variations in these photos.
This beautiful and versatile tart is excellent served with a green leafy salad or even as an appetizer when cut in small squares. I first made this after seeing it on a Martha Stewart site, but have since modified it many times.
Here’s what you need:
1 puff pastry – thawed in fridge (OR 6 sheets of filo dough)
5 ounces grated cheese (Gruyere or Cheddar or Vegan or whatever suits your fancy)
1 ½ pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
Olive oil for drizzling
Coarse salt for sprinkling
Here’s what you do:
On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 10 x 16 rectangle. Trim if necessary. Place on a baking sheet which has been lined with parchment paper. With a sharp knife, lightly score a 1 inch border all the way around the dough. Prick the middle part of the dough with a fork so it does not puff up too much. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.
(If you choose to use filo dough instead of the puff pastry, carefully lay one layer of dough on an oiled baking sheet. Brush more olive oil over the filo and carefully lay another sheet on top. Continue until you have about 6 sheets layered with olive oil in between each layer. Prebake for about 5 minutes. Continue with the rest of the directions.)
Remove from the oven. Sprinkle the cheese in the middle of the pastry. Arrange the asparagus over the cheese in a pleasing way. Bake for another 20-25 minutes.
Sprinkle with coarse grain sea salt before serving.