If you're in need of an easy, yet impressive Easter side dish, this asparagus tart is the one. With just five ingredients it comes together in a snap and packed with flavor.
The tart base is made with buttery puff pastry - sold in the frozen food aisle near the desserts. One package contains two separate sheets. You need just one for this recipe, wrap the other well in freezer-quality plastic wrap for another use. Or make two tarts if you're serving a lot of guest. Frozen puff pastry needs to be thawed before using. While it's best to thaw in the refrigerator for several hours, you can leave at room temperature to thaw quicker.
The tart is prebaked and then topped with cheese and asparagus spears. The recipe calls for fontina, a mild flavored good melting cheese. You can substitute just about any favorite shredded cheese.
Asparagus is a harbinger of spring, so it's a fitting for any spring holiday table. For an added twist, you can drizzle the finished tart with a balsamic glaze or sprinkle with chopped chives.
ASPARAGUS AND FONTINA TART
Serves: 6 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Total time: 45 minutes
You can also cut this tart into smaller squares and serve it as an appetizer.
Flour, for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
5 1/2 ounces (2 cups) Fontina or Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 1/2 pounds medium asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-inch-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals.
Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Remove pastry shell from oven and sprinkle with the cheese. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Adapted from www.marthastewart.com. Tested by Susan Selasky in the Free Press Test Kitchen.
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