From Canastota, New York, Mary Relyea shares this lovely tart. Its golden crust is filled with a delightfully light egg bake that includes asparagus spears and Gruyere cheese. Serve it as an impressive side dish or a meatless main course.
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- 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
- 3 cups water
- Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)
- 2/3 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup half-and-half cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Cut 2 in. from the top of each asparagus spear; set tops aside. Cut stem ends into 3/4-in. pieces. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add the 3/4-in. asparagus pieces; cover and boil for 3-4 minutes. Drain and immediately place asparagus in ice water. Drain and pat dry.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry into a 13-in. circle. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 11-in. fluted tart pan with removable bottom; trim edges. Place the blanched asparagus, 1/3 cup cheese and parsley in crust.
- In a small bowl, combine the eggs, cream, salt, cayenne and nutmeg; pour into crust. Arrange asparagus tops over egg mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Asparagus Tart in Light & Tasty April/May 2006, p26
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