This recipe comes from the wonderful Cooking with Shelburne Farms: Food and Stories from Vermont, a cookbook that strikes just the right tone between rustic and refined, simple and elegant. It is reverent of the seasons and the land, it’s written simply, and the photography is just right. The book is so very Vermont — if the Green Mountain State has even just a tiny piece of your heart, I’d highly recommend it.
As it’s originally written, this tart recipe calls for fiddlehead ferns. But the fiddlehead season seemed all-too-brief, so when I saw that tender asparagus tips and stalks could be a good substitute, I went for it. This tart comes together quickly, and it’s a wonderful, deceptively simple combination of flavors that result in an addictive little lunchtime or light dinner dish. I used asparagus from a Vermont farm stand, and the fantastic Monterey chÃ¨vre from Rawson Brook Farm, which fellow Berkshire food blogger Alana has just visited — it is so, so good.
Though the recipe indicates that this will serve 4-6 as a light supper, if you’d like to have leftovers I suggest you come to the table with a certain measure of steely resolve. This tart is eminently eatable.
Rustic Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart
Adapted from Cooking with Shelburne Farms
- 1 10×10 inch sheet frozen puff pastry
- 6 oz. asparagus tips and tender stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 tbs. water
- 2 tbs. minced, assorted fresh herbs — parsley, lovage, tarragon, basil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- 4 oz. crumbled fresh goat cheese
- 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- pepper, to taste
- 1 large egg yolk whisked with 1 tsp. water
- Thaw the puff pastry according to package directions. Preheat the oven to 375 with a rack set in the lower third of the oven. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
- Put the asparagus in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover with plastic wrap with a hole poked in it. Microwave on high for 2 minutes or until the asparagus are just tender. (Or, if you’re microwave-free, steam as you usually do on the stovetop.) Drain and pat the asparagus dry.
- Unfold the thawed puff pastry on the prepared cookie sheet and roll it gently into a 14×10-inch rectangle. Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork about a dozen times. With a sharp knife, cut 1/2-inch diagonals from each corner of the puff pastry.
- Sprinkle the bottom of the tart evenly with the herbs, garlic, and lemon zest, leaving a one to two inch border. Spread the asparagus on top of the herb mixture, then dot it with goat cheese crumbles. Drizzle the top with olive old and sprinkle it with the salt.
- Brush the tart border with water and fold it over the vegetables slightly, pinching at the corners. Brush the border with the egg yolk and water mixture. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes before serving warm or at room temperature.