This gorgeous asparagus-striped tart is so easy it almost feels like cheating. But it’s not. It’s just simple yet stunning, effortlessly chic and company-ready. PICTURE: The New York Times
This gorgeous asparagus-striped tart is so easy it almost feels like cheating. But it’s not. It’s just simple yet stunning, effortlessly chic and company-ready. PICTURE: The New York Times

Feeling fancy? Then make this asparagus and goat cheese tart

By Melissa Clark Time of article published Mar 27, 2020

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Because you don’t have to make your own crust, this gorgeous asparagus-striped tart is so easy it almost feels like cheating. But it’s not. It’s just simple yet stunning, effortlessly chic and company-ready.

As there are so few ingredients in this recipe that each one makes an impact, be sure to buy a good all-butter brand of puff pastry.

If you can manage to serve this tart warm, within an hour of baking, it will be at its absolute best, with crisp pastry that shatters into buttery bits when you bite down and still-runny cheese. But it’s also excellent a few hours later, should you want to get all your baking done before your guests arrive.

If tarragon isn’t your favourite herb, you can use chives, basil or mint instead.

Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Tarragon Tart (Serves 6-8)

Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients

1 cup (113g) goat cheese, at room temperature

1 large egg, lightly beaten, at room temperature

1 large garlic clove, finely grated or minced

11/2 tbs chopped fresh tarragon leaves, plus more for serving

1/2 tbs finely grated lemon zest

1/2 tsp fine sea salt, plus more for sprinkling

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1 cup (226g) crème fraîche, at room temperature

All-purpose flour, for dusting the work surface

1 sheet or square all-butter puff pastry, thawed if frozen (about 255g-397g; brands vary)

226g thin asparagus, woody ends trimmed

Extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbs grated Parmesan

Freshly ground black pepper

Red pepper flakes (optional)

42.5g Parmesan (about 1/2 cup), shaved with a vegetable peeler

Method

Heat oven to 220ºC. In a medium bowl, use a fork or a wooden spoon to mash together the goat cheese, egg, garlic, tarragon, lemon zest, salt and nutmeg until smooth. Switch to a whisk and beat in the crème fraîche until smooth.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry into a 33x28cm rectangle about 2cm thick.

Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score a 1.30cm border around the edges of the puff pastry.

Spread the crème fraîche mixture evenly inside the scored border. Line up the asparagus spears on top, and brush them with olive oil. Sprinkle some salt and the grated Parmesan over the asparagus.

Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Let it cool on the baking sheet for at least 15 minutes or up to 4 hours before serving.

Then sprinkle black pepper, red pepper flakes (if using), the shaved Parmesan and tarragon leaves. Drizzle a little oil on top.

Tip: You can assemble the tart 1 day in advance; but reserve the sprinkling of salt and grated Parmesan until right before baking. Loosely cover the tart and store it in the refrigerator until it’s time to bake.

The New York Times

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