Locally grown asparagus is one of the great treats of Spring. It’s only in season for a couple of months, but when it comes, it comes thick and fast. Great on its own with melted butter, it adds a real touch of class to this simple but yummy tart. This recipe was created by Annie Bell and can be found in The Meat Free Monday Cookbook.
- 1 pound finger-thin asparagus spears
- 8 ounces puff pastry
- 2/3 cup crème fraîche
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated vegetarian
- 2 medium organic egg yolks
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Cut the asparagus spears where they begin to become woody. Add to the pan, bring back to a boil and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and refresh in cold water. Remove and dry on a clean towel.
Roll the pastry thinly into a rectangle 16 x 8 inches and trim to neaten the edges—if you don’t have a baking sheet large enough, adjust the dimensions accordingly. Lay the pastry on the baking sheet. Blend the crème fraîche, mustard, Parmesan, 1 beaten egg yolk, and seasoning together in a bowl. Spoon this cream over the pastry, leaving 1 inch of pastry clean around the borders. Place the asparagus on top in a single layer. Beat the remaining egg yolk and paint the pastry borders. Bake the tart for 30 minutes.
Serve 5 minutes out of the oven, although it is excellent cold.