Let Happy Help You Celebrate Spring With An Asparagus And Tomato Tart
I have an embarrassment of food strategically piled in my freezer. Not a prepper or a Mormon – I’m just frugal. The problem is that every time I want to put a little bit of ice cream in there, or another stupid chicken carcass, I have to play Jenga. So, you and I are going to clear a few things out and make something with that pretty asparagus I just bought. Yay, asparagus, yay!
This is a side dish that could also be a an easy appetizer. I served it next to a steak that was taking up some freezer space. It was a nice alternative to a regular salad or potato, and it looks Spring-y. Did I mention cheese? There is cheese!
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
Flour, for dusting
1 bundle of asparagus, washed and ends trimmed *
¾ c. dehydrated or sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp. Balsamic glaze (optional)
1 ½ c. Appenzeller cheese, grated (or Gruyere)
Salt and pepper
* Use the narrow asparagus. If you can’t find it, slice the stems lengthwise, from end to end.
Preheat your oven to 400°.
Prep the tomatoes by steeping them in boiled water for about 15 minutes (enough water to cover them completely). Drain well, and then add olive oil, Balsamic, and season to taste. Toss this in a bowl with the asparagus, so that the asparagus gets a thin coat of oil, as you would for plain roasted asparagus.
Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to fit the length and width of a conventional cookie sheet – just a little bit wider than your asparagus is long. Trim away uneven edges and discard. Line the cookie sheet with parchment and place your dough on top. I carry my pastry to the pan with a rolling pin. If you wish to escort yours by draping it over your arm, like you’re helping a little old lady to cross the street, DO NOT. Most people do not enjoy arm hairs embedded in their pastry. I want you to please use a rolling pin. Please. Pierce the dough with a fork around the inside edges, about every inch or so. Pre-bake for 7-8 minutes.
Take it out of the oven and sprinkle the pastry with cheese. Place a line of asparagus over the cheese, and arrange the tomato bits as needed. Put the whole deal back into the oven and bake for 20-25-ish minutes more. It should look like this, or maybe even better because it’s yours:
Some people might call this a tart. I personally don’t feel comfortable about slut-shaming puff pastry because of the way it has been portrayed in the media. Labels aside, what matters it taste and this recipe is off the hook with flavor! Hope you like.