Spring Asparagus Tart

Posted on: Thursday, April 11, 2013

While meandering through Sonoma County from winery to eatery to winery, we were welcomed by the lush greenscape, expansive vineyards and gleaming gold hues. Every place we visited shared a focus on local and sustainable food and farming. Our last night in wine country, we tried the girl & the fig, a charming eatery in Sonoma Square, offering a comfortable country setting with funky, fresh dishes with a French flare.

Inspired by the restaurant’s changing menu featuring seasonal produce, we created a dish celebrating a quintessential spring stalk, asparagus. The beautiful vibrant green rods with ornate tips, and a delicate flavor add a bit of sophistication and color to any dish.

We topped puff pastry rounds with the asparagus spears paired alongside smooth and creamy goat cheese, sharp and melty Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and touches of thyme and lemon. The asparagus stripes created a pleasant lattice presentation and a delectable companion to a glass of crisp and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc.

Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Parmesan Tart

1/4 c flour
1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
1/2 c Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
1/2 c goat cheese, softened
1 lb asparagus, stems trimmed and cut into 2-inch rods
1 T fresh thyme
Salt and pepper throughout
1 T grated lemon zest
4 (4 1/2-inch) aluminum tart tins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry. Using the tart shells as a stencil, create rounds in the dough with a knife slightly larger than then tins.
Fit the circles into the tins allowing a 1/2 inch to curl up the sides. Place the prepared tins on a baking sheet. With a fork, prick the dough across the entire surface. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes

While the shells are baking, mix together the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, goat cheese, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

When the shells are golden, remove them from the oven, and evenly distribute the cheese mixture on top. With a spatula spread the cheese mixture across each warm round, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around as a crust. Arrange 4 asparagus pieces atop each round. Brush the entire surface with EVOO and sprinkle with the fresh thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Bake until cheese is bubbling and asparagus is tender, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with grated lemon zest and serve. Serves 4.

The savory pastries are great for lunch alongside a simple salad or as a starter course to a spring-themed meal!


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