Monday, 25 March 2013

Lemon Goat Cheese and Asparagus Tart

This tart has the beautiful fresh taste of lemon and herbs along with the slightly sharp tang of young goat cheese, asparagus and eggs. Served with a drizzle of exceptional oil like Mandranova Biancolilla, some more fresh basil and a salad and you have the perfect spring lunch.

You will need:
  • 1 sheet of all butter puff pastry - thawed according to directions
  • 1 small bunch of fresh asparagus - woody bottoms removed
  • 1 small leek - sliced 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 squeeze fresh lemon juice
  • 4 fresh basil leaves - sliced into thin slices (chiffonade)
  • 2 spring onions - sliced fine
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley - sliced fine
  • 30 g goat cheese (2 tbsp)
  • 1/2 cup shaved Manchego cheese or Parmesan
  • salt/ pepper
  • olive oil 

Step 1: remove woody bottoms of asparagus and in a small pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp water, salt and pepper cook asparagus and sliced leek for 3-4 minutes until the water evaporates and the asparagus gets bright green. It should still be crunchy but, no longer raw.

Step 2: in a small dish or baking pan unfold the thawed puff pastry. I used a narrow ceramic dish just to have a lip of pastry to contain your eggs. You can use a pie plate or any square baking pan. I just made sure that the puff pastry went up the sides of the dish. Dock the pastry with a fork so it doesn't puff too much and place asparagus spears in a decorative manner that you like!

Step 3: in a small bowl add eggs, ,milk, (or cream, or non dairy substitute) lemon zest, lemon juice, basil, spring onions and parsley (leave some fresh basil for sprinkling on top just before serving) Beat with a fork until mixed well and pour evenly over tart. Add small blobs of goat cheese  and the leeks.

Step 4: add some shaved Manchego cheese and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Bake in a heated 350 degree F oven for 30-35 minutes until top is browned and beautiful.

Immediately add a drizzle of good olive oil and some chopped basil. Serve with a side salad. I just had a sliced tomato, olive oil, salt, pepper and a bit of balsamic vinegar.

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