Although I will always and forever be a winter girl at heart (hence the yearly stream of holiday tunes and bi-weekly watching of Christmas movies), there are plenty of things to love about springtime. After all, if the outside can’t be covered in snow, it might as well be green and leafy and flowery and beautiful, don’t you think? Spring gets the flowers blooming, the birds chirping and the produce section of the grocery store looking like a right mecca of homegrown goodness. I, for one, am happy to oblige the season by cooking with veggies in abundance.
Asparagus is rolling into its primo time right now, and Jared and I are doing our part to keep the tall skinny guys (gals?) in business. Seriously, we can put the stuff away. It’s kind of ridiculous. But healthy ridiculous, so all is forgiven. Anyway, we typically roast the smithereens out of it because: a. all vegetables taste better roasted; and b. we like it good and crispy. But variety is the spice of life, and our asparagus addiction was in need of some out-of-the-comfort-zone action. I first spotted this recipe for asparagus Gruyere tart on Pinterest and gave it a click because it looked so deliciously simple and elegantly coifed. Wouldn’t you know it? Ms. Martha Stewart is behind it. That girl knows her asparagus like she knows her crafting glitter.
The tart was a huge hit. Not only is it lovely to look at, but it also makes the perfect light, weather’s-warming-up kind of meal. And it’s another excuse to eat a bunch more asparagus, which is never a bad thing.
Asparagus Gruyere Tart
Adapted slightly from Martha Stewart
• 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry
• 2-2 ½ cups grated Gruyere cheese
• 1 1/2 pounds asparagus
• 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
• ½ teaspoon onion powder
• kosher salt
• freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Trim the edges to even them up, and place the pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score the pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle, and then use a fork to pierce the dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake the pastry until golden, about 15 minutes
Remove pastry from the oven, and sprinkle with Gruyere cheese. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell, and arrange in a single layer over the cheese, alternating ends and tips. Brush the asparagus with olive oil, and season with salt, pepper and onion powder. Bake until spears are tender, about 18 to 25 minutes.
Although I loooove the asparagus/Gruyere combo, I think the recipe is pretty flexible. Mix up some different cheese. Throw in another vegetable. Ten points for creativity!
What’s your favorite veggie that returns in the spring? How do you prepare it? Any other asparagus-lovers out there with other fun recipes to share? Lets hear it!