Asparagus & Gruyere Tart

Happy Easter everyone!  I made this Asparagus and Gruyere Tart to include as part of your Easter Brunch or dinner.  Or to be enjoyed at both your Easter Brunch and dinner because it’s just that good!  First, I’d like to say that I am cheese fanatic.  I especially love hard, intense flavored cheeses, such as the cheese used for this recipe, Gruyere.  It has a nutty, sweet flavor which pairs well with asparagus’ pungent flavor.

This recipe is quite simple to prepare with just three ingredients: fresh asparagus, Gruyere cheese and puff pastry.  Now, let me talk a little about puff pastry.  Puff pastry is light, airy and decadent.  It is best to purchase at a supermarket vs. attempting to make it from scratch as it requires a lot of folding.  My recommendation for puff pastry is Dufour, which is an all butter puff pastry.  If you have concerns about using an all butter puff pastry, Pepperidge Farm is another great brand as it uses vegetable shortening.  I’ve used both with great success.

I must say, growing up Easter dinners consisted of ham, roasted turkey, green beans with ham hocks and potatoes, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, homemade dinner rolls, coconut layered cake, banana pudding … it was quite a spread.  I haven’t kept a lot of these traditions because 1. I don’t eat beef or pork 2. I’m a habitual tradition breaker.  Going rogue is generally my modus operandi.  Don’t get me wrong, I cherish and respect tradition.  So many of these meals I had growing up are still prepared.  They are just deconstructed with healthier ingredients added, except for the macaroni and cheese. Not happening!

Gotta run.  Again, have a wonderful Easter Sunday!

Asparagus & Gruyere Tart//serves 4
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Flour, for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
5 1/2 ounces (2 cups) Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 1/2 pounds medium or thick asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Place pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to make a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside of the markings (docking) to let steam escape while it's baking. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

Remove pastry shell from oven, and sprinkle with Gruyere. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.