Asparagus and Swiss Tart

 

I didn’t always love asparagus.  Like most children I was insistent that asparagus (and onions, and cooked carrots, and zucchini – or rather squash in all forms – etc) were vile, vile, vile vegetables thrust upon me by an unloving mother and a father who took pleasure in witnessing my suffering each night at dinner.

The only thing that could ever make asparagus the tiniest bit palatable as a child was practically an entire stick of melted butter.  Salted.  With lots of pepper.

I’d cut them into tiny, miniature sized pieces and pout.  Did I really have to eat all of them?  What about just these four?  Two more bites and I’m done?  What about a quarter of them?  Half?

I did everything in my power not to have to eat any more asparagus than was required.

 

 

Luckily, I’ve gotten over my youthful vegetable misgivings.  I’ve learned to love onions when cooked, eagerly seek out squashes of all kinds, and now love Asparagus so much, I’d marry it – if it were legal.  {And not totally weird…}

So when I saw this recipe on Joy the Baker‘s site a few weeks ago, I just knew this was some sort of fortuitous happenstance.  It was serendipity and John Cusack would be knocking on my door any minute with a bouquet of crisp asparagus spears* begging for some of this rocking swiss-asparagus tart action.

Wait….John Cusack likes asparagus!  And hey – I like asparagus!  We have so much in common!  I’m sure when he gets here {he must have gotten lost or something….}, John and I will be very happy and live a life filled with asparagus.

 

So Joy, thank you.

 

*Am I the only one who, when presented with images of bouquets of non-flower objects, thinks about You’ve Got Mail and the bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils?  Oh, I am?  This whole post is so full of awwwwwkward…..

 

 

Asparagus and Swiss Tart
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Serves 6

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed, but still cold
1 beaten egg
2 cups grated Swiss cheese
1 pound thin-stalked asparagus, woody ends trimmed and discarded
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F with the rack in the middle.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Unfold the puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface and roll so that the puff is of even thickness and approximately 1/4 inch thick.  Score a 1/3 inch boarder along the inside of the pastry with the tip of a small paring knife, making sure not to cut all the way through the puff pastry.  These score marks will ensure that the “crust” puffs up nicely.  Place the scored puff pastry on the baking sheet.

Lightly brush the beaten egg on the puff pastry and top with the grated Swiss cheese.  Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.  Press the asparagus spears into the cheese, making sure there is no overhang onto the crust.  I had to further trim my asparagus spears smaller.  I saved the trimmings (the non-woody trimmings) to use in future dishes.  Brush the asparagus with olive oil.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden brown and the asparagus is cooked through.  Remove from the oven and cool 5 minutes.

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