Here in Seattle, it’s been a loooong, wet winter. I feel like I’m chomping at the bit for the first sign of spring. I’ve noticed that the spring produce is making it’s way into the grocery, a sure sign of better (and brighter) days to come! One of my true loves is now in season: asparagus. Claire whipped up this yummy and pretty asparagus tart recipe, perfect for some brunch-time sharing.
Asparagus Tart Recipe (Prep time: 50 min, makes one large tart, serves 4-6 as an appetizer)
- 1 package defrosted phyllo dough
- 3-4 tablespoons melted butter
- 12-15 stalks of washed fresh asparagus
- 2 large shallots thinly sliced into rings
- 1 egg plus one egg yolk
- 1 1/2 cup ricotta
- 2 tablespoons flour (I swear by King Arthur)
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/3 of a grated nutmeg or 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- grated Parmesan cheese or grated lemon rind for finishing
The night before you make the tart, take the box of frozen phyllo dough out of freezer and allow it to defrost in fridge. The next day, in a blender or food processor, place ricotta, shallots, egg plus egg yolk, flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Blend well, then refridgerate at least 30 minutes, which will keep it from spreading too quickly when it’s poured on the phyllo.
Preheat oven to 425F. Wash the asparagus and break off the bottom end of each stalk. This part is tougher and usually lighter in color and it may be anywhere from 1- to 2-inches long. Cut each cleaned and trimmed stalk in half and set aside. Remove the package of phyllo dough from the refrigerator, unroll the dough and place it on the counter next to a 12×15” rimmed baking sheet. Carefully lift three phyllo sheets at once and place them at the upper left corner of the baking sheet. Brush the top with melted butter. Continue lifting the rest of the phyllo sheets, three at a time, onto the baking sheet, overlapping or tiling them slightly so they will eventually cover the entire baking sheet with a fairly even layer of phyllo sheets. Be sure to butter each layer as you add it. It’s ok if the sheets of dough break apart or stick together, just rearrange them to a place where the phyllo needs an extra layer. It doesn’t need to look perfect, but it should cover the entire baking sheet!
Once the filling has chilled and the dough and asparagus are ready, it’s time to assemble the tart. Pour the filling onto the phyllo and spread it out, leaving a 1-2 inch border of phyllo uncovered. Place the asparagus pieces in any pattern or design you prefer: starburst, herringbone or plaid, whatever you like the best. Roll up the uncovered border of the dough to make an edge around the tart and butter the top and sides and any exposed phyllo. Place the tart in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until you see a slightly puffed and solidified filling and some slight browning on the phyllo surfaces. Remove from oven and sprinkle with grated Parmesan and/or grated lemon zest, plus a sprinkle of kosher salt. Enjoy immediately and save any leftovers in the fridge for a quick breakfast on the go or afternoon snack.
recipe developed by Claire McAleese.
photography and styling by Jojotastic.
more recipes here!