Asparagus and Herb Cheese Tart
Asparagus and Herb Cheese Tart is a really quick and easy supper or lunch dish and can be eaten hot or cold. Using ready-made puff pastry makes it a doddle. There is no shame in using ready-made pastry – it makes things so much easier – but if you can find a brand that says it is made with butter it will taste so much better!
There are lots of ready-made cream cheeses with herbs and garlic – you can probably think of a few brands! However, it is the work of moments to make your own version and, as with all home-made food, you can tailor it to your own tastes. Don’t like garlic? Leave it out. Love chives? Put loads of them in! I have used herbs that I had to hand in my garden and which I think go well together – and with the asparagus – but go with what you have and what you like! The one thing I would recommend keeping in, is the lemon zest. Asparagus has an affinity with lemon and with dairy products – a traditional way of serving it is with buttery, lemony Hollandaise sauce – which highlights its fresh, grassy flavour.
Baking tray, mixing bowlPrint
This Asparagus and Herb Cheese Tart combines crisp buttery pastry with creamy cheese and fresh asparagus. It is very quick and easy to make for a light lunch or supper.
- 375 g pack of puff pastry (the brands made with butter are best!)
- 200 g cream cheese
- 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- Grated zest of half a lemon
- A bunch of mixed herbs to taste – I used fennel, thyme, chives and parsley – (finely chopped)
- Salt and pepper
- 7 or 8 stems of asparagus
- Olive oil
- Set your oven to 180 C, 350 F or Gas Mark 4.
- Roll your puff pastry out into a rectangle to fit your baking tray. Place it on the tray.
- Place the cream cheese in your mixing bowl and add the crushed garlic cloves, lemon zest and chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the cheese mixture onto your pastry rectangle leaving about 2 cm clear around the edges.
- Remove the thyme leaves from the woody stems (keep the stems) and put them in a small bowl. Add the grated zest of your lemon along with the crushed garlic. Put your softened butter into the bowl and mash to combine with the other ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove the ends of the asparagus stems as these can be woody and difficult to eat. The best way of doing this is to simply bend the stem and it will snap at the right point.
- Place the asparagus on top of the cheese mixture on your pastry rectangle. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
- Place the baking tray into the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes until the pastry is crisp, golden and puffed up and the asparagus is soft.
- The tart can be eaten hot or at room temperature.
Keywords: asparagus tart, herb cheese tart
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