Asparagus Tarte with Goat Cheese

No other vegetable can compete with the elegant asparagus. Here, flaky layers of warm, buttery puff pastry cradle a simple filling of asparagus that lets its delicate flavor shine. And with every bite there’s a melt-in-your-mouth cool topping with a hint of goat’s cheese, complemented by marjoram and extra virgin olive oil.

These individual tartes make a lovely appetizer for a spring lunch, or serve them as an elegant snack with drinks at a party. Caprino is traditionally made from goat’s cheese, but it is also widely available made from cow’s milk. If you can’t find caprino, you can substitute with cream cheese (for the caprino vaccino) and your favorite fresh goat’s cheese (for the caprino di capra).

Asparagus Tartes With Caprino Di Capra (serves 6)
900g puff pastry
600g green asparagus
100ml milk
2 egg yolks
2 shallots, finely chopped
finely chopped parsley
finely chopped marjoram
120g caprino di capra
120g caprino vaccino
40g grated grana padano, plus a little extra
60 ml extra virgin olive oil
salt, pepper

1. Cut asparagus stems into thin rounds. Cut tips in half lengthwise.
2. Reserve some of the tips for decorating the tartes.
3. In a pan, combine sliced stems, shallots, milk, 160ml water, and 40ml olive oil.
4. Season with salt, bring to the boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until asparagus is tender (but not too soft) and liquid has evaporated.
5. Put asparagus in a bowl and add yolks, 40g grated grana padano, and parsley. Season with pepper.
6. Blanch reserved tips in salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove and briefly drain under cold water.
7. Cut puff pastry into six rounds that fit into 12cm round pastry forms with 2.5cm tall sides.
8. Divide asparagus filling evenly between pastry cases.
9. Top each pastry with reserved asparagus tips, forming a lattice. Sprinkle with extra grana padano.
10. Bake in preheated oven at 190C for about 10 minutes or until puff pastry is golden.
11. In a bowl, combine caprino di capra, caprino di vaccino, marjoram, pepper, and 20ml extra virgin olive oil. Mix until combined.
12. Let tartes cool to room temperature and top each with a tablespoon of cheese spread. Serve immediately.


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