Now that I have discovered an all-butter crust that tickles my tongue, I feel like the pie possibilities are endless. My pie making average for February has been about one every 4.5 days – don’t judge – and I knew that would quickly lead to me adding a little of this or taking away a little of that very quickly. That’s just how I cook! I bought a beautiful tart dish a few years ago and have never baked with it. I’m one of those people who needs to evaluate her inventory every so often, and if it hasn’t been used in a certain amount of time, it’s out the door to the next lucky sucker! My shiny white dish was staring said deadline in the face, so I decided to use it.
I live in Montana, and while this state is beautiful and has so much to offer, the city where I live can feel like a food desert during the winter. The produce we get at our local markets don’t really have much going for them, in looks or taste, so the majority of our cooking revolves around what produce is actually appealing. I usually plan my meals at the market instead of at home – a little backwards, I know. Anyway, I knew I wanted to make a tart – I just wasn’t sure what ingredients I would add until I saw some lovely little asparagus trees just begging me to gently rub my palm over them. When I noticed the price at $2.00 a pound, I was sold. “Heck of a deal” as my dad loves to say!
This asparagus cheese tart can easily be made with a different kind of cheese or a mixture – feta, goat cheese, mascarpone. I chose a healthier version and used dry cheese curd (Remember my all-butter crust every 4.5 days?). I sprinkled freshly shredded Comté over the top with a small spoonful of tapenade with truffle oil. The topping definitely made the dish richer and more filling. What do you have in your pantry for a topping that would complement this tart? Please share!
Asparagus Cheese Tart
With an all-butter crust, this cheese tart will be savory goodness one bite after another. Choose a richer cheese like feta and mascarpone for the filling or stick with dry cheese curd for this healthier option. Top each slice with tapenade, freshly grated Comté, and cracked pepper.
- 1/2 recipe all-butter crust pie dough see notes
- 1 1/2 cup dry cheese curd see notes
- 5 small portobello mushrooms, chopped
- 1/4 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 Tbs flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 XL eggs
- 10 asparagus trees
- olive oil for drizzling
- 1/4 cup tapenade
- 1/4 cup Comté, shredded
Roll out your crust and form it into a 12-inch tart dish. Crimp your edges, making sure not to let any of the dough hang over the dish. Cover and freeze 10-15 minutes. Heat the oven to 375 F.
Place a piece of parchment paper between the dough and pie weights (I use beans). Place on middle each and bake 20-25 minutes. Remove the pie weights and parchment paper and bake another 5 minutes.
While the crust is baking, add all the filling ingredients to a food processor and pulse until the filling forms a paste like consistency, about 10-12 times.
Heat the oven to 350 F. Spoon the filling into the crust and spread to evenly cover the crust. Place the asparagus on top in rows, alternating the direction of the tree tops. Cut the asparagus to fit your dish.
Bake on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes or until the filling does not move when you shake the dish.
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top perpendicular to the asparagus. Let the tart rest 10 minutes and slice into 8 equal pieces. Spoon your favorite tapenade onto each piece and top with freshly grated Comté and cracked pepper.
You can find the best all-butter crust recipe here.
If you can’t find dry cheese curd you can always make it. Just buy cottage cheese, rinse it well to remove the extra cream, let it drain a few hours, and then lay it out to dry a few more.