March 24, 2008

If They Only Knew

Every cook has at least a few go-to recipes in her repertoire. You know the recipes. They're the dishes that you know you can put together with little fanfare. All the while, your guests ooh and ahh, wondering how you do it all.

With extra time at a minimum these days, I appreciate those recipes that are easy and flavorful. Usually, this entails using many ingredients and following lengthy directions. Not the case with this great asparagus Gruyere tart recipe I found recently. With just five ingredients, most of which you might have onhand at any given time, and about 30 minutes, you have an elegant appetizer or filling side dish. A leafless member of the lily family, asparagus takes three years to produce the spears that we eat. It may take long to grow, but it takes very little time to throw together this lovely little asparagus tart.

The Gruyere adds a very distinctive sharpness without being overpowering. The asparagus is cooked just long enough to border on being tender and crisp. Each bite is offset by the neutrality of the buttery, flaky crust. Try adding this recipe to your tried-and-true rotation. No one will know it's that easy. And, I won't tell ...

Asparagus Gruyere Tart
from Martha Stewart

Flour, for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
5 1/2 ounces (2 cups) Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 1/2 pounds medium or thick asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
Remove pastry shell from oven, and sprinkle with Gruyere. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Cut into eight squares.

Weight Watchers = 7 points


Anonymous said...

This looks so wonderful! Easy and presents beautifully! I'm going to have to try this for company!

Emiline said...

Hmm, this is a cool idea. Whenever my fam eats asparagus, we just eat it plain. It would be nice to incoporate it into something else.