Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Asparagus Goat Cheese Tarts

For my tea party I made a slightly modified version of an asparagus tart I made a while back.  Honestly, I like this version better.

Now, before we get too into this let me address something.  I know these kind of look like quiche and they could easily be made more quiche-like with the addition of extra eggs and a bit of creme fresh.  But these are very intentionally not quiche.  See, I have a confession to make: I hate eggs.  I know, I know!  It's pretty unheard of for an actively cooking person to not like eggs... but I just don't.  Don't try to convince me.  It's not happening.  Trust me, I really want to like eggs.  I see so many recipes that sound wonderful in theory, (and don't even get me started on the lack of egg-less brunch options).  I know logically that eggs are a great, inexpensive meal base for any time of the day.  But I also know that the second I get a whiff of them cooking I'll have to suppress a gag.  I've tricked myself into pretending they're not there when I have pad thai and with enough other flavors I can enjoy things like souffles, but I just can't manage quiche.

So...  back to this decidedly non-quiche savory tart...  This is great because the filling can be made up to three days ahead of time and can just be spooned into the tart shells and baked shortly before serving.

- 1 pound asparagus (minus the three that I ate)
- olive oil
- 2 tbsp chopped shallot
- 5 tbsp plain goat cheese
- 1 egg (only one!)
- salt and pepper
- 1 recipe whole wheat pastry (I really need to do some posts dedicated to crusts)

- Trim the ends off of your asparagus and throw them away.  Trim the tips off of your asparagus and save them fore later.
- Drizzle the asparagus with some olive oil and a pinch of salt, toss to coat, and roast in the oven until completely tender, tossing halfway through for even cooking.
- After the asparagus are cool, chop them up into pieces and toss them in the food processor with the shallots.
- Pulse the processor until the asparagus in finely chopped.
- Add the egg, goat cheese, a bit more salt, and a few generous grinds of black pepper.  Blend until smooth.
- Add to your blind baked tart shells, (if making the filling ahead of time, do this part the day you will serve them).  For these, I used standard muffin tins to form the tart shells, about 2" across.  This should yield around 24 tartelettes, (though I only made 16).
- Top the tarts with the asparagus tips for decoration.  You can slice them lengthwise if you don't have enough for ever tart.
- Bake the tarts in a 400 degree oven for about ten minutes, until the filling is firm.
- Serve at room temperature.

Since I didn't use all of my filling for tarts, I had some lingering in my fridge.  For an easy dinner, I spread some on a slice of good bread, baked it in my toaster oven, and served it with some mache.  It was just as tasty like this.


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