Thursday, May 13, 2010

Asparagus Tart

Asparagus is another one of those great spring things.
Have you ever planted or picked asparagus? It's kind of fun, but it takes a few years before you can harvest any asparagus. First of all, you end up planting a mess of roots that kind of look like a spindly-legged octopus to me. When asparagus stalks grow they stick straight up from the ground and you just break or cut at the base.

At our house, I know we have asparagus as much as we can when it's in season because it's so good.

This tart/quiche is another way to serve it! It happens to be very nice for any meal- breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner... even a tea.

The original recipe came from a friend of my mom's. Yes, I made some changes.
It originally called for the tart to be baked in a 9 inch deep dish pie pan- I use a 10 inch porcelain quiche pan instead. Either way, peek at it every now and then as it bakes since pans and ovens can vary so much.

Asparagus Tart
serves 6-10 (depending on what and who it is served for)

3/4 lb (scant) asparagus, cut in 2 inch pieces
2 1/2 T butter
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 T flour
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 c small curd cottage cheese
1/2 c milk
1/2 c grated Swiss cheese
1/4 t fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1 pie crust, uncooked

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

You have two options for the pie shell- I like to pre-bake it, but this is not necessary.
If you would like to pre-bake it, place the crust in the pan and place the pan in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Remove from freezer, line the crust in the pan with aluminium foil and add pie weights or dried beans. Bake crust for about 7 minutes, remove weights and foil, and continue to bake for a further 3-5 minutes until crust seems set. Prick any bubbles to smooth the crust.
If you do not choose to pre-bake the shell, just have it ready for the filling!

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil. Add the asparagus and blanch until crisp-tender, about 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a medium skillet over medium heat melt butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until tender 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle with flour, stir to coat and continue to cook for a minute before transferring the mixture to a bowl.
To the bowl, add the cheeses, eggs, milk, salt, nutmeg, and pepper. Stir until incorporated.
Spread the asparagus in the bottom of the pie shell and pour the egg mixture over.
Bake until puffy, set, and brown- about 25-35 minutes depending on the depth of the pan.

Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! We had this for dinner over the weekend. Once the crust was finally made it wasn't difficult. Thanks for another good use for asparagus. I figured it would be tasty since you had made it.