This colorful vegetable tart is the reason favorite Daughter is hooked on asparagus! I came across this simple recipe in Martha’s vast recipe collection several years ago and it has been requested many times. Served as an appetizer or main dish when accompanied with a soup or salad, this tart has a handful of ingredients and is very easy to prepare – it fits right into a young lady’s busy college schedule.
I have been fortunate to have children that love vegetables. We were never a fast-food family as that option was not available to my parents in South Africa when I was little. My kids ate what was served at our dinner table and our extended family feasts from the get-go. I was spared the drama of picky eaters and watched their friends exhibit some strange behaviors. One young neighbor never ate at our home. He subsisted on a diet of chicken nuggets alone. I’m sad to see that he is now an obese young man. Another young girl asked me what that whole bird was I had sitting in a roasting pan. It was a chicken… And I once come across a kid at the check-out counter that could not recognize broccoli (!) so he couldn’t look up the PLU code. It’s no wonder we are now in the midst of a health crisis with no change in sight.
When it comes to asparagus, I always buy the bunch with the thinnest spears and fresh buds. It’s just a personal preference, but any thickness is good. An excellent provider of Vitamin K, folate, Vitamins C and A, asparagus is also a natural diuretic and is high in antioxidants.
This recipe combines the flavors or asparagus and Swiss-made Gruyère cheese. They pair beautifully together and it’s no wonder – they are both common items in the Swiss kitchen. Here I have added sliced cherry tomatoes to the mix for a beautiful and delicious presentation.
Asparagus, tomato and Gruyère tart adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart
a little flour for the work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
5½ ozs (2 cups) Gruyère cheese, grated
1½ pounds thin or medium asparagus
8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet (I line mine with a silpat). 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.
Sprinkle pastry with Gruyère. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell. Arrange asparagus and tomato halves in a single layer over Gruyère. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.
Cut tart with a pizza cutter into desirable pieces. Serve hot.
Make sure you sprinkle some cheese on the edges too!