All I can say is yum! what a great way to use up that asparagus!!!
The asparagus was the reason for making this tart...originally I was going to use it in an omelette, then a quiche and then I had this idea. Maybe you could call it an inside out quiche; a crisp shortcrust shell, filled with creamy goat cheese, sundried tomatoes and basil, topped with asparagus and baked. Topped off with a soft poached egg and served with a mixed green salad...perfect for lunch, brunch or dinner.
To start off, line a 10" rectangular tart shell with shortcrust pastry. Chill well, prick the bottom with a fork, and blind bake. Cool completely.
The pastry recipe can be found in the post Goat Cheese Tart with Grape Tomatoes and Fresh Basil.
To make the filling, mix together:
6 ounces soft goat cheese
4 ounces ricotta cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
When well combined, mix in:
1 egg yolk
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced sundried tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Spread the filling into the baked and cooled tart shell.
Blanch, drain and cool:
16 spears asparagus
Trim the asparagus to fit across the tart shell, as shown. Thinly slice the trimmed ends, and scatter them between the spears.
Sprinkle the tart with:
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Bake at 375F until the filling is slightly puffed, and set. The asparagus and Parmesan will start to get golden around the edges of the tart, about 40 - 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving. While the tart is resting, softly poach the eggs if you are serving them with the tart.
Serve the tart as is, accompanied by a tossed green salad...perfect for a light lunch or dinner...
....or top each piece with a softly poached egg...perfect for brunch or lunch.
Whenever you choose to serve this, it can be adapted by adding or omitting the egg. If you love softly poached eggs, with the runny yolk providing a sauce, then go ahead and enjoy! A beautiful contrast to the crisp pastry and creamy goat cheese filling.
- The pastry recipe makes enough for 3 tarts shells, so go ahead and freeze the two extra pieces. Having pastry in the freezer is always handy...the pastry I used for this was in the freezer.
- Purchased tart shells can also be used.
- I used ricotta to cut the tartness and richness of the goat cheese, but feel free to use all goat cheese if you wish.
- This can be made into more of a breakfast / brunch item by adding bacon, prosciutto or pancetta. Cook the bacon or pancetta until slightly crisp, drain excess fat off and then place on the tart underneath the asparagus. You can also cook it and serve it on the side.
- I like to poach my eggs in a pot of water; if you haven't done them this way before, or have problems cooking them, follow this link for some helpful tips:
- Most of this recipe can be prepared ahead...the tart shell can be lined, chilled and blind baked the day before. The filling can be mixed the day before, and the asparagus can be blanched and trimmed ahead of time. Then it's just a case of assemble and bake.