Asparagus is one of those ingredients which is extremely seasonal and all the better for that! Between April and June this tasty vegetable is in season in the UK and needs using often before it ends.
This simple recipe utilises local Asparagus and also a local Abergavenny Goats Cheese though most areas will have their own variants and should be used appropriately.
Teamed with a Slaw and a Cucumber Pickle the tart can be eaten hot or cold and makes a light lunch or tasty supper, or a dish in a picnic.
Asparagus and Goats Cheese Tart
1 pack readymade Puff Pastry or even better make your own
6-8 Asparagus spears
4 Ripe Tomatoes
125 grams Goat Cheese
A little Parmesan
Salt and Pepper to taste
Roll 2/3 of the Pastry until it fits a baking tray.
Score a line ½ inch inside the pastry to create a border which will puff up. Put in fridge to chill.
Snap the Asparagus at its natural braking point, cut in half lengthways and put into chilled water.
Slice the tomatoes around the equator and season with salt and pepper – set aside.
Cut the Goats Cheese into rounds you can usually get 6-8 rounds.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and egg wash the border only.
Layer the tomatoes, asparagus and goats cheese inside the border.
Season again and grate Parmesan over the tart.
Bake in an oven at 200c for 20-25 minutes till the border is risen and golden.
Cool and then chill.
Serve with a green salad heavy on the Rocket or Watercress, Coleslaw and Cucumber Pickle.
Shred Cabbage leaves, grate Carrot and thinly slice an Onion. I have not given exact quantities as everyone has their own preferred balance. Season well and mix together with Mayonnaise. Taste and season again if needed. Chill in fridge until required. (Grated Apple makes a refreshing addition and a little Lime Juice adds a piquancy).
A great standby that can be served with a whole range of meats and fish or can be added to a sandwich for an amazing lift.
I Cucumber (weighing about 1lb)
1 Small onion
2 ½ oz. sugar
1 dessertspoon of salt
Chopped Mint or Dill
¼ pint Cider or White Wine Vinegar
Freshly ground Black Pepper
Slice the Cucumber very thinly – a mandolin makes his easy
Slice the Onion to the same thickness.
Combine in a bowl and add the Salt and Sugar. Sprinkle in the Dill or Mint then add the Pepper and finally the vinegar.
Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
This pickle lasts up to 2 weeks – if you can keep your hands off – and the flavour develops all the time.
Thge season is running out!! Enjoy Asparagus whilst you can.