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Asparagus-cheese tart

Submitted by on Thursday, 14 May 2009 No Comment

Look out, guys,  your momma is staging a coup. She does that every once in a while when she gets tired of tailoring meals around what you picky little bugs will agree to eat.

I was in one of those moods this morning when the daily Dinner Tonight email arrived from Martha Stewart: Asparagus Gruyere tart.

Usually I let these float on by, stashing them in my “someday when the guys aren’t so persnickety” folder. But I actually had asparagus I needed to cook. I always have cheese, though not Gruyere. And I just happened to have puff pastry in the freezer from a Napoleon I never got around to making Dad before he left for training.

That’s it, guys. I’m hungry as hell and I’m not taking it anymore. We’re having grown-up food tonight.

At least, part of us did. Even its vague resemblance to pizza was not enough to convince Big Guy to try it. Boots dove in – I sometimes think he loves his “boodeful begeballs” only to win points over his brother.

Martha bills this as a main course, but I don’t think it would be substantial enough if Dad were around. I’d probably pair it with chicken. And I don’t think one would be enough if he were here, either. I ate half of it myself, resisting the urge to pull the puff-pastry box back out of the freezer to see what kind of caloric damage I’d done.

I tricked the recipe up a bit because, well, that’s what I do. I used a homemade garlic-free balsamic vinegar salad dressing instead of just olive oil. I think next time I’ll sprinkle the asparagus with onion powder, too.

Unlike way too many recipes that promise a quick dinner in no time, this one actually lived up to its billing. It takes about 45 minutes to prepare, and it’s an easy 45 minutes. Roll pastry, throw it in the oven, ignore it. Grate cheese, trim asparagus, add to shell, ignore it for another 20 minutes. It’s a snap.

Asparagus-cheese tart

Roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Place pastry on a baking sheet. Roll edges to form rim. Using a fork, pierce dough at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Watch it carefully – mine quickly crossed over from golden to brown on the edges, though that was in part because I rolled the pastry too thin.

Remove pastry shell from oven and sprinkle the cheese. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over cheese, alternating ends and tips. Brush with salad dressing. Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

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Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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