Now, mind you, I said I made a very simple and delicious dinner. This is because I live alone and can get away with eating excess of what most people would consider to be an appetizer and call it “dinner”. Under normal circumstances, this would be a side, an appetizer, or one of many finger foods at a dinner party. But, I ignored those rules and just ate away.
While I got this recipe from Joy the Baker, she adapted it from Martha Stewart. In checking out Martha’s version, I saw that her tart was one big tart cut into pieces and served that way. Depending on your desired presentation, this is certainly an option and you can just eliminate the whole “cut into thirds” part of the recipe.
Asparagus and Gruyère Tarts
Source: Joy the Baker
1 sheet frozen pastry, thawed but still cold
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ c grated Gruyère cheese (or a little more, if you love cheese like I do)
1 lb slender asparagus
salt & coarse ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Unfold thawed pastry onto a lightly floured work surface. Slice into thirds at the creases (most brands are already folded this way). Cut each strip in half, creating six smaller rectangles.
- Gently press each rectangle with your fingers to flatten slightly. With a small paring knife, score a ¼ inch border along the sides of each rectangle to help them puff up around the edges. Arrange the six pieces an inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
- Brush each square with beaten egg. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with grated cheese. Press five to six asparagus spears into the cheese (you may have to trim them to size). Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with more salt and pepper.
- Bake 20-25 minutes until puff pastry is golden brown and asparagus is cooked through.
- Meanwhile, create a balsamic reduction. This is done by heating balsamic vinegar in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. It will thicken as it reduces. You’re done when it reduces by about half (or to your liking).
- Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving. Drizzle with balsamic reduction.
Makes 6 tarts