Elegant, simple, delicious…and ready in minutes…this Spinach Asparagus tart would be a beautiful appetizer, cut into small pieces, or as a side-dish for a meal. I can imagine serving this at our next brunch or dinner party.
Mr. Saucy offered to cook the other night; I jumped on the offer, since this doesn’t happen too very often. His offer included grilling and baking some potatoes (which he rhapsodized about slathering in sour cream and butter), but no mention of anything green.
That got me thinking about what I might surprise him by including. You see, a potato is just not considered a vegetable to me. Of course, it being spring now, asparagus came immediately to mind…followed closely by spinach. Any of the traditional methods of preparation would have been fine, but I wanted something befitting the occasion. The rare occasion of Mr. Saucy cooking deserved a lovely side dish that could also work as an appetizer.
I had been dreaming about my tomato pie lately, and had thought it would be great to try to adapt that recipe with other vegetables. This is what I came up with…a lighter crust…airy puff pastry would work! A titch of egg to serve as glue and wash the crust to beautiful brown perfection was needed, as well as a bit of herbs and cheese.
This is it. I hope you’ll try it. It was absolutely wonderful!
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ teaspoon herbes de Provence
- A handful of fresh spinach leaves, stems removed, torn
- 1 ounce Gruyere cheese, grated
- Fresh asparagus spears (about 12-14)
- salt, fresh ground pepper to taste
- A sprinkle of garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts (not toasted)
- Place the thawed puff pastry and place it on a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.
- Using a rolling-pin, roll the pastry out just a bit, keeping the rectangular form of the sheet.
- Fold the edges of the puff pastry up to form a crust edge (about ½ inch).
- Beat the egg and whisk in the herbes de Provence.
- Brush the entire surface of the puff pastry with the beaten herby egg, being sure to press the rolled crust edges so they seal.
- Once you've brushed the egg on, pour almost all of egg onto the pastry and spread it evenly...you'll need just a titch on your pastry brush for later.
- Sprinkle the torn spinach over the surface of the puff pastry, leaving the edges of the pastry exposed.
- Sprinkle the grated Gruyere cheese on top of the spinach.
- Arrange the asparagus spears on top the of cheese, they should perfectly fill the rectangular length of the pastry.
- Using the remaining egg wash on your brush, light brush the tops of the asparagus spears.
- Sprinkle on salt, pepper and a bit of garlic powder.
- Sprinkle the pine nuts on top.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake the tart for 15-20 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven (it may be puffed up like a balloon...don't panic, it will deflate) cool, cut and serve