Wild Asparagus and Aged Cheddar Tart
I discovered wild asparagus quite recently. I was browsing in a green grocer when I came across a bunch of skinny mini asparagus lookey likey and decided I’d better try them.
The first bunch of wild asparagus I purchased was for tasting and so I kept it very simple. I fried them down gently in a little bit of butter and with the tiniest bit of garlic and parsley. Wild asparagus have a very gentle flavour, fresh and yet a little bit nutty. The texture is firm, with a light crunch. As this vegetable has a very short season and is not the easiest to find, I bought a second bunch and decided it would make for an excellent tart.
I bought a beautifully aged cheddar from Sheridan’s Cheesemongers at their Irish Food Festival last month. I didn’t have much left of it but enough to accompany my asparagus tart. The salty tartness of the cheese was a great compliment to the nuttiness of the wild asparagus. The silkiness of the filling takes away the sharpness of the dish and all these ingredients combined make for a balanced, unusual and very satisfying tart.
- One sheet of shortcrust pastry
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons of creme fraiche
- 1 bunch of wild asparagus
- 1 large chunk of aged cheddar (100 g)
- 1 handful of chives or flat parsley
- 1 packet of cherry tomatoes
- sprinkle of aromatic seasoning from Brook Lodge, you can use salt and pepper and 1 grated garlic clove instead.
- Preheat your oven to 180 C or gas mark 5
- Blind bake your pastry for 15 to 20 min until the edges are golden but not yet brown.
- In the meantime, cut the tail of your asparagus to remove any bruised bits.
- Dry fry (no oil) the asparagus for 5 min over a medium heat.
- Beat your eggs, grated cheese, herbs and your creme fraiche.
- Cut your tomatoes in half and season them.
- Take the pastry out and pour the creamy cheesy egg mixture in the pastry case.
- Place your asparagus on top of the mixture.
- As they are slender and bit a flexible from having been fried you can have fun with the design you may want on the tart.
- Place back in the oven for 10 min.
- Once it’s cooled down a bit plate the tomatoes around the edges of the tart.