Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Savory Asparagus and Goat's Cheese Tart for Outdoor Wednesday
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I love the graceful sway and swish of asparagus as it moves with the wind. The area in which I live is home to an assemblage of asparagus farms so we see a lot of it at this time of year. My love affair with asparagus began in the Victory Garden where I played as a child. I'd use the fronds to make a hula skirt or, on those occasions when I felt more regal, fashion a fan to be used by the Queen of Sheba. My love of the vegetable came much later, but when the connection was made it was a marriage made in heaven. Local asparagus has finally made its way to our green markets and Oregon artisanal cheeses and hazelnuts are again available. For the next few weeks I can dash to Canby Farms for really fresh asparagus and, along the way, pick up goat cheese made by a friend for friends. When both are plentiful this tart is sure to appear on our table. It is wonderfully flavorful but it's not for the faint of heart. If you like the piquancy of goat cheese you'll love this tart. If you're not a fan of strong cheese it's best you take a pass. This is really easy to make and it's quite pretty to look at. That's a hard combination to beat. Here are the pictures of the tart. The recipe follows.
Asparagus and Goat's Cheese Tart...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 ready-made pie crust
3/4 pound fresh asparagus
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts
1-3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll pie dough to fit a 9-inch loose-bottomed quiche pan. Line pan with pastry; prick base with fork and chill for 30 minutes. Fit a piece of foil into the the pie pan and fill with dried beans or rice. Blind bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and beans and bake for 15 minutes longer, or until crust is a light golden brown.
2) Place asparagus on a plate; sprinkle with water. Cover loosely with microwavable plastic wrap. Cook on HIGH power for 3 minutes. Let cool slightly. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
3) Place oil in a medium skillet and saute onion until soft. Spoon onion, hazelnuts and asparagus into the prepared pie crust.
4) Place cheese, eggs and buttermilk in jar of a blender. Process until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste. Pour mixture over pie filling.
5) Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese filling is just set. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yield: 6 servings.
I'm sending this to Outdoor Wednesday, an event sponsored by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer.