LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — This simple yet gorgeous asparagus-goat cheese tart recipe could not be any easier or quicker to put together. It’s a stunning, flexible addition to your Easter brunch or dinner table. It can also make a tasty addition to your appetizer party menu by trimming the puff pastry to smaller sizes.
"I'm very much a seasonal cook, and one of the things that speaks spring to me is asparagus," says Arnold.
The tart is at its best served warm so the crispy pastry shatters into bits when you bite down and the cheese is still melty. It’s also very good served hours later if you need to bake ahead.
- 4 ounces garlic-herb chèvre (fresh goat cheese), at room temperature (substitute cream cheese)
- 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten, at room temperature
- 4 ounces finely shredded Parmesan cheese (substitute gruyere)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh dill (substitute chives, mint, tarragon, parsley or basil) plus more for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 bunch thin asparagus, about 15-16 ounces (may not use all), woody ends trimmed
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan, optional
- Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning Blend (homemade version below)
- 1 sheet puff pastry (preferably all-butter), thawed
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Red pepper flakes, optional
- 1 1/2 ounces shaved Parmesan, optional
*Optional toppings, if desired: pea shoots, micro greens, arugula, pickled onions, shaved ham, smoked salmon, fried or poached egg.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Trim asparagus ends; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, use a fork to mash together the goat cheese, egg yolk, finely shredded Parmesan, dill, garlic powder, lemon zest and salt. Using a mixer or whisk, beat until smooth and creamy.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry into a 13 x 11-inch rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Using the tip of a small knife, score a 3/4-inch border within each rectangle.
- Brush lightly with olive oil.
- Transfer dough to a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes. (Optional step but it makes for a prettier presentation.)
- Spread the goat cheese mixture evenly inside the scored border.
- Line up the asparagus spears on top of the goat cheese mixture
- Using the tip of a sharp knife, score a 1/2-3/4-inch border within the rectangle. Do not cut all the way through.
- Sprinkle grated Parmesan over the asparagus, if desired.
- Brush exposed borders with beaten egg and sprinkle with Everything Bagel Seasoning.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees and bake until puffed and golden brown, 6-10 minutes, making sure the pastry dough has puffed and the asparagus is roasted and cooked through.
- Cool in pan for 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with black pepper and red pepper flakes, if using.
- Garnish as desired.
Note: To prepare individual tarts, cut the puff pastry rectangle into 4 even rectangles. Score borders. Cut asparagus spears to fit, alternating tips and ends as needed. Proceed as directed.