Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Celebrate the Season with a Green Spring Tart


The sun is coming out and with it comes a harvest of tasty spring vegetables and this vibrant Green Spring Tart is a delicious way to enjoy seasonal veggies that are available now, in this fabulous month of April.

This tart is a wonderful light lunch or dinner of all butter puff pastry topped with delicious green asparagus, to which I added a few stalks of leftover white asparagus from the previous day (this is optional, of course), green peas, wild garlic leaves from our garden and farm fresh eggs – all of which sit on a bed of creamy soft cheese enhanced with soft herbs such as Italian parsley, basil, tarragon and/or chives, best to go with what you have on hand, which is probaly what you enjoy the most. The tart is simply bursting with the fresh flavors of spring, and, if you ask me, spring just couldn't be more tasty than this.




Green Spring Tart

Ingredients
  • 375g pack ready-rolled all butter puff pastry (of course, feel free to use a homemade puff pastry, a rough puff pastry works very well here)
  • 1 egg yolk (M), free-range and farm fresh or organic (if possible)
  • 150g pack soft cheese
  • fine sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • zest from 1/2 lemon, finely grated (organic and/or untreated)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh soft herbs such as Italian parsley, chives, basil and tarragon
  • 1 bunch green asparagus, peeled where necessary, woody bottoms trimmed off, blanched* (for about 2 minutes depending on the thickness of the asparagus), halved lengthwise NOTE: I added a few stalks of white asparagus here, for looks and because I happened to have them on hand
  • a handful of peas (from fresh or frozen), blanched* as well 
  • a few leaves of wild garlic (optional)
  • 4 eggs (M or L), free-range or organic
  • olive oil
For Garnish (optional)
  • pink radish cress and garden cress (purslane instead of cress is also a good option here)
  • freshly ground black pepper and coarse sea salt
  • some good quality, cold pressed (extra virgin) olive oil
Blanching*

'Blanching' means to plunge a fruit or vegetable into boiling water for a short amount of time before transferring it to an ice bath, which quickly stops the cooking.






Preparation
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200° C. Unroll the pastry sheet onto a large baking sheet/tray that you covered with parchment paper. If the edges are not straight, trim them with a sharp knife. Score a border, about 1cm in from the edge. Prick the middle area with a fork all over or score a criss-cross pattern over the central piece of pastry (this will prevent it from rising too much). Glaze the border with the egg yolk. Bake for 15 minutes. The pastry should be almost cooked, puffed and starting to color. Take the pastry out of the oven and flatten the middle area with the back of a spoon.
  2. Meanwhile, season the soft cheese with salt, pepper and lemon zest, taste, then fold in the herbs.
  3. Spread the soft cheese mix over the pastry to within the borders to the edges.
  4. Carefully toss the asparagus, the peas (and the wild garlic leaves, if using) with the olive oil in a bowl. Season wih salt and pepper to taste. Lay the  asparagus in a reasonably neat row across the surface of the tart so the tips meet the edge. Then add the peas and the wild garlic leaves.
  5. Bake the tart for about 10 minutes, then add the eggs – you can either crack the eggs directly onto the tart (nestled between the veggies) OR pre-cook them briefly and THEN place them on top of the tart.
  6. Finish baking until the border of the tart is deep golden and the topping is lightly spotted golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes more OR 20 to 25 minutes total (that is, if you go without the eggs).
  7. Let the tart cool for 5 minutes, garnish with pink radish cress and garden cress, grind black pepper over the tart, sprinkle with a bit of sea salt, add a few drops of olive oil and serve. 
  8. Serve either warm or at room temperature.




Enjoy this rustic and simple tart of crisp and flaky puff pastry topped with creamy cheese and the most delicious of green spring veggies and herbs. Complete with a few eggs if you like and then finish it all off with different types of fresh, peppery cress, such as pink radish and garden cress, herb blossoms (for the looks) and maybe a few drops of really good extra virgin olive oil.



12 comments:

  1. Love this spring tart ANdrea, and these eggs, yummy! hugs!

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    1. Dear Gloria, springtime is a wonderful time for vibrant foods and I love making these kinds of no fuss tarts loaded with spring veggies, they bring out the best in my usual lunchcrowd ;)
      Thank you kindly for the nice comment, my friend!
      Andrea

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  2. So beautiful and perfect for spring brunch, lunch or a light dinner!!

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    1. Thank you, Liz!
      Spring ia always a great time to get creative with veg in the kitchen!
      Thank you for stopping by!
      Andrea

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  3. P.S. We'll be on a Rhine cruise in August and have a stop in Cologne on the 25th. I'm not sure of that day's itinerary, but if there's any chance we could meet up, I'd love to give you a hug in person!!

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    1. Oh, what fabulous news! So looking forward to meeting you on the 25th in (my hometown) Cologne!
      You will love the city and we will have a smashing time!
      I have marked Aug. 25th red in my calendar!

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  4. Oh Andrea, your tart looks fabulous and yes, it has the face of spring...and I am loving the eggs on it...all the different textures in one bite...great recipe, thanks!
    I hope you have a lovely rest of the week!

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    1. Dear Juliana, Thank you for your nice comment! After a rather cold and long winter, we all seem to crave lots of green in our lives. So, this Green Spring Tart seemed to hit the spot. Lots of veg, different textures and fresh tasting.
      'See you soon', my friend!
      Andrea

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  5. This spring tart looks so bright and tasty! Love the eggs on top - a nice touch.

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    1. Dear Amy, thank you for the kind comment! If you ask me, spring calls for bright green foods and this tart just seems to hit the spot! Lately, I have been adding eggs to many a savory dish and loving it!

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  6. A great post! I love your blog < 3
    I am following you and invite you to me
    https://milentry-blog.blogspot.com

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    1. Dear Karolina, so nice of you to comment on my blog! I will definitely drop by your blog and take a look around!
      Would be nice to 'hear' from you again,
      Andrea

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