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Easter Brunch Idea: Asparagus Tart with Walnut and Lemon

As we turn the corner from winter and spring forward this weekend, it's time for our palate of slow simmers and heavy meals to transition to the bright fruits and vegetables of spring. One of my favorite spring vegetables is the asparagus. Available year round, the true asparagus season and peak flavor returns each spring. This tart looks rustic, fancy and complicated, but in essence it is easy, delicious and allows the flavors of this woody green stalk to shine through. Easter is fast approaching, and this asparagus tart can be assembled in about 40 minutes, ready for serving at brunch or as a starter with dinner. Open a bottle of 2014 Geist Trocken Saar Germany Riesling and enjoy the beginning flavors of spring!

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry dough, thawed
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup Gruyère, shredded
  • 1 dozen thin asparagus spears, the hard, woody ends cut off
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Carefully unfold the puff pastry onto a floured work surface and remove any parchment paper. Roll the dough out gently to about 14 inches long and 10 inches wide. Using a sharp knife, score the dough about 1 inch from the edge all the away around so that you have a traced rectangle. Using a fork, make prick marks all over the inside of the rectangle. Place the dough in the preheated oven on the middle rack and bake for 15 minutes. Check the dough halfway through, and if it has started to balloon, use a knife to cut slits, letting air release; it will fall once taken out of the oven.

While the dough is baking, mix the sour cream, egg yolks, mustard and 1/4 cup of the Gruyère in a medium bowl.

Once the dough has baked for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Coat the interior of the puff pastry with the sour cream mixture, then add the remainder of the cheese to cover.

Top the tart with the asparagus and sprinkle with walnuts.

Place in the oven and cook for another 15 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle with salt, pepper and a few spritzes of fresh lemon juice. Enjoy!