Joy the Baker

Asparagus and Gruyere Tarts

May 13, 2012

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Things I Like Because of Other Things I Like:

I like black and white striped shirts because they are the perfect compliment to bright pink lipstick.

I like super short fingernails because they are just begging to be topped with bold red nail polish.

I like deep navy blue because it makes me crave the burn of spicy grained mustard.

I like dusty blue hair because it makes beauty feel lighthearted and unexpected.

I like baking with asparagus because it reminds me of nature’s beautifully green and imperfect lines.

It feels like every bit of life can inspire another bit of life.  There’s something endlessly exciting about that… like everything belongs.  The best place to be inspired by belonging?  Pinterest.  Are you obsessed yet?  It’s the spot for food, color, and inspired living.

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Let’s make super simple, mini asparagus tarts.

It’s simple, satisfying, and smothered in balsamic reduction.

… and it all begins with puff pastry.

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Six squares, finger pressed and scored with a pairing knife.

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We’ll use bright green, trimmed raw asparagus for the tarts.

An egg is glue.

Gruyere cheese is salty, melty second glue.

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One of the best parts of this recipe is that it’s just assembly.

Let’s just layer.

Egg on top of pastry.

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Asparagus on top of cheese.

The asparagus needed a good trimming.

I used the trimmings in scrambled eggs the next morning.  Waste not!

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In twenty minutes these bake up like super pastry, asparagus cheese pizzas.

I love an extra sprinkling of salt… because I’m salt greedy.

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This is not a styled photograph.  This is me trying to shove this tart into my mouth as quickly as possible.  It’s a good thing this one shot came out spot on.  The tart was gone in two seconds flat.

This recipe makes 6 lovely little tarts.  You can, however, make one big tart, using one sheet of puff pastry.  Either way you prepare this, this recipe is simple, springy, and humbly impressive.  It’s really the ingredients that shine:  all-butter puff pastry, seasonal asparagus, gruyere cheese, coarse sea salt, and ooooh balsamic reduction.

Asparagus and Gruyere Tarts

makes 6 small tarts

recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

Print this Recipe!

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed but still cold.

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 cups finely grated gruyere cheese

1 pound slender asparagus

salt and coarse ground black pepper

olive oil

balsamic reduction

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Unfold thawed puff pastry onto a lightly floured work surface.  Most commercially made puff pastry sheets are sold folded into thirds.  Unfold the pastry and slice into thirds at the creases.  Cut each strip in half, creating six equally sized rectangles.

Gently press each rectangle with your fingers, flattening slightly.  With a small pairing knife, score a 1/4 inch boarder along the inside of each rectangle.  Arrange 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.

Brush each square lightly with beaten egg. Sprinkle with salt and coarse ground black pepper.  Top with a generous sprinkling of grated cheese.  Press five to six asparagus spears into the cheese. Brush the asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with more coarsely ground black pepper.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until puff pastry is golden brown and asparagus is cooked through.  Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.  Serve with thick balsamic reduction.    Tarts can be stored, well wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.  


114 Comments Add A Comment

  • I love coffee because it is a gateway for frothy milk. Annnnd, I love asparagus because it makes a beautiful delicious looking asparagus and Gruyere tart! I’ve never used puff pastry. I MUST use puff pastry! Hope you had fun this weekend!

  • Oh so delightful! Baked these tarts at a cooking class I took years ago – just inspired me to try these again! YUM!

  • Such a beautiful dish. I have so many photos of food with bites taken out of them because I just can’t seem to take a picture before I take a bite. I have not yet been able to find all butter puff pastry in my grocery store, just the hydrogenated oil junk (yuck). Hopefully they will get with it soon!

  • My favorite no-waste: buy a great loaf of bread, remove crusts and then cube. Use the crustless cubes for bread pudding and make croutons out of the leftover crusts!

  • Looks amazing. And perfect for a brunch.
    Speaking of brunch, I used one of your recipes for the Mother’s Day Brunch I hosted yesterday: Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins. They were a hit! So delicious. I will definitely make them again. :)

  • For a lovely presentation you could keep the pastry whole and put the asparagus on with blocks alternating vertical and horizontal, showing where it would get cut later.

  • Short nails with red polish? Yes. Asparagus with gruyere? Double yes!

  • so great. this is a much better and classier version of an appetizer we tried to make a few years ago where you wrapped croissant dough around an asparagus. I love the simplicity and the format that makes this easy to eat, and I’m sure the cheese is a great complement to the green.
    Thanks!

  • These look beautifully simple! I made apple tarts with puff pastry this weekend and was blown away by how delicious just two or three ingredients on puff pastry can be. This looks like the perfect savoury treat – love.

  • Love asparagus and had it roasted for my mother’s day dinner – parmesan cheese though. Will try gruyere next – love that nutty taste. And enjoyed your crumb cake french toast for my brunch. Love, love, love that dish. So easy my 9 year-old made it for me!

  • This looks amazing. Anything with asparagus involved has me sold completely. Thanks for sharing! :)

    From Cupcakes, With Love x

  • I love asparagus. This tart looks tasty.

  • The tarts look delicious!! Can’t wait to try out the recipe soon! I made the Leek and Asparagus quiche yesterday! Hmmm, so good. Leftover slice for breakfast thus morning. Yeah! :-)

  • It just so happens I have all of these ingredients on hand. This shall become dinner tonight…paired with a glass, or two, of crisp white wine! yes, Yes, YES! Thanks, Joy!

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