Betty Rosbottom, author of “Soup Nights,” shows us how to make an asparagus and mushroom tart – just in time for “Hadley grass” season!
- 1/2 pound slim asparagus
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 1/2 to 4 ounces sliced, stemmed shiitake mushrooms
- 3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
- 3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 sheet puff pastry from a 17.3 ounce package, defrosted
- 1/4 cup crème fraîche (See note.)
- 1/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese
- Fresh tarragon sprigs for garnish, optional
1. Arrange a rack at center position and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Cut off and discard the tough ends of the asparagus. Then cut spears on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces, and place them in a medium bowl.
3. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add mushrooms and sauté, stirring, until softened and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Remove mushrooms and add to the bowl with asparagus. Add tarragon, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Stir well to mix. Cool mixture 5 minutes, then stir in the crème fraiche and Gruyere. (Filling can be prepared 2 hours ahead; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature 30 minutes before using.)
4. Place puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured work surface, and with a rolling pin, gently flatten the seams. Cut sheet into four equal squares. With a sharp knife, lightly score a 3/4 inch border around the inside edge of each pastry square, taking care not to cut all the way through the dough. (You simply want to trace a frame within each square, which will rise around the filling and form the sides of each tart.) Transfer squares to a baking sheet. (Squares can be prepared 2 hours ahead; cover and refrigerate.)
5. Divide asparagus mixture evenly and spread within borders of each square. Bake tarts until sides have puffed and are golden brown and filling is hot, about 20 minutes. Watch carefully.
6.Garnish each tart with a fresh tarragon sprig if desired. Serves 4.