Asparagus Tart

One of the joyous things about working in magazines or newspaper features is something called Forward Planning. You see, we don’t just have clever ideas on the spot and turn them out the next day (that’s what online journalism is for), we have to think about them in advance. In the UK, this meant people started ringing me up about Christmas story ideas in July. I quite liked going to champagne and mince pie tastings in the middle of summer in London because it felt like home, but it also means you are seriously over Christmas by the time you’ve written or commissioned 20,000 variations on how to stuff a sodding turkey and not get fat.
Things seem a little more relaxed in the southern hemisphere, but I have felt a bit like my old self in recent weeks thanks to an obsession with when the asparagus season is starting so I could organise my asparagus issue. Acting on a Twitter tip-off, I finally found some in two different locations last week so I could rush out and grab some to photograph. See, there is an element of public service journalism in what I do…

Asparagus Tart
My favourite thing to do with asparagus is to cook it really quickly in boiling water and dip the stems into melted butter, salt and pepper, but I needed to photograph this tart for work. It’s really good – and very, very easy.

1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1 egg
125g sour cream
about 40g Parmesan, grated (a couple of handfuls)
about 16 spears of asparagus, washed and the tough ends snapped off
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C. Lie the pastry on a baking sheet and score a line about half an inch from the outside (like you’re drawing a frame inside the pastry edge). Mix the egg, sour cream, cheese and salt and pepper together in a small bowl, then spread this on the pastry, inside the ‘frame’. Lie the asparagus on top. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the pastry is risen and golden. Makes a nice light lunch for four with salad and bread.

There seemed to be a lot of interest last week in the Small Girl’s cooking abilities. Here’s a shot of her in her favourite role, chief taster.

“Look Teddy, it’s not too hot, it’s just right”

What’s your favourite thing to do with asparagus?



  1. September 19, 2011 / 6:59 pm

    Asparagus is a new love to Hubby and I. If only the season was that bit longer. Love the look and sound of this tart, book marking for next season ;0)

  2. September 19, 2011 / 8:10 pm

    Looks delcious Lucy. My choccie arrived today, I've blogged about it here Thank you very much 🙂

  3. September 19, 2011 / 9:04 pm

    It is true- the season here is very short and I feel there's a race on to see who can eat the most in the short time they are at their best! I'll definitely add this to next year's asparagus recipe pile, thanks Lucy!

  4. September 19, 2011 / 10:19 pm

    sodding turkey – or if you 're doing Nigella's brined one it's a sodden turkey!

  5. September 19, 2011 / 11:12 pm

    You should have a caption contest for your photo of the Small Girl – my entry would be the simple but always funny "Om nom nom!". Also, where have you found asparagus?!

  6. September 19, 2011 / 11:56 pm

    New Zealand asparagus seekers: if you are in Wellington, they had some Te Horo asparagus at Moore Wilson's and at Commonsense Organics on Wakefield St last week (though not at CO in Kilbirnie). Sources tell me it was also for sale at the Hawke's Bay Farmers Market in Hastings on Sunday. Good luck!

  7. September 20, 2011 / 5:31 am

    You wellingtonians are so lucky to have Moore Wilson! We do have in Auckland(nearest to me) lot of deli shops but nothing like that:) Greta tart(I think that pretty girl on teh pic agrees;)

  8. September 20, 2011 / 5:56 am

    ahh… Christmas in July events are always my favourite things to organise… it means I get two christmasses!

    The tart looks stunning… isn't puff pastry brilliant?

    I like them in a quiche, again I treat them just as you do here with a gently pre-cook. They are also great in a risotto.

  9. September 20, 2011 / 8:48 am

    I love that picture of small girl! No messing about. I love asparagus, shame we are on the other side of the world.

  10. September 20, 2011 / 11:22 am

    ah..lovely photo…

    Like you I love asparagus cooked simply and dipped in soft boiled eggs, Nigella style…but this tart looks so tasty…I'll have to remember it for when the Asparagus season comes back again over here…

  11. September 21, 2011 / 10:40 pm

    Christmas in July? Why not! Nice looking tart. Yum.

  12. September 22, 2011 / 5:49 am

    Your small eats "sparrows-guts"? I am impressed!
    Great photo of her and the asparagus pie, classic.

  13. September 24, 2011 / 6:56 am

    A tart like yours is definitely in my top 3 ways to eat asparagus, after (1) grilled with heaps of butter, salt and pepper and (2) blanched and topped with heaps of butter, salt and pepper. (other toppings/accompaniments optional but welcome)

    ps. loved the asparagus issue 🙂

  14. September 24, 2011 / 4:30 pm

    Wonder if I'll remember this in seven months time…

    It looks great though and I love the picture of your chief taste tester!

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