Asparagus is full of nutrition with evidence that it supports weight loss, improved digestion, healthy pregnancy outcomes and lower blood pressure. Asparagus may also help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. It contains fibre, folate and vitamins A, C and K. April and May are seasonal months for asparagus in the UK and the taste difference between locally produced and asparagus flown in from south America is huge. So in my book, it's always best to wait until our local farmers are harvesting (but that goes for most fruit and vegetables grown at home).
This tart is really easy to put together and is perfect for brunch, lunch or a supper dish, served with new potatoes and a crisp salad.
WHAT YOU NEED (serves 4):
1 puff pastry sheet
1 large or two small egg yolks
300g fresh asparagus, woody stems removed
200g cream cheese (like Philadelphia)
50g grated cheddar cheese
100g feta cheese
1 tsp dried thyme or basil (or 1 tsp of fresh if you have them)
zest of a lemon (and half the juice)
milk or beaten egg to glaze
WHAT YOU DO:
Pre-heat the oven to 200C or 180C fan. Grease or line a baking sheet with greaseproof or parchment paper. Around the edge of the pastry, score (don't cut through) a line about an inch in from the outside. Mix the egg yolks, cream and cheddar cheese with the herbs and zest & juice of the lemon. Add seasoning. Spread the cheesy mixture onto the centre of the pastry spreading it out to the scored line. Wash the asparagus and dry, then line the spears along the pastry - any design you like! Crumble the feta over the top and glaze the outside strip of pastry with either milk or beaten egg. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked and browned around the outside.
Delicious on its own for breakfast or brunch, or with salad, new potatoes and peas for a more substantial meal. It reheats well and also tastes good cold.