Saturday, January 23, 2016

Asparagus Tart with Puff Pastry, Cheese and Mushrooms #recipe #CleanSweepWeek @AbbottMysteries

What a fun theme week this is with all the hidden treasures and occasional terrors found in the back of the cupboard, pantry, freezer and wherever.  Need some detective work to use those odd ingredients?  That's what we're here for. I have been taking note of everyone's great ideas and plan to try them all.  Isn't necessity the mother of invention?


We are nothing if not resourceful.  It’s the perfect month for this challenge because for the second Mystery Lovers Kitchen recipe this month, we’ve been stuck at home because of dangerous road conditions.

That meant I (MJ here) had an extra reason to check out what was in the back of the freezer.  I was on a serious quest for a ‘just before grocery day’ meal made of ingredients that we actually had. 

Turns out I found a package of frozen puff pastry, hiding in the bottom of the freezer. The pastry was rapidly approaching its Best Before date. I don’t even remember why, when or even IF I bought it, but it wasn’t long for this world.  

In the fridge I had a pound of uncooked asparagus that had been forgotten two days earlier when we made a salmon dinner. Asparagus is not a forgiving vegetable and something needed to be done ASAP. 

Luckily, some detecting turned up a recipe for Asparagus Tart with Puff Pastry from a Foodland Ontario's website.  Of course, it’s not asparagus season in Ontario now (ahem), but we do have an excellent local supplier of mushrooms which is one of the reasons we always have them.  I had to improvise a bit on other ingredients because we didn’t have shallots (local or otherwise) which the recipe called for.  I used a small onion, caramelized it, and upped the garlic.   

We didn’t have Ontario Havarti either, although I love Havarti and I will try this the next time.  I fiddled a bit with the cooking times and added a bit of extra oil and butter.  Not only did we have a storm but in the storm immediately preceding it, our basement flooded. The emergency clean-up crew was there as I was preparing that. They were worried about the drive home!

By the way, you could reduce the amount of oil or butter if you want because the pastry is quite rich. You could probably use a bit of stock to pre-cook the veggies.  Go ahead and use a salt substitute too.

was glad to discover the Foodland Ontario site, because it does have great recipes for the kind of fresh ingredients we can easily find in the province, as long as we can get out the door. They also have a great recipe calendar. 

Asparagus Tart with Puff Pastry, Cheese and Mushrooms



  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 ½ cups sliced brown mushrooms
  • 1 lb sliced asparagus, snapped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 sheet (225 g) butter puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/4 cup (250 mL) shredded cheese.  We used Black Diamond medium cheddar.
  • seven or eight chopped chives


In large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook for about twenty minutes over low heat. 

Add additional tablespoon of oil and mushrooms; cook for 5 minutes. 

Add asparagus and garlic; cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat. Season. 

Unroll puff pastry and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. 

Brush Dijon over surface. 

Poke entire surface with fork. Arrange asparagus over pastry and top with mushroom mixture, leaving 1/2-inch border.

 Sprinkle with the grated cheese.

Bake in 400°F oven 20 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Let stand on sheet on wire rack for 5 minutes before cutting to serve.

The results:  The surprised husband (who doesn’t care for pizza and up until this point had been saying “So is this some kind of pizza?” changed his tune to: “Wow, this is really delicious!” 

We loved it and will make it again.  It will serve four as a light lunch with a salad or maybe six as an appetiser.  We may try it for brunch too.  You could easily pre-cook the veggies and just add in time for baking.  

You probably know that we Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini are actually VICTORIA ABBOTT, author of The BOOK COLLECTOR MYSTERIES, But in case you don't, we thought it worth mentioning again.   

So thanks to this fun theme week and some rotten weather, Victoria Abbott has new favorite lunch.  We also have a new favorite cover:  The Hammett Hex has now been revealed. 
TA DAH!  Just click this link because it's NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER


  1. Thank you for the recipe for it looks tasty!

    1. Thank you, Jen! Glad you liked the look of it.



  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Lucy/Roberta! I have been following your new challenge with great interest. You are doing a terrific makeover for the low sodium 'eaters'.



  3. Ooh, yum! I want it! Wonder if there's any puff pastry lurking in my freezer, alongside the four packages of filo pastry! Or maybe I could make it with the filo pastry?

    1. I thought about your historic filo when I was writing this. I bet you could. Not sure if you'd have to brush each layer with melted butter though. Hmmm!



  4. You lost me at the mushrooms…but everything else about it sounds great! :-). p.s. Pre-ordered for Kindle! Nicole :-)

    1. LOL, Nicole. You could use peppers or something else. Lots of people get lost at mushrooms, including some of my relatives.

      Thanks for the pre-order!



  5. This would be good to give to the husband who always says, "But I want REAL pizza.&quo