Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Three-Ingredient Asparagus Tart #recipe @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE: Is there a vegetable that screams “SPRING” quite like asparagus? Both Mr. Right and I love it. My childhood neighborhood was a truck farm before its development in the late 1950, and our yard was the asparagus field. For years after we moved in, remnant stalks would sometimes push up through the grass and become dinner.


I saw a recipe for an asparagus tart using packaged puff pastry, another fave, and the ricotta-egg mixture sounded yummy, but I decided to search out for a simpler recipe. This one came from the Pioneer Woman blog, and it almost seemed too simple to work. It works.

When it comes to asparagus, you can trust me. (Just don’t leave your plate untended.) And don’t think twice about not cooking it in advance—not needed. Do use young, tender spears.

With only three ingredients, I didn’t change much! Actually, we only made half, using one puff pastry sheet, but we made it twice, once with fontina and once with gruyere. Thumbs up for both, although fontina is a bit soft for grating; next time, I might try tossing it in the freezer for an hour first.

But of course, I played with the instructions because I always do. The original recipe didn’t mention rolling or scoring the pastry like a picture frame; I ignored my instinct to score it anyway the first time we made the tart, but corrected my mistake the next time. (You'll see what I mean in the pics below.) We skipped the optional balsamic glaze—it seemed like gilding the lily, and way too messy. 

Here’s to spring!

Three-Ingredient Asparagus Tart

2 sheets (one package) puff pastry, thawed on a work surface
8 ounces freshly grated fontina or gruyere
1 pound asparagus, with the woody ends snapped off

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Use your rolling pin to flatten and smooth the puff pastry. With a table knife or paring knife, lightly score a line about 3/4 inch inside the outside edge, as if drawing a frame. Transfer each pastry to a baking sheet.

Lay the cheese on the pastry, inside your score line. Line up the asparagus spears like pickets in a fence, but alternate heads and tails. Bake 25 minutes, until golden brown and puffy. (Don’t freak out if it gets a little TOO puffy; it will calm down as it cools.

Cut each sheet into quarters or sixths. Serve with a green salad and a glass of a sprightly white wine.

What happens when you don't score the edges!

What it looks like when you DO score the edges!


À la printemps – to spring!

From the cover of AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #5 (Midnight Ink, June 2018, available for pre-order now):  

In Jewel Bay---Montana's Christmas Village---all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily’s turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.

When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. A past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. A total winner!
    It is wonderful how you get an automatic edge by gently cutting inside the edge.

    1. I know, right? I did think it strange that the recipe didn't specify that -- showed me to trust my instincts!

  2. Ooh, yum! Thankfully, asparagus is one of the few veggies my son will eat. 🙄 With my luck, he won’t like the fontina and I’ll have to sub in a mild cheddar, 8nstead. 🙄🙄 Regardless, thanks for the share!! 💕

    1. :) Does he like Swiss? The Gruyere was lovely, too!

  3. Sounds delish, Leslie, and so easy. Thanks for the tip about scoring!

    1. You're welcome -- not too proud to show you the failed version!

  4. That looks wonderful. May actually give it a try!

  5. My husband hates asparagus! Can you believe it? When he was growing up, he kept trying to plow it under and then he realized he was just spreading it. And then he found out that he could cut it and take it to the neighbor lady who would in turn give him coffee cake.