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Asparagus and broccoli tart

We don't usually have asparagus, but I had bought a couple of bunches for our friends who came to stay. I had about 4 spears left, and so I chose to use them up in this yummy tarte. This is a good dish to make in stages.  For example you can make the pastry early on in the day in about 10 minutes.  It also helps to steam the vegetables in advance so that they lose their moisture before lying on the pastry base.  I made the pastry case,  steamed the vegetables and mixed the egg/cream/cheese before taking the kids to buy three pairs of shoes and two pairs of plimsolls after school, which took hours. When we arrived back tired (me) and overexcited (them) all I had to do was turn the oven on, assemble the dish and wait as the most delicious aromas calmed us down. The Noble Knight's response was "Mum! You are the best cook in the world. I love your food! Can we have this again?". Praise indeed. 
Ingredients
  • Cheesy shortcrust pastry
  • Small broccoli, cut into small florets, halving so that they can lie flat
  • 4 or 5 asparagus spears
  • 200ml double cream or milk and double cream mixture if you don't have enough cream
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • couple of handfuls grated cheddar cheese
  • seasoning
Method
  1. Bake blind the cheesy shortcrust pastry for about 15 minutes in a medium oven. You can do this in advance if you wish.
  2. Meanwhile cut the broccoli florets and cut the asparagus ends off. Steam until only just done - very al dente, otherwise the tart will be a mush. If possible do this in advance, so you can remove the veg and allow to drain properly to remove as much moisture as possible. 
  3. Mix the eggs, cream and a handful of the cheese together and season well. 
  4. When the pastry base is ready, arrange the vegetable in an attractive pattern on it, although if you are like me and find this hard to do, don't worry as it will get covered with egg mixture and you won't really be able to see it too well.  Besides, it will genuinely look home made.  
  5. Carefully pour the egg/cream/cheese mixture over the vegetables so it spreads over evenly. 
  6. Sprinkle another handful of cheese over to make it absolutely luxurious. 
  7. Bake for 30 mins or so (give or take, so peak through the glass to see what is happening), turning once to make sure it is golden evenly around. 
  8. Enjoy with a salad and a glass of celebratory wine. 
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