Spring Vegetable Tart

May 29, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More

spring vegetable tart

Tarts are perfect for combining the season’s best ingredients into a single meal. Fresh asparagus and spring onions don’t just appear at farmer’s markets at the same time for no reason. They complement each other beautifully.

This spring vegetable tart’s simple ingredient list works because you treat the ingredients in different ways to coax out maximum flavor. Half of the vegetables are roasted to caramelized perfection while the rest are quick sauteed to preserve a crisp-tender texture in the finished tart.

There’s no need to use a store-bought crust with all kinds of nasty additives to make this spring vegetable tart. A delicious crust can be yours with just a little flour, butter and egg. I’ve combined a tart crust recipe from the trusty Smitten Kitchen with the filling recipe from Bon Appetit for total tart perfection.

Word of caution: this crust dough isn’t the easiest to work with. But, before you curse me, know that the finished product is one of the best tart crusts I’ve ever eaten. It’s buttery and not a hint of soggy. The crust doesn’t need to be par-baked – you can just pour in your filling and the crust will be firm after baking.

spring vegetable tart

My somewhat messy patch job on the crust

This tart emerges from the oven looking as great as it tastes. When you serve it, you will be the person everyone wants to be!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

spring vegetable tartMake the crust:

1 1/4 cups flour

1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

6 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, diced

1 egg, lightly beaten to blend

In a food processor, combine the flour, cornstarch, and salt. With the motor running, add the butter cubes and pulse until the butter is in very small crumbs and you have a coarse meal. Then, add the beaten egg and pulse just until the dough comes together. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and, using your hands, form the dough into a ball and gently flatten it.

spring vegetable tartRoll out the dough to a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Be gentle and don’t apply too much pressure with the rolling pin or you’ll get lots of cracks around the edge. The dough is dry and a little crumbly, but just keep gently rolling it out and pinching it back together around the edges if it cracks. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect because you can always patch it once it’s in the pan.

Transfer the dough circle to a 9-inch tart pan and press the dough into the bottom and up the sides. Remove the excess around the edges and use it to patch any cracks or holes in the dough. Once you fill and bake the tart, no one will know if your crust didn’t look perfect. Place the tart pan with the crust in it into the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Make the tart:

1 1/4 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and thick spears peeled

6 spring onions or 12 scallions

3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

8 ounces soft goat cheese

1/4 cup creme fraiche

1/4 cup heavy cream

Do not substitute low-fat dairy in this tart, you won’t get the same delicious results.

1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley

1 Tbsp. minced fresh chives

2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon

3 large eggs

spring vegetable tartStep one:

1 1/4 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and thick spears peeled

6 spring onions or 12 scallions

3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425°. Cut the top 1 1/2 inches from the tops of the asparagus spears and set aside. Then, cut the remainder of the spears into 1/4-inch rounds. Cut the bulbs of the spring onions away from the green stalks and trim off the roots. Quarter the bulbs or halve them if they’re small. Slice the green onion tops into 1/4-inch slices.

Toss the spring onion bulbs and the asparagus tops with 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and spread vegetables in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 15 minutes – onions should be starting to turn brown and crispy in spots and asparagus should be bright green and crisp-tender. Set roasted vegetables aside to cool and reduce the oven temperature to 375°.

spring vegetable tartStep two:

While vegetables are roasting, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion tops and the sliced asparagus spears. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 8 minutes until the vegetables are bright green and tender. Let the vegetables cool slightly and then spread them evenly into the bottom of the chilled crust.

Step three:

8 ounces soft goat cheese

1/4 cup creme fraiche

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley

1 Tbsp. minced fresh chives

2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon

3 large eggs

spring vegetable tartIn a medium bowl, whisk together the creme fraiche, heavy cream, goat cheese, minced herbs and the eggs. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and pour the custard evenly over the vegetables in the tart crust.  Scatter the roasted asparagus and onion bulbs over top of the custard. Place the tart on a rimmed baking sheet and bake it until the edges are just beginning to brown and the center is just set, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let tart cool for at least 20 minutes.

Serve the tart warm or at room temperature. All it needs is a crisp green salad and a chilled glass of dry white wine. And, the leftovers make a perfect breakfast!

 

 

 

 

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Category: Food, General, Main Dishes, Recipes, Spring

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