April 22, 2019

ASPARAGUS, CHEESE AND CARAMELISED ONION TARTS


 
These gorgeous little tarts came about as a result of reading a post on Dom’s blog, Bellau Kitchen, which you can see here.  He made them from scratch, making his own puff pastry, caramelising the onions and then adding the asparagus.  I cheated, using ready made, ready rolled pastry, a jar of caramelised onion chutney and some cheddar brought from the UK.  I got the asparagus on Loches market.


During the asparagus season in France you can find mountains of white asparagus everywhere.  Green asparagus is more our cup of tea but is less plentiful and more expensive.  Delicious though and well worth the money.
The tarts were of course dead easy to make and very tasty with a bit of salad as a starter or on their own with apéritifs.  You could also make much smaller versions for nibbles by cutting the pastry into more squares and using smaller bits of asparagus.

Ingredients

1 pack of ready rolled puff pastry
a few sticks of asparagus, trimmed to remove the woody ends
a few tblsp caramelised onion chutney
a couple of handfuls of grated cheddar cheese, or other suitable hard cheese
1 egg, beaten

Method

Preheat the oven to 190C / 170 fan.  Place a sheet of baking paper on a baking sheet.  Remove the pastry from the fridge to bring up to room temperature (it will crack if you try to unroll it when it’s still cold).

Cook the asparagus in boiling water for about 5 minutes until tender and remove from the pan.
Unroll the pastry and cut into about 9 oblongs of roughly equal size.  With a sharp knife, score all around the edge of each oblong, about 1cm in from the edge, not cutting all the way through.

Spread a teaspoonful of chutney thinly over each oblong of pastry, within the scored margin.  Lay 3 pieces of asparagus, trimmed to the right length, over the chutney and sprinkle some grated cheese on top.

Brush the pastry with beaten egg and bake for 20-30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown, the cheese melted and the chutney bubbling.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 4 as a starter (2 each) or 8 with apéritifs.  My maths tells me that that leaves one left over for the chef (or for a snack later).

3 comments:

  1. Delicious way to use some fine asparagus. Although I admire Dom's determination to create from scratch, you'll often find me reaching for ready-made pastry and jars of chutney. It might be just my memory playing tricks but I seem to remember that it was much easier to buy green asparagus in Normandy and harder and harder as I went south. I do remember my last visit to Loches market very well, though: our car was broken into while we were shopping. C'est la guerre.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear Phil, that's a shame, it was not a good day for you in Loches that day. Generally I have felt very safe parking there but you can never be totally sure.

      Delete
  2. Where I lived in France, in Deux Sèvres, the asparagus was plentiful in season, but white. These sound delicious so will be on the menu soon!

    ReplyDelete

Your comment is the icing on the cake!