Although we’re now into July, the local asparagus season is just winding down here in southern Alberta. You can still find fresh spears in the farmers’ markets, but they’re quickly giving way to peas and beans – isn’t summer grand? Here’s one of my favorite ways to eat asparagus, a recipe well worth filing away for next spring.
Asparagus Pastry Tart
1 square store-bought puff pastry, thawed
1 shallot, peeled, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
10 to 15 fresh asparagus spears, washed, trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
Black or white sesame seeds (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Dust a pastry board with flour, then roll out puff pastry into a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Transfer the pastry to the cookie sheet.
In a small frying pan, melt the butter, then add shallots and garlic. Saute until soft, then remove from heat. Spread the shallots and garlic mixture on top of the puff pastry, then sprinkle with cheese.
Roll the asparagus spears in the olive oil until thoroughly coated, then lay the spears side by side on top of the pastry. Leave a 1-inch border and roll the edges of the pastry up slightly.
Sprinkle salt to taste on top of the tart. If you wish to add sesame seeds, feel free to do so.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender and the pastry is puffed up and golden brown. Remove from oven and cut into slices.