This is my favourite tart for spring. If you can’t find wild garlic substitute it for 50g of baby leaf spinach and add a small, crushed clove of garlic at step 3 with the asparagus pieces. With kind thanks to Teri Vincent for her fabulous photography.
Serves 4 – 6
- 1 x 500g pack of shortcrust pastry
- 230 – 250g asparagus spears
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 200ml creme fraiche
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 15 leaves of wild garlic, thoroughly washed and finely chopped
- 50g parmesan cheese
- Salt and ground black pepper to season
- Preheat the oven to 200℃. Rolll the pastry into a large circle that will comfortably line a 21 to 23 cm loose bottomed flan tin which is at least 2.5cm deep. Trim the edges so that they are flush with the top of the tin and prick the base with a fork. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice. Bake for 10 minutes then remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 170℃ while you prepare the filling.
- Chop off the woody end of the asparagus spear (see this quick tip from The Kitchn on how to trim asparagus). Remove the top 6-7cm of the spear and reserve until required. Chop the remaining spear into rounds about the thickness of a £1 coin (roughly 5mm).
- Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over a medium to low heat. Gently sauté the onion for 5 minutes before adding the chopped asparagus spear pieces. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
- In a large jug or bowl mix the creme fraiche and eggs together. Add the chopped wild garlic, parmesan and asparagus mixture. Stir to combine and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Pour this mixture into the pre baked pastry case. Gently lay the reserved asparagus tips on top in a circular pattern. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes until golden and set. This tart is delicious served warm or cold with salad and new potatoes.