Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas
Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
It is spring on the prairie and spring calls for spring foods. When the Lunch Bunch came for their monthly luncheon last week, it seemed appropriate that asparagus and strawberries should be on the menu.
An asparagus tart seemed so perfect for a spring luncheon but I wanted to do a twist on an old favorite. The twist -- baking it in my rectangular tart pan.
I lined the asparagus up like soldiers marching across the tart and then cut the tart in slices.
It made a great presentation and the tart had a wonderful flavor. As one guest said -- it tasted so fresh.
With it I served a salad of mixed baby greens from my garden pots with campari tomatoes dressed with a raspberry vinaigrette and for dessert, a strawberry cake. The old frozen strawberry cake receipt that has been around "forever" but updated by me with fresh strawberries, baked in 3 layer pans and the icing made a bit thinner and used only on the top so that it could ooze down the sides of the cake.
It was a great lunch as we celebrated spring with a bouquet of pansies on the table.
The tart is my adaptation of an onion tart in the Williams Sonoma French cookbook. It's an easy receipt and good with onions too!
1 1/3 c. flour
1/4 t. walt
1/2 cup very cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup ice water
2 T. Dijon
3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 large eggs
1/3 cup cream
Fresh asparagus spears
Combine flour and salt in a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds to blend. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (5 - 10 seconds). With the motor running, slowly add the ice water and process just until the dough comes together and adheres when pinched. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and bring together into a rough mass. Press into a slightly flattened rectangular shape and roll out out into a rectlangle large enough to fit an rectangular tart pan with removable bottom. Ease dough into the pan and trim. Prick the dough with a fork and refrigerate until firm (about 30 min).
Preheat the oven to 375. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Line the dough with alum foil and fill with dried beans. Bake just until very light brown (20 to 25 min). Let cool completely on a wire rack and remove the weights and foil. Brush the shell with the mustard and sprinkle with 2 T of cheese. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, about 7 minutes. Let cool completely. Reudce the oven temp to 350.
In a bowl, beat together the eggs, cream and cheese.
Pour into tart shell. Cut asparagus spears to fit in pan and line them up in a straight row. Bake until filling is set (30 to 35 min). Remove the sides of the pan and transfer to a serving plate.