Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Asparagus & Feta Tart

Asparagus is almost over but I am still working on eating as much as possible! My lettuce is almost done too, as we have had a few very hot days (interspersed with more rather cold ones) and that has been enough to make it bitter and think of bolting, the red lettuces especially.

The dough is one I have used before - halfway between a standard pastry dough and a biscuit. It's one I like a lot: sturdy but tender, flaky but not too rich, substantial but not stodgy.

6 servings
1 hour - 30 minutes prep time

Asparagus and Feta Tart
Make the Pastry:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup mild vegetable oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups soft whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Let the butter sit out for a while; it should be quite soft. Blend it with the oil and buttermilk, but don't worry about the butter being lumpy. It will be and should be.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix this into the butter mixture, until it forms a ball of dough. If it does not come together, add a few drops more of buttermilk until it does.

Divide the dough into 2 sections. One should be about 2/3 of the dough, the other should be 1/3 of the dough. Roll the larger section out into a rectangle to fit snuggly in the bottom and up the sides a little of an 8" x 11" shallow (lasagne) pan. I find it easiest to roll it out roughly then press it into the pan with my fingers.

Roll out the remaining dough to fit on top of the tart. It won't cover the whole thing, which is fine. Set it aside for the moment.

Make the Tart:
450 grams (1 pound) asparagus
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk or light cream
2 tablespoons flour
generous grind of black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Clean and trim the asparagus. Cook it very briefly until just tender. Drain well. Lay it across the bottom layer of pastry as evenly as possible - you may have to trim some spears to fit, and fit the pieces in where some of the spears are shorter. Crumble the feta cheese and sprinkle it over the asparagus.

Beat the eggs with a bit of the buttemilk, then mix in the flour. Beat in the remaining buttermilk. Pour this custard over the asparagus and feta. Top with a good grind of black pepper, and lay the remaining piece of rolled out dough over the centre. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until firm and lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Last year at this time I made Bacon, Egg & Asparagus Salad.

1 comment:

Megan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.