So after some deliberation, for the letter ‘A’ I’ve chosen asparagus and cheddar tart with an apple & apricot salad. Asparagus is in season and I was lucky enough to find some fresh apricots in my local supermarket. Goats cheese or feta works equally well in this recipe in place of the cheddar (or a mix), so use whichever you’ve got in the fridge.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
For the tart
- 200g Asparagus
- 4 eggs
- 100ml single cream
- 150g cheddar cheese – cut into 1cm squares
- 1 x 250g block of shortcrust pastry
- a handful of freshly chopped chives
For the salad
- 1 apple (cut into thin sticks)
- 2 fresh apricots (halved and then sliced)
- 2 hearts of chicory
- a handful of walnuts
- 2 sticks of celery (finely sliced)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- White wine vinegar
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
- Flour a clean working surface and roll out the shortcrust pastry to just under half a centimetre thickness. Roll back over the rolling pin and gently place into into a round flan tin (ideally one with a loose bottom). The tin should be approx. 23cm in diameter, but if it’s a little smaller you’ll need to add a few more minutes more cooking time.
- Trim off any excess pastry, prick with a fork and set aside into the fridge, whilst you prepare the other ingredients.
- Trim the asparagus and steam for 4 minutes. The asparagus should still have plenty of bite as it will be cooked again in the tart.
- Drain the asparagus and pat dry.
- In a bowl whisk the eggs together with the cream and add the chives.
- Take the pastry out the fridge, arrange the asparagus inside the pastry and scatter over the pieces of cheddar. Pour over the egg mixture and place in the oven for 30minutes or until golden on top.
- Whilst the tart is doing its magic in the oven, there’s plenty of time to prepare the salad. Pull apart the chicory leaves and cut the larger ones in half.
- Add the sliced apple, apricots, celery and the walnuts. Dress with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon of white wine vinegar and give the salad a good mix together.
- Once the tart is ready, take out the oven and leave to cool for 10minutes before slicing and serving.
Before making this recipe, I misplaced my fluted flan tin, so I used a similar one, with slightly higher sides. This means that mine has that extra proportion of pastry – but as I’m a big fan of it, I’ll forgive myself.
I had leftover mini roasted potatoes and couldn’t let them go to waste obviously, so they’ve made their way into the photo below. They are totally optional, but as with most dishes, a side of roasties is a good enhancement.
Next week I’m onto B, and my initial thoughts are for beef wellington. Leave a comment if you’ve got any other ideas, please let me know. Else if you’ve got feedback for the blog so far (on the recipes, cutlery, somewhat dodgy photography skills or anything else), let me know.