Waiting for summer with an asparagus tart
Asparagus tart with strudel dough
I feel like summer is passing me by. It's June and while I dream of making ice-cream and fruit pops, sitting out on the patio after a barbeque with friends watching the sun go down and lighting candles and spending time in my garden, all I do is watch the rain fill my roses and peonies and make them go bad before the even reach their peak. My summer squash and pumpkins are trying to hang on. I see the snails and slugs eating my dahlias right as they shoot up. The evenings are spent on snail patrol trying to save my vegetable garden. It's not been an easy year so far.
I buy asparagus by the kilo, knowing that the season will be over much too soon. I make risotto, soup and salads. Currently my favorite way to eat it is to roast it in the oven ans serve it with an herb sauce and potatoes. Simple and so good.
Growing up in California, all we had was green asparagus. My mother told us about the white she grew up eating. When the white asparagus slowly made an appearance in California, it was a specialty. We moved to Germany and all we had was white asparagus. The green was rare and very expensive. I'd tell others I liked the green and they looked at me like I was crazy. Many had never heard of green asparagus. White asparagus is taken very seriously in Southern Germany. There are festivals and asparagus queens. And it is said to be the best. I now switch between the two, sometimes grabbing a bunch of the thick white spears, sometimes going for the thin green ones. Last week I ordered a kilo from a near by farm and a bunch of green was brought to my front door. It wasn't a surprise, until I thought about it. Then it was, since I was expecting white. Thinking some more about it, it wasn't a surprise. Green asparagus is much easier to grow as it's grown above ground and you can see when it's ready. White needs much more looking after. Either was, I enjoy both.
I recently discovered strudel pastry when I needed some to make my husband an apple strudel I promised him. It's not easy to make so I would shy away from it. Now that I've found a good brand that's ready made, I've have lots of ideas for strudel. There will be an apricot strudel coming this summer. If summer ever comes...
I decided to use the strudel pastry and do a twist on my favorite roasted asparagus with herbed cream. I think it turned out quite well.
- 200 g strudel pastry (or puff pastry)
- 200 g crème fraîche (or sour cream)
- 2 Tbs fresh chopped herbs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 Tbs grated Parmesan
- 1 bunch asparagus
- melted butter
Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Clean the asparagus and cut into pieces about 4-5 cm long. Toss with some olive oil, sea salt and ground pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15 min. Remove and cool slightly.
While the asparagus is cooling, whisk together the crème fraîche, egg yolks, herbs and parmesan. Place the pastry into a tart pan or pie plate, fill with the cream mixture and top with the asparagus. Gently fold the pastry over the asparagus, leaving the center open. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, turning the oven down to 170° C after about 20 minutes.